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There was a recent thread with almost the same inquiry which you can review here: https://www.projectmanagement.com/discussi...13/stakeholders
Hmmm. It is a tricky situation. I will sleep on it and keep you posted if I find anything.
It seems that the issue is a term that is perceived as marginalizing an ethnic group with a history of being marginalized. I would ensure that the term conveys a VIP status. They certainly are VIPs. Governors attend tribal leader birthdays.
Their culture is also very rich in ceremony. Titles are important just as if a major stakeholder was a military leader, government official, or member of royalty. Giving someone the wrong title can be equally offensive though and I can see many of the suggestions potentially being perceived as such.
The term tribal authority/government or something to that affect speaks to that directly. Better yet, contact the local Tribal Council and ask them. Nobody gets offended when you ask the right way to call them. It's generally a sign of respect.
If you have to change your language to "stakeholders and tribal authority" in general to explicitly include their authority, it's a bit more typing but not unlike many other situations.
Just to comment about my personal experience I was the leader when software and infraestructure that supports of casinos in Las Vegas where indigenous/aborigen communities were the owner of those casinos. In my personal experience, the role name that´s not matter. What matter is to engage them in the right way. That´s more difficult and demands to study and to know about they culture and they way of thinking and behave.
Use the Project Charter to define your terminology. Typically "Stakeholder" is used to identify all parties that have influence on, or are influenced by the project. Within that definition there is a hierarchy recognizing the involvement, responsibilities and authority and of each. With an infrastructure project government stakeholders may include municipal, provincial and federal bodies. I would see the Indigenous peoples included in that grouping.
I believe the issue may be the presentation rather than specific terminology.
Government projects for example, which include both civilian and military personnel will sometimes distinctly state both organizations, as will collaborations between companies. Although the formality may feel a bit excessive, it is also an important part of many indigenous cultures. At some ceremonies I have personally attended, formal greetings will take hours if not days. The formality at large events with many groups attending is integral to the culture.
My thinking on a term like Tribal Authority is that it speaks to the people directly, as well as conveying importance.
It seems like the author of that sentence does not understand what "stakeholder" means in PM parlance. This is not their fault, and it may be an opportunity to educate the parties involved.
Saying that a group is a stakeholder is an acknowledgment that they have an influence on, or are influenced by, a project. Showing them an example of a stakeholder register, particularly an interest/influence matrix, might serve to illustrate that "stakeholder" is not an unimportant position.
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