Indigenous Rights - Taking a Longer View
Pieridae Energy is committed to growing and honouring relationships with the Indigenous Peoples of Canada based on the principles of trust, mutual respect, fairness, openness, transparency and reconciliation.
For Pieridae, it’s extremely important to build awareness of reconciliation, given that major developments, including the Goldboro LNG project and most of the company’s gas assets in Alberta, are on or near traditional Indigenous territory.
Colin Anton was appointed as Indigenous Relations Manager early in 2021. He and his team have begun to develop Pieirdae’s relationship with local communities. Growing up, Colin experienced diverse environments, from major cities across Canada to a farm community just outside the town of Lac La Biche. Through this diverse upbringing, Colin was raised by a single parent, in the Cree culture, both on and off reserves, in Treaty 6, 7 and 8 territories.
Colin’s team has begun a process to make sure everyone at Pieridae, from field workers to the board, has awareness of Indigenous Rights. This means presenting both a historical and a cultural understanding and working hard to dispel myths and misconceptions. Pieridae will use the guidelines provided by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 94 Calls to Action to guide its collaborative journey to working with Indigenous Peoples and their communities. We have drafted a Statement of Commitment to Indigenous Peoples to establish guidelines for the company going forward.
“We are excited about what this Project means to the Mi’kmaw communities of Nova Scotia and the benefits it will bring to all of Atlantic Canada. A key component of reconciliation in Canada is the ability to have meaningful involvement in projects happening within our territories. We desire responsible development and environmental stewardship that reflect a Mi’kmaq voice and our agreement with Pieridae is an example of how companies can respect our Mi’kmaw Rights and Title, and also provide an opportunity for Mi’kmaq participation in development on our lands.”
Chief PJ Prosper, Regional Chief Nova Scotia and Newfoundland
Chief Tma Francis, Paqtnkek
In February 2019, Pieridae Energy signed an agreement to foster economic cooperation with local Indigenous Peoples through the Kwilmu’kw Mawklusuaqn Negotiation Office (KMKNO), a registered society representing the 13 Mi’kmaq communities in Nova Scotia.
In the fall of 2020, the fruits of that agreement were made tangible in a $720 million partnership between the Mi’kmaq and Black Diamond to build a workforce lodge. The Lukowinuo’kuom Lodge will house the 3,500 workers who will build the LNG Facility during the five-year construction phase.
Over time, Pieridae will work with KMKNO to develop a training plan tailored to Mi’kmaq communities. The training and work opportunities available through the Project will help Mi’kmaq youth and community members develop new, transferable professional and life skills.
Once operational, the Project requires a highly skilled workforce of trades, engineers and professionals. In addition to direct employment opportunities at the facility, Mi’kmaq communities will have priority for contracting opportunities related to the Project.
We are taking our commitment to reconciliation and strengthening our relationship with the Mi’kmaq a step further, in partnership with Black Diamond Group.
Ongoing discussions have led to a plan to recognize the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls at the Lukowinuo’kuom Lodge through a REDress installation. We will continue working with local Indigenous communities to ensure the installation is culturally appropriate and respectful, including engaging with a Lodge Advisory Committee of Nova Scotia female Mi’kmaq Chiefs who will review the safety of women at the Lodge, and Mi’kmaq communities to support the safety of Indigenous women and all women in the workforce Lodge and the building of the Goldboro LNG Facility
Pieridae is in the beginning stages of structuring its procurement framework to appropriately involve Indigenous businesses. The company has set a goal to “jointly create an internal strategy on Indigenous contracting opportunities”. This important work will begin in the summer of 2021.
The company has also started including submission requirements and questions in its Request for Proposals, asking firms to comment on their Indigenous content, with a specific query that states: “Does your company have an Indigenous Peoples hiring policy?
The company has set a goal to jointly create an internal strategy on Indigenous contracting opportunities.
Equal opportunity and sharing of the resource was the first message delivered to the Stoney Nakoda in the summer of 2019, whose Chief and senior officials met with Pieridae CEO Alfred Sorensen and other company executives just hours after Pieridae announced its acquisition of all of Shell Canada’s Foothills assets, some of which have sat on Stoney traditional territory for decades.
Pieridae remains committed to actively engaging with the Stoney and other members of the Treaty 7 Nations. Our company has re-positioned the relationship as one of equality in sharing the benefits of the resource.
We will look at holding annual meetings to discuss this forward-looking approach and also listen to concerns and ideas as we work to grow our business. The Chiefs and First Nations businesses want a chance to participate on a level playing field.
The company partnered with the Symposium to give three Indigenous students work opportunities. The students saw that Pieridae was interested in a genuine conversation that was open and transparent — Pieridae is paying attention to local people’s concerns.
They will work with Pieridae in summer 2021, in support of engineering, finance, regulatory and consultation work. We will also be seeking their input in order to help develop policy, processes and strategies that will help Pieridae grow its Indigenous engagement protocols. As outlined in our commitment statement, we seek to learn and we grow knowledge by listening; no one is better qualified to help us do that than people who are from the community. Pieridae sees itself as being on a learning journey, listening carefully to what local communities have to say and the lessons only they can teach.