Principles and Objectives for Indigenous Engagement

CEPA members operate transmission pipelines throughout Canada, including across Indigenous lands. Our members’ relationships with Indigenous groups are a critical component to building a better future for all Canadians. We recognize the value in building and maintaining mutually beneficial, long-term relationships with Indigenous groups through principled approaches to Indigenous relations.

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) represents Canada’s transmission pipeline companies who operate approximately 119,000 kilometres of pipeline in Canada and 14,000 kilometres in the United States. CEPA members move approximately 1.2 billion barrels of liquid petroleum products and 5.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas each year.

CEPA’s mission is to continually enhance the operating excellence, business environment and recognized responsibility of the Canadian energy transmission pipeline industry through leadership and credible engagement between member companies, governments, the public and stakeholders. Our members’ relationships with Indigenous groups are a critical component to operationalizing this mission. These relationships span the entire country and continue to evolve as aspirations regarding reconciliation become reality. As leaders in the transportation of energy we recognize the value in building and maintaining mutually beneficial, long-term relationships with Indigenous groups through principled approaches to Indigenous relations.

Purpose Statement

The following guiding principles are intended to communicate our industry’s commitment to our relationship with Indigenous groups and to initiate a clear, transparent and collaborative dialogue with government and key stakeholders that enables our members to achieve the following:

  • Meet regulatory responsibilities with clarity and certainty;
  • establish mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships and collaborations with Indigenous groups that are based on mutual respect; and
  • identify and operationalize best and emerging practices for Indigenous engagement in the context of the spirit and intent of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and emerging legislative and regulatory requirements.

Our Commitment

As CEPA and its members are an integral part of the energy transmission network that crosses traditional territories coast to coast, CEPA is committed to ensuring its members are part of an ongoing dialogue in establishing guidelines for relationships among CEPA members, Indigenous groups and government.

CEPA and its members commit to:

  • Engaging in a process to explore how key principles and associated best practices can support our industry’s positive engagement with Indigenous groups;
  • articulating and gaining perspectives from key stakeholders and Indigenous groups on the evolving responsibilities and practices for pipeline companies in our relationships with Indigenous groups;
  • continual improvement as relationships, legislation and regulatory requirements evolve; and
  • being accountable to adherence to the principles set out in this document.

Principles for Indigenous Engagement

Reconciliation

CEPA and its members recognize that meaningful engagement, economic partnerships and other collaboration with industry are approaches for participation of Indigenous peoples in resource development. These opportunities help Indigenous communities to build pathways to prosperity and are tangible, positive steps toward reconciliation.

Respect for Indigenous rights

CEPA and its members recognize and respect Indigenous and Treaty rights as recognized and affirmed in Section 35 (1) of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Duty to consult

CEPA and its members acknowledge that the duty to consult rests with the Crown. The Crown has the ultimate responsibility for meeting the duty to consult and cannot delegate the duty itself or the honour of the Crown, though it can delegate the procedural aspects to proponents. The courts have affirmed that Canada can rely on existing regulatory processes to fulfill and/or to contribute to this responsibility.

Transparency

CEPA and its members commit to open, honest and clear communication between industry and Indigenous groups and commit to establishing relationships that are positive and mutually beneficial.

Flexibility

CEPA and its members recognize that each Indigenous group is unique and therefore the relationships with industry may also vary requiring flexible and transparent relationship building processes and structures. As such, CEPA members will actively work to develop appropriate and effective mechanisms, designing processes and engagement tools that recognize the varying needs and capacity of Indigenous groups. Accordingly, the level of engagement can vary depending on the nature of a project or activity and the extent of the potential impacts on the exercise of Indigenous and Treaty rights.

Collaboration

CEPA and its members are committed to working with Indigenous groups to develop and articulate best practices and approaches that enable pipeline proponents’ relationships with Indigenous groups to address and consider Indigenous interests and concerns in planning and decision-making processes.

Meaningful engagement

CEPA and its member commit to actively engaging with government and Indigenous groups to better define and develop practical standards that meet a mutual understanding of meaningful engagement. Engagement programs should anticipate, prevent, mitigate and manage conditions which have the potential to affect Indigenous groups.

Safety and integrity

CEPA and its members are committed to advancing a safety culture supported by robust safety management aimed at protecting the health and safety of the public, our workplaces and the environment, wherever we operate.

INDIGENOUS MONITORING AND LIFECYCLE INVOLVEMENT IN PIPELINE PROJECTS

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) and its members acknowledge the value of Indigenous involvement throughout the lifecycle of a pipeline project. As articulated in our Principles and Objectives for Indigenous Engagement, we recognize that meaningful engagement, economic partnerships and other collaboration with industry are approaches for participation of Indigenous peoples in resource development.

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UNITED NATIONS DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

Reconciliation between Indigenous Peoples, governments and other Canadians has progressed significantly over the past decade. Federal and provincial governments have made clear commitments to building renewed relationships with Indigenous Peoples, including implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

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