Traditional Land Use Agreements
We value the culture, lands and traditions of Aboriginal groups and work closely with them from the start of the project, through the life of the pipeline. On the Coastal GasLink project, a significant part of their involvement means sharing traditional knowledge to reflect their community’s use of land, water and resources. This provides important information about what development on their traditional lands may mean to their traditional use of the land. Being aware of the locations of important sites and timing of activities helps us refine our project footprint and carefully plan the construction to avoid or reduce potential adverse effects on traditional land use.
Why are we excited about completing all 19 Traditional Land Use Study reports? Because each of these reports creates an opportunity for the community to share and validate information. With each one of these reports being validated by the Chief and Council and often the community before it’s shared with us, the process can take numerous hours of meetings, discussions, and revisions. The reports are then used to refine our project planning and support cultural awareness amongst our workers to promote respect for the land and the people.
Learn more in our Q&A:
Q: What does traditional land use (TLU) mean?
A: TLU refers to use of the land for traditional pursuits important to Aboriginal people that can include hunting, fishing, trapping, collection of plants including berries and herbal medicines and ceremonial practices.
Q: How are TLU studies initiated?
A: TLU protocol agreements are signed with Aboriginal groups along the pipeline route prior to starting any TLU studies. The agreements are important and can include guidelines on sharing sensitive information, an outline of the study area and other details on how we are going to work together.
Q: What’s the difference between engaging with Aboriginal groups (engagement) and TLU agreements?
A: Engagement is the transparent, open and ongoing dialogue to identify and discuss issues and concerns. TLU agreements are an important piece of growing our relationship with an Aboriginal community. They set the groundwork to complete the TLU Studies, which are done by the aboriginal community and may include their chosen third party.
Q: How do Traditional Land Use reports differ from project agreements?
A: Both promote legacy. TLU study reports are a summary of how the land is used by the people, so we can ensure we understand and strive to protect the culture and land. Project Agreements outline benefits and commitments that will be provided to these communities for as long as the pipeline is in service.
Q: How do TLU studies differ from field work?
A: Our environmental field work is completed by biologists and scientists trained in their particular disciplines, and offers opportunity for local Aboriginal community members to participate and to share traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). TLU Studies are conducted by Aboriginal groups (and their chosen third party), and may include oral information passed down from generation to generation through hands-on teaching and customs.
Q: Why are TLU studies and resulting reports important for the project?
A: In addition to development planning, TLU Reports also support the survival of this valuable information for the community itself. With TLU being orally transmitted, much of it may be lost with the passing of elders. TLU Reports may help preserve this information for years to come.
Property tax revenues from Coastal GasLink can help build things like schools, roads and hospitals.