Indigenous relations

Respecting

culture and traditions

We value the culture, lands and traditions of Indigenous groups. That why our team works closely with First Nations communities throughout the life of the project.

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 Indigenous people. At the same time, we recognize that our relationship with Indigenous people is separate and different from the relationship between Indigenous people and the Crown.

Since we announced the project in June 2012, our team has had over 15,000 interactions and engagements with Indigenous 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, more than one-third of all the work completed on the project has been conducted by Indigenous 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 Indigenous groups have resulted in many changes to the project.

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Long-term

benefits

Through engagement, we’re also able to ensure communities benefit directly from our project. Project agreements demonstrate that Indigenous groups can enjoy their heritage and way of life while participating in economic benefits from Coastal GasLink, and also achieve balance with protecting our environment. Our team has signed agreements with 20 First Nations communities including: Stellat’en First Nation, Saik’uz First Nation, McLeod Lake Indian Band, Saulteau First Nations, Kitselas First Nation, West Moberly First Nations, Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, Nadleh Whut’en Indian Band, Burns Lake Indian Band (Ts’il Kaz Koh First Nation), Blueberry River First Nations, Halfway River First Nation, Doig River First Nation, Wet’suwet’en First Nation, Yekooche First Nation, Nee Tahi Buhn Indian Band, Skin Tyee First Nation, Witset First Nation, Nak’azdli Whut’en and Haisla Nation.

 

We’ve also invested in a variety of training programs to support Indigenous 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:

Consultation Report 1
Consultation Report 2

 

QUICK FACT

7,200. That's how many pages we submitted to the BC Environmental Assessment Office protection plans on Coastal GasLink.

Read more

 

Indigenous

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.

 

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TC Energy 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 Indigenous people into their project planning and strategy.”

Layne Boucher,
   local Indigenous contractor

Engagement milestones

Indigenous businesses

Awarded $825 million in contract opportunities to Indigenous & local businesses for the project’s right-of-way clearing, medical, security and camp management needs.

Project agreements

The 20 signed project agreements reflect that many First Nations support responsible development, and growth that translates into real opportunities.

Training programs

Invested in a variety of training programs to support Indigenous and local trainees and students such as Pathway to Pipeline Readiness Program and Education Legacy program. 

Community investment

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.

Employment Opportunities

Anticipated $400 million in contract and employment opportunities for Indigenous and local B.C. communities during the pipeline construction.

Collaborative approach

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 Indigenous groups have resulted in many changes to the project.

 
Additional milestones
  • To date, the Coastal GasLink team has had over 15,000 interactions and engagements with Indigenous 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 1,300 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.

Traditional

land use agreements

We value the culture, lands and traditions of First Nations 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 about LNG in B.C.

Learn how TC Energy constructs pipelines

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QUICK FACT

Property tax revenues from Coastal GasLink can help build things like schools, roads and hospitals.

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Questions and answers

TLU refers to use of the land for traditional pursuits important to First Nations people that can include hunting, fishing, trapping, collection of plants including berries and herbal medicines and ceremonial practices.

 TLU protocol agreements are signed with First Nations 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.

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 a First Nations community. They set the groundwork to complete the TLU Studies, which are done by the First Nations community and may include their chosen third party.

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.

Our environmental field work is completed by biologists and scientists trained in their particular disciplines, and offers opportunity for local First Nations community members to participate and to share traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). TLU Studies are conducted by First Nations groups (and their chosen third party), and may include oral information passed down from generation to generation through hands-on teaching and customs.

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.

Have more questions about indigenous engagement and consultation? View our FAQs