Get the facts – Aboriginal engagement
We know there’s more to building a pipeline than just materials and construction. The success of Coastal GasLink relies on working with local communities, listening to their views, incorporating their feedback where possible, and caring for sensitive landscapes and culturally and historically significant places. First Nations communities do not have to choose between economics, culture, environment and a traditional way of life. By meeting and talking with them, we’re able to address their questions and concerns, and incorporate their local and traditional knowledge.
“TransCanada and Coastal GasLink have been exceptional in the way they deal with First Nations people. They really listen and I think they care, and they’re willing to incorporate the needs and concerns of local Aboriginal people into their project planning and strategy.”
– Layne Boucher, local Aboriginal contractor.
- Coastal GasLink has awarded $620 million in contract work to Indigenous businesses for the project’s right-of-way clearing, medical, security and camp management needs, with another anticipated $400 million in additional contract and employment opportunities for Indigenous and local B.C. communities during pipeline construction.
- To date, the Coastal GasLink team has had over 15,000 interactions and engagements with Aboriginal communities along the proposed pipeline route, and over one-third of all the work completed on the project has been conducted by Indigenous people.
- We have engaged directly with Hereditary Chiefs since the project began, with many of those leaders already seeing project benefits for their communities. Benefits include training and employment opportunities, contracting opportunities and substantial financial payments directed to the advancement of heritage, cultural, and traditional language priorities deemed important by the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and Wet’suwet’en community leaders.
- Coastal GasLink initiated consultation with the Office of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs in June 2012 by providing formal notification of the proposed project. Since then, Coastal GasLink has engaged in a wide range of consultation activities with Office of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, Dark House and directly with Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs.
- Coastal GasLink has held over 120 in person meetings with Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and an additional 1300 other interactions (calls and emails).
- In 2014 we employed 84 Wet’suwet’en community members to conduct fieldwork. This enabled them to gain employment, and enabled us to incorporate local knowledge into our project plans.
- The 20 signed project agreements reflect that many First Nations support responsible development, and growth that translates into real opportunities.
- Our collaborative approach with First Nations communities has 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.
- We’ve 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. Examples include Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association, Tribal Resources Investment Corporation, Northwest Community College, and Northern Lights College.
- Coastal GasLink has already spent $60 million locally in Northern BC, including $3 million on community investment initiatives, education and training initiatives. During construction and operation, the benefits to BC will grow significantly.
When planning our pipeline route, we consider environmental factors, stakeholder and community feedback and constructability.