Canada’s Oil and Natural Gas Industry and Indigenous Peoples Work Toward Shared Prosperity: CAPP Report

November 28, 2018 – Calgary, Alberta

Canada’s oil and natural gas industry has an important opportunity to enhance its relationship with Indigenous peoples by working to support the broader reconciliation process and Indigenous self-determination, according to Toward a Shared Future: Canada’s Indigenous Peoples and the Oil and Natural Gas Industry, the latest in a series of economic reports released by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP).

Canada is home to tremendous natural resources but the oil and natural gas industry faces a number of challenges that not only affect its level of investment and competitiveness, but the economic future of many of Canada’s Indigenous communities. In its report, CAPP examines its evolving relationship with Indigenous peoples and the role it can play in economic reconciliation.

The oil and natural gas industry considers natural resource development linked to the broader Canadian reconciliation process. Responsible resource development supports reconciliation and Indigenous self-determination by supporting the growth of sustainable Indigenous economies.

In its report, CAPP recommends the federal government (and provincial governments where appropriate) take action by:

  • Focusing on initiatives that will produce positive, tangible results for Indigenous communities by resolving long-standing reconciliation issues;
  • Recognizing the advantages the oil and natural gas industry provides in support of Indigenous self-determination and reconciliation through economic opportunities; and,
  • Greater collaboration with Indigenous peoples and industry on education and skills development training.

The full report can be found here.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers quotes: Tim McMillan, president and CEO

  • “Indigenous peoples are often seen as being widely opposed to oil and natural gas development – that’s simply not the case. There are many Indigenous communities who have built, and continue to build, a prosperous economic future by working with industry.”
  • “We encourage the government to recognize that responsible resource development supports the growth of Indigenous economies, and provides real, tangible contributions to overall reconciliation and Indigenous self-determination.”
  • “The Canadian oil and natural gas industry faces a number of fiscal, economic and policy barriers affecting investment in Canada. These challenges not only create obstacles for industry but could also impact the economic future of many Indigenous communities.”

Kainaiwa Resources quotes: Clayton Blood, general manager 
“The Blood Tribe created Kainaiwa Resources because we needed to be more involved in how our land is used. We have been very successful working with industry and partnering with companies we trust.”

Running Deer Resources quotes: Jamie Saulnier, president and CEO

“Many Indigenous communities want to build business relationships and participate in the oil and natural gas industry. There is a real opportunity to share the benefits of employment and economic stability.”

Supporting Information:

Between 2015 and 2016, oil sands operators invested more than $3.3 billion on procurement and worked with 399 Indigenous businesses in 66 Alberta communities.

  • Despite the economic downturn that started in 2014, the proportion of activity with Indigenous businesses as a proportion of total capital expenditures has grown by 2.5 per cent.
  • According to Petroleum Labour Market Information (PetroLLMI), in 2016 about six per cent of the oil and natural gas industry’s workforce identified as Indigenous, double the Canadian workforce average.
  • Six per cent of apprenticeships in Canada are Indigenous people working in industry-related trades.
  • A recent report by the Montreal Economic Institute estimates the average wage for First Nations members working in oil and natural gas extraction in 2016 was nearly $150,000 annually and more than $200,000 annually for those working on natural gas pipelines.
  • In 2016, CAPP published a discussion paper on the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) consistent with Canadian law, and we support that model going forward. The paper can be found here.
  • Before Northern Gateway was cancelled by the federal government, the Alberta Equity Partners – representing 31 Indigenous communities – secured $2 billion in long-term economic, business and education opportunities with Enbridge, and a 33-per-cent ownership in the pipeline.
  • Between 2015 and 2016, oil sands operators provided $40.79 million for consultation capacity funding to Indigenous communities.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) represents companies, large and small, that explore for, develop and produce natural gas and oil throughout Canada. CAPP’s member companies produce about 80 per cent of Canada’s natural gas and oil. CAPP’s associate members provide a wide range of services that support the upstream oil and natural gas industry. Together CAPP’s members and associate members are an important part of a national industry with revenues from oil and natural gas production of about $110 billion a year. CAPP’s mission, on behalf of the Canadian upstream oil and natural gas industry, is to advocate for and enable economic competitiveness and safe, environmentally and socially responsible performance.

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