Trans Mountain recognizes the importance and value of working with Aboriginal communities within the territories we operate.  We respect the unique values, interests and perspectives Aboriginal communities hold regarding land, water and resources.  

Our goal is to engage in a meaningful way to understand how our activities may potentially impact communities so we can then find and share in mutually-beneficial solutions.

Over the last three years of public engagement with thousands of people in British Columbia and Alberta, we’ve received many inquiries about how we’ve been engaging with Aboriginal communities — here are some of your most frequently asked questions.

How many First Nation Reserve lands are affected by the Project?

Currently, the preferred proposed route for the expansion will intersect 9 Reserves in B.C.  Our Project will only cross Reserve Lands were we receive the consent of communities to do so.  It is also important to note that in Alberta there are no Reserves Lands but the Expansion will parallel the existing pipeline corridor through territory of Treaty 6 and 8, as well as the Metis Nation of Alberta (Zone 4) and in B.C our existing and proposed corridor crosses the Traditional Territory of many First Nations.

Has Trans Mountain engaged with all Aboriginal People impacted by the Project?

Our inclusive approach to engagement has allowed us to meet and talk with not only those communities identified by government, but all groups or individuals that expressed an interest in our Project.  To date, we have engaged with over 130 Aboriginal groups with more than 24,000 points of contact.

In addition to the National Energy Board Regulatory Review process, both the Federal and Provincial governments established processes to further enhance Crown consultation with Aboriginal communities as it relates to our Project.   At a Federal level, an appointed three-person panel of Special Ministerial Representatives will meet with Aboriginal groups and the public over the next several months and submit a report in November , 2016. The Province of B.C is also conducting additional consultation under the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO).

How are Aboriginal People included in the National Energy Board regulatory review process?

Of the 400 Intervenors with full-process rights who participated in the NEB regulatory review, 72 Intervenors were represented from Aboriginal groups.

Aboriginal Intervenors had opportunity to file written evidence in addition to presenting oral traditional evidence at one of the four Oral Hearing locations that took place in the fall of 2014.
These hearings provided Aboriginal Intervenors an opportunity to share information, such as stories, lessons and traditional knowledge that is passed down from generation to generation, that cannot be adequately conveyed in writing.  

All intevenors were able to ask written questions deemed within scope to Trans Mountain and to the Board through the NEB’s  Information Request process.

Are there any Aboriginal groups supporting the Project?

Yes. To date, 41 Aboriginal groups located along the pipeline and marine corridor in Alberta and B.C have provided written letters of support for the Project. Trans Mountain continues to engage and work towards reaching understandings and, where applicable, agreements with Aboriginal communities who may be affected by the Project.

What kinds of benefits and opportunities will Aboriginal communities receive?

We are committed to respectful partnerships to create opportunities for training, employment and business contracts.    Mutual benefits will reflect the unique interests of Aboriginal communities, which may include funding, education programs, infrastructure, environmental stewardship or enhancements to emergency preparedness and response.  We’re proud of the long-term relationships we’ve built that will lead to long-term legacies and economic opportunities for Aboriginal communities along our pipeline and the marine shipping corridor.

In addition to engagement with Aboriginal communities, we are continuing extensive consultation with training providers, industry associations and communities to create initiatives that increase the long-term shared success of the Project.  

Today, where the pipeline crosses Reserves in B.C, we contribute to each First Nation via property taxes on the land occupied and if the expansion is constructed those taxes will nearly double in those communities.