Respecting culture and traditions
From pipeline concept, construction and operation, our respect for the land, culture and communities guides all of our decisions about Coastal GasLink. We respect the legal and constitutional rights of Aboriginal people. At the same time, we recognize that our relationship with Aboriginal people is separate and different from the relationship between Aboriginal people and the Crown.
Since we announced the project in June 2012, our team has had over 15,000 interactions and engagements with Aboriginal groups. Through these engagements, we’re able to listen to their views, incorporate their feedback where possible, and care for sensitive landscapes and culturally and historically significant areas along the route. It’s essential these areas are identified, respected and protected, so the project can be designed, constructed and operated in a safe and environmentally responsible way.
To date, over a third of the 362,000+ hours of fieldwork on the project has been conducted by Aboriginal people. Even after project construction and completion, we’ll remain engaged with communities to ensure the lines of communication stay open. Our collaborative approach with First Nations communities has also resulted in us investigating alternate routes to address some of the input we received. These productive, two-way conversations with all Aboriginal groups have resulted in many changes to the project.
Through engagement, we’re also able to ensure communities benefit directly from our project. Project agreements demonstrate that Aboriginal groups can enjoy their heritage and way of life while participating in economic benefits from Coastal GasLink, and and also achieve balance with protecting our environment. To date, our team has signed project agreements with 13 First Nations communities including: Skin Tyee First Nation, Nee Tahi Buhn Indian Band, Yekooche First Nation, Wet’suwet’en First Nation, Doig River First Nation, Halfway River First Nation, Blueberry River First Nations, Burns Lake Indian Band, Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, Nadleh Whut’en First Nation, West Moberly First Nations, Kitselas First Nation and McLeod Lake Indian Band.
We’ve also invested in a variety of training programs to support Aboriginal and local trainees and students. These include the Pathway to Pipeline Readiness Program and Education Legacy Program.
For more information on consultations reports submitted to the BC Environmental Assessment Office:
7,200. That’s how many pages we submitted to the BC Environmental Assessment Office about environmental protection plans on Coastal GasLink.