Collaboration and co-development – walking the talk toward Reconciliation

22 June 2023

The CER is committed to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, including the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration), and the meaningful involvement of Indigenous Peoples in our work. While we know commitment is important, we also know it’s our actions that matter most.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act became law in Canada in June 2021. Part of implementing this new law included the development of an Action Plan to achieve the objectives of the Declaration.

Implementation of the UN Declaration is transformational and generational work. It is a whole-of-government responsibility, and the CER is committed to being a part of it.

We are grateful to have had the support of the leadership of our Board and Indigenous Advisory Committee to work alongside the TMX Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee (TMX-IAMC) and Natural Resources Canada to co-develop a measure in the UN Declaration Act Action Plan that was released on June 21, 2023. Action Plan Measure 34 calls for enhancing Indigenous Peoples’ participation in decision-making processes.

Action plan measure 34

This action plan measure (APM) calls for working in consultation and cooperation with First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities, governments and organizations to (i) enhance the participation of Indigenous Peoples in, and (ii) set the measures that could enable them to exercise federal regulatory authority in respect of, projects and matters that are currently regulated by the Canada Energy Regulator (CER).

Over the past several years, as a member of the TMX IAMC, we have worked to build a relationship with the Indigenous Caucus and have worked collaboratively to enhance CER- IAMC Indigenous monitoring programs. We were pleased at the chance to work on another important initiative with these partners.

Co-developing this piece of the Action Plan meant working closely together. It required trust, communication and an openness to push boundaries.

“I would like to thank the CER and NRCan for having the political will and courage to accept that we need to develop new paths to align with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” said Tribal Chief Tyrone McNeil, Chairperson of the CER’s Indigenous Advisory Committee . “It takes both political will and courage to change practices and behaviors to align with the Declaration.”

The CER is grateful to forge these new paths by collaborating with our partners. Working on this measure has allowed us to continue to advance our common goals and ground our work toward implementing the UN Declaration, setting a shared vision for the future.

“The CER-NRCAN-IAMC TMX Action Plan Measure creates an opportunity for transformative change. Through collaboration, we can explore and learn about developing Indigenous Bodies that take on regulatory responsibilities to protect the environment and Indigenous peoples and their rights. It is an exciting and challenging opportunity for achieving reconciliation,” says Grand Chief Doug Kelly, TMX-IAMC Indigenous Caucus member.

Like so much of our work with Indigenous Peoples, this experience reminded us that we are stronger together.

“This APM is a result of strong leadership and vision from the TMX IAMC Indigenous Caucus and I truly appreciate their willingness to partner through the co-development process,” says Cassie Doyle, Chairperson, CER Board of Directors. “The implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People is a priority for the CER and this APM is important in identifying the direction our work needs to take.”

The importance and significance of working together was echoed by Gitane De Silva, Chief Executive Officer of the CER.

“I am incredibly grateful for the hard work and dedication of CER Staff, the leadership of the CER Board of Directors and Indigenous Advisory Committee, our federal colleagues at NRCan, and members of the TMX IAMC Indigenous Caucus," she says. "This APM is a significant step for the CER in its journey towards Reconciliation and in further developing the cultural competency of this organization. While there is progress to be made, I know that we will get there together.”

The CER will continue to work with Indigenous and government partners to implement the Action Plan. We know we have a long way to go, and we know that together we can achieve the objective of bold and transformative actions toward Reconciliation.

Learn more about the UN Declaration Action Plan, Action Plan Measure 34 and Canada’s progress so far on the Justice Canada website

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