One of the ways Kinder Morgan Canada honours its commitments to First Nations is by participating in cultural ceremonies.

Recently, KMC President Ian Anderson and others from the company participated in a traditional Sweat and Pipe Ceremony led by Elder and Hereditary Chief Jimmy O’Chiese of the Foothills Ojibway First Nation.

The Sweat and Pipe ceremony was then followed by a feast with members of the Foothills Ojibway and Enoch Cree First Nation communities.

Four years ago when a Mutual Benefits Agreement was signed with the Foothills Ojibway people, Chief Jimmy O’Chiese ensured that there was an agreement by Kinder Morgan Canada (KMC) to follow proper protocol before disturbing any ground for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP). KMC agreed to this commitment wholeheartedly, recognizing the importance of following these protocols.

Also participating in the ceremony with Anderson were Regan Schlecker, KMC Manager of Aboriginal Relations, and Jeff Smith, Senior Field Advisor for TMEP.

“The purpose of the ceremony is to notify the spirits, the land, the water, the plants and the animals that the project is coming and to ensure all protocols are followed,” explained the Chief. “No one can say that Kinder Morgan did not do the right thing. Ian was here today in the sweat lodge and smoked the pipe. He is respectful of our ways and our ceremonies. He has paid homage to the spirit of the land.

At the feast, Anderson described the day’s events as memorable.

“This was a day that I will not forget. We continue to learn from Chief Jimmy and we thank him for today,” Anderson said. “We share a common goal of respect for nature. Following the protocols of the Foothills Ojibway, by participating in this ceremony, is important to us and to me personally.”

The Foothills Ojibway are an Anishinabe community located in Hinton, Alberta. They have approximately 225 members.