Indigenous Affairs

Industry works with potentially affected Indigenous groups to seek ways to mitigate the impacts of development.

The oil and natural gas industry acknowledges the importance of Indigenous reconciliation in Canada, and considers natural resource development to be linked to the broader Canadian reconciliation process. Strong and responsible development contributes to overall reconciliation and Indigenous self-determination by supporting the growth of sustainable Indigenous communities. Industry believes this is the strongest contribution and best path forward, and will ultimately help build a better Canada.

The industry clearly has a role in building respectful and mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous peoples. 

Engagement with Indigenous people

Successful engagement at any scale stems from clear expectations on the part of companies and communities, including an understanding of needs, scope, risks, schedule and goals. In short, there is a need for balance when it comes to engagement between the industry and Indigenous peoples, and the extent of engagement must be fit-for-purpose.

The energy sector, governments and Indigenous peoples are finding new ways to work together, to grow energy development in a sustainable and mutually beneficial manner. Reconciliation actions include a constitutional duty to consult; procurement; equity partnerships; consultation capacity funding; agreements; community investment; and training, skills development and employment. Other elements involve environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

Reconciliation and Canada’s upstream industry

In 2007 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the United Nations Declaration on The Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). In 2015, the governments of Alberta and Canada committed to implement UNDRIP, and more recently, the Government of British Columbia made a similar commitment. These commitments present an opportunity to transform the relationship between Indigenous peoples and all Canadians. CAPP endorses UNDRIP as a framework for reconciliation in Canada and we support the implementation of UNDRIP’s principles in a manner consistent with the Canadian Constitution and law.

CAPP's UNDRIP submission.

Long before the Commission’s report was issued, the upstream oil and natural gas sector worked to improve relations with Indigenous peoples and communities, recognizing that Canada’s natural resources belong to all Canadians, and all Canadians deserve to benefit from resource development. The industry has decades of work and leadership in this regard, with demonstrable, positive, mutually beneficial results.

Industry growth drives opportunity

Industry growth drives opportunities for Indigenous communities

Mutual benefits of the oil sands to both industry and Indigenous communities

The oil sands industry also benefits from its relationship with Indigenous communities and sees value going forward. Between 2013 and 2016, oil sands operators procured goods and services valued at a total of $7.3 billion (an average of about $1.8 billion per year) from Indigenous businesses. Furthermore, industry engagement with Indigenous businesses is becoming more prevalent. Despite the economic downturn that began in 2014, the proportion of activity with Indigenous businesses as a proportion of total capital expenditures has grown by 2.5 per cent. (Source: CAPP, Indigenous Supply Chain, 2017)

Indigenous suppliers in Alberta on the rise 2013 - 2016

Since 2013 industry has worked with 65 Indigenous communities and 399 companies.

In 2015 and 2016, 399 Indigenous companies from across Alberta had direct business (goods and/or services) valued at $3.33B with oil sands operators. These companies represent 65 communities across Alberta. In 2013-2014 Indigenous communities and companies in Alberta represented 3.5 per cent of total oil sands procurement. In 2015-2016, business between Indigenous communities and companies in Alberta and Canada’s oil sands increased to 4.1 per cent. (Source: CAPP, 2018)