How do members engage with Canada’s Indigenous communities?

When a pipeline company proposes to build a pipeline through a reserve or traditional land, they work with the Indigenous community to determine where it will have the least impact on the community and the environment. The consultation process is long and thorough, engaging communities to address their concerns about the impact of pipeline construction and operations, and how the Indigenous community can share in the benefits of the pipeline project.

Following CEPA’s Indigenous Relations Guiding Principles

These principles have been developed by CEPA and our member companies and govern interactions with Indigenous and Native American people:

  • Recognize and respect the diverse culture, values, beliefs and uniqueness of Indigenous communities.
  • Promote direct, honest, ongoing and timely communications with Indigenous communities.
  • Foster and encourage Indigenous-focused employment, education and business development measures.
  • Develop ongoing Indigenous participation strategies in cooperation with Indigenous organizations.
  • Encourage awareness and understanding of Indigenous issues.

Consulting to strengthen the Indigenous community

Pipelines can bring long-term benefits to Indigenous communities, including jobs, training, and business opportunities from pipeline construction and operations. There is also rent, property tax payments, and often direct compensation for the use of reserve lands.

Pipeline operators recognize and respect the diverse culture, values, beliefs and uniqueness of Aboriginal communities. Photo courtesy of TransMountain Expansion.

Pipeline operators recognize and respect the diverse culture, values, beliefs and uniqueness of Indigenous communities. Photo courtesy of TransMountain Expansion.

Pipeline operators often assist communities with legal proceedings and stakeholder engagement processes.

Pipeline operators listen to Aboriginal communities to learn their local traditional knowledge of the land, forest, water and wildlife. Photo courtesy of Enbridge Pipelines.

Pipeline operators listen to Indigenous communities to learn their local traditional knowledge of the land, forest, water and wildlife. Photo courtesy of Enbridge Pipelines.

Protecting traditional ways

Building a pipeline can put pressure on the traditional Indigenous way of life. To minimize this pressure, pipeline operators work closely with Indigenous communities to deliver economic prosperity while preserving traditional culture. Operators also find it beneficial to learn local traditional knowledge of the land, forest, water and wildlife.

Building capacity

Pipeline operators seek to establish long-term relationships with Indigenous communities. To build the foundation of this relationship, companies often help Indigenous communities develop the skills necessary to benefit from pipeline development while protecting the environment and their traditional way of life.

Pipeline companies have capacity building programs to help Indigenous communities develop the expertise to build their future.

Traditional knowledge improves planning, construction and operation of pipeline projects.

Most pipeline operators offer strong education and training opportunities for interested Aboriginal people in communities located near pipelines. Photo courtesy of Enbridge Pipelines.

Most pipeline operators offer strong education and training opportunities for interested Indigenous people in communities located near pipelines. Photo courtesy of Enbridge Pipelines.

Delivering benefits to the Indigenous community

Pipelines can provide many opportunities for Indigenous communities. Pipeline operators partner with Indigenous communities to make their lives better and create a brighter future by delivering long-term benefits, like education and training programs aimed at giving the members of the community lifelong skills, and employment programs aimed at providing a good living.

CEPA companies work closely with Indigenous communities to provide long term prosperity.

Growing Indigenous communities through education and training

Education is often called the new buffalo by Indigenous communities because of the opportunity it offers to change lives. Most pipeline operators offer strong education and training opportunities for interested Indigenous people in communities located near pipelines.

Education and training benefits both the Indigenous community and pipeline companies.

Training in action – Pipeline Operations Training Committee

POTC is a joint government/industry program set up to develop programs to train northern residents for highly skilled professional level positions in pipeline operations. Members of the POTC include the federal government, Government of the Northwest Territories, Mackenzie Gas Project proponents and Aurora College.

Providing employment opportunities

It’s an opportunity for all. The pipeline operators get skilled workers and Indigenous communities get an economic boost through long-term, skilled jobs. Pipeline companies promote Indigenous employment in every way possible, including employing Indigenous companies and requiring contractors to hire Indigenous people.

Providing jobs that boost the entire community.

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