Aboriginal partners


Building relationships with First Nations through Protocol Agreements

Enbridge recognizes the history, uniqueness and diversity of indigenous peoples. First Nations are often key stakeholders in Enbridge’s activities. We are committed to forging mutually beneficial relationships with all communities near our operations. The Northern Gateway Pipeline project demonstrates our principled approach to aboriginal engagement and consultation through Protocol Agreements which establish the guidelines we use to create mutually respectful discussions. The agreements often include financial support for First Nations to engage in communications about Northern Gateway and to support their participation in the project's Joint Review Panel process. To date, we've signed over 30 Protocol Agreements with First Nations.

Enbridge sincerely consults with indigenous peoples

In August 2009, we entered into a formal Portocol Agreement with the Paul First Nation, agreeing to a process and protocol for the discussion and resolution of issues related to the construction, operation and maintenance of the proposed pipeline, as well as the potential benefits to the Paul First Nation. As part of the agreement, Enbridge provides funding to the Paul First Nation to participate in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency review process.

Enbridge respects indigenous peoples' traditions

Another Protocol Agreement signee, the Tl'azt'en First Nation, one of eight members of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, is particularly concerned about Keyoh holders' rights. Keyoh holders have a responsibility to provide for their families from their Keyoh lands, so the preservation of the Keyoh's productivity is vital. We respect these rights and are committed to working with First Nations members to ensure their concerns are addressed.

Education, training and economic opportunities

Enbridge is committed to fair and equal access to education, training, employment and business development opportunities associated with our operations for all First Nations community members. The construction and ongoing operation of Northern Gateway will create many opportunities--over 4000 during the construction phase alone--for skilled labour and contractors. Enbridge is committed to helping First Nations community members secure a fair and equitable portion of these positions. Additional opportunities also exist for business partners, suppliers and contractors. Read more about Benefits for Aboriginals here.

Support for First Nations community initiatives

We're proud to support worthwhile community initiatives in First Nations communities. To date, Northern Gateway has provided financial support for a geothermal project at the Burns Lake Band, a week-long Community Gathering and Celebration of the Cheslatta, the Takla Lake Early Stuart Sockeye Recovery Program, the Tl'azt'en Nation Elders Society culture camps, the 2009 Canadian Native Fastball championships hosted by the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation and the North East Native Advancing Society's Fort St John area Go Karts for Girls team, amongst other initiatives.   


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  • Northern Gateway, Sep 23rd, 2013 (1 year ago)

    Hi Michael, thanks for your comment.

    Northern Gateway has 26 First Nation and Metis communities who have signed agreements to participate in the pipeline development and operations through direct equity ownership. Of the total communities who were offered an opportunity to own a share in the company, those 26 communities represent almost 60% of eligible communities, and almost 80% of the aboriginal populations along the proposed pipeline route. More information about the equity offering is found on this page: http://www.northerngateway.ca/aboriginal-engagement/benefits-for-aboriginals/

  • Michael S, Sep 21st, 2013 (1 year ago)

    You are aware, of course, that Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, says there's nothing the federal government can put on the table to get them on board Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press) -- and that's not likely to change. And yet you say (without providing any stats or links) that 60-80% of indigenous people in BC are on board? Should we take your word on good faith, then?

  • Northern Gateway, Feb 07th, 2013 (2 years ago)

    Hi Adam, sorry for the delayed response to your questions and thank you for the friendly reminder.

    Aboriginal groups who choose to participate in the equity offering are free to self-disclose at any time. Enbridge respects their right to privacy and will not disclose the names of any participating groups without their consent. Please note, the page above references Protocol Agreements, which are not equity agreements.

    We understand that some people, including groups of First Nations and other aboriginal communities, have legitimate concerns about the project. We're actively engaging and consulting with all willing groups in an effort to help them better understand the project and the measures we'll take to protect the environment. We believe the more people know about the project and planned environmental protection measures, the more comfortable they will be with the project.

    This blog post addresses one such economic review that questions the considerable benefits the project will bring: http://www.northerngateway.ca/news-and-media/northern-gateway-blogs/trade-diversification-for-canada/robyn-allan-s-flawed-analysis-misrepresents-gateway-economic-benefits-case/

  • adam, Feb 07th, 2013 (2 years ago)

    Hi there,

    Can you please tell me why my previous comments weren't posted, or are they still being "reviewed"?


  • Adam, Jan 26th, 2013 (2 years ago)


    What are your thoughts on the opposition posed by indigenous groups, and the rest of the public? Do you believe this to be based on misinformation? What do you think about the in-depth economic and labour reviews that conclude that the slight gain in both gdp and job creation would be far less with a pipeline than without?


  • Adam, Jan 26th, 2013 (2 years ago)

    Hi there,

    Do you have a list of compliant communities? It seems with so much discussion and resistance by non-compliant groups, disclosing this information would help to objectively assess the level of support among indigenous groups. I saw it written that you are contractually obliged to secrecy, yet above you mention a few Nations.

  • Northern Gateway, Jan 04th, 2013 (2 years ago)

    Hi Mich, thanks for your comment and questions.

    Are you aware that almost 60 percent of eligible Aboriginal communities along the proposed right of way, representing 60 percent of the First Nations’ population (and 80 percent of the combined First Nations’ and Metis’ population) have agreed to be part owners of the proposed Northern Gateway pipelines? Half of the equity units taken up went to groups in British Columbia, and the other half to groups in Alberta.

  • Mich, Jan 03rd, 2013 (2 years ago)

    Don't a majority of aboriginal people's disagree with this pipeline? Isn't there a lot of protests and blockades happening to deter this pipeline? Does that sound like respectful partnership?

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