Engagement with Indigenous peoples
Engagement with Indigenous peoples
We know that Indigenous peoples have a long relationship and connection with the land, water and resources that could be impacted by a project that is regulated by the NEB.
The NEB is committed to hearing from Indigenous peoples in a way that respects their values and traditions.
The NEB is a member of the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committees (IAMC) established for both the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion and Line 3 Replacement Program projects. We worked with the Indigenous Projects Office West (IPO-West) and Indigenous groups along the project corridors to co-develop a Terms of Reference for the IAMCs. The NEB is actively working with both IAMCs and their sub-committees to achieve the goals identified by the committees.
The implementation of these Committees means that Indigenous groups will be working along-side the NEB during the oversight of construction and operation of these two projects. This initiative will provide capacity to Indigenous groups so they can participate meaningfully in the development of these projects within their traditional territories. In addition, Indigenous traditional knowledge about project impacts during construction and operations will enhance the NEB’s oversight outcomes.
When we consider a project application, input by Indigenous peoples help provide relevant biophysical and cultural information, identify potential environmental and socio-economic effects and strengthen mitigation measures. All of this leads to better decisions.
The Crown relies on the NEB process including NEB-mandated proponent consultation, to the extent possible to meet its obligation to consult Indigenous peoples.
The NEB requires companies to consult with potentially impacted Indigenous groups early in the project planning and design phases. It is also required that a company has provided information about the project to those with interests in the project area.
The NEB proactively contacts Indigenous groups who may be impacted by a proposed project that requires a public hearing. We offer to meet with Indigenous groups to explain our regulatory process and how to participate in it and provide information on our Participant Funding Program.
Indigenous groups may participate directly in the NEB hearing process in several ways. The participation options are described in the NEB hearing process handbook and in the hearing order for the project. We have process advisors who, as part of their role, support Indigenous groups participating in public hearings.
We have integrated ceremonies or other traditional practices into the hearing process and will continue to accommodate Indigenous participants. We consider suggestions from all hearing participants in choosing hearing location and timing, to make the hearing as accessible as possible.
We also understand and respect that Indigenous peoples have an oral tradition for sharing stories, lessons and knowledge from generation to generation, and this information cannot always be shared adequately in writing. When requested, Elders and other community members may give their traditional evidence orally at a hearing.
Involvement of Indigenous peoples in a project continues throughout its lifecycle. The NEB wants to continue to build relationships with the Indigenous groups along the projects we regulate and keep them informed of activities related to projects that are within their traditional territory.
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