Tags: Aboriginal Engagement
Author: Northern Gateway
Dated: 23 December 2011
How can we justify this pipeline’s approval when so many First Nations are opposing it crossing their traditional territory?
There’s no other way to say it—partnership with the Aboriginal community is key to the success of Northern Gateway. At the end of the day, we want Aboriginal groups to benefit from this project. We are working hard to understand and appreciate the potential concerns of all Aboriginal groups with a vested interest in Northern Gateway — and these communications represent one of Enbridge’s most important ongoing discussions regarding the project.
We’ve spent 60-plus years successfully operating pipelines, and we also have a long history of working harmoniously with Aboriginal communities. In other words, we’re committed to Aboriginal consultation. We’re familiar with Aboriginal rights, as set out in Canada’s Constitution, and Treaty rights, where applicable — and we already have in place a detailed, inclusive Aboriginal Peoples policy that identifies paths to mutual success.
We want to accommodate the interests and objectives of all Aboriginal groups all the way along the pipeline corridor, including those in coastal communities.
Some First Nations have expressed opposition to the Northern Gateway project. We respect those positions, but we want to continue the dialogue. We began reaching out to all Aboriginal groups along the pipeline route back in 2002, and we intend to continue the consultation throughout the entire life of the Northern Gateway project.
Through our Aboriginal engagement program, we’re committed to providing project information, answering project-related questions, identifying and addressing issues and concerns, and gathering community input into our project plans. To date, we’re encouraged by the response we’ve received from First Nations — and we look forward to a fruitful partnership in the long term.