CER and Indigenous Communities explore collaboration on oversight of the NGTL pipeline system 2023

Background image of a woman and child looking at plants. Collage of images including a weaved blanket, drummer and landscape with a tipi.

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Activities to date

Leadership meetings

Between December 2022 and March 2023, CER leadership met with leaders from interested Indigenous communities to develop relationships and discuss how to increase Indigenous oversight of the entire NGTL system. Honoring and acknowledging Indigenous protocols, arrangements for the meetings followed a distinction-based approach to respect the diversity of Indigenous communities, governance, cultural and regional contexts (including Treaty areas, Métis regions, etc.). Information was provided to the invited Indigenous communities on the intent of the initiative and the availability of funding to support their participation ahead of the meetings.

  • The CER hosted five in-person regional meetings and one virtual meeting with Indigenous leaders from potentially affected Indigenous communities in Alberta, northeastern and southeastern British Columbia, and western Saskatchewan.

The leadership meetings served as a platform for open discussions between CER and Indigenous leaders with the leaders acknowledging the importance of advancing this initiative. A summary report for the leadership was prepared by a co-writing committee composed of participating Indigenous communities and CER staff. Before being finalized, the draft report was validated by the leadership who participated in the events.

Co-writing the summary report

Our completed summary reports reflects the major themes expressed during our conversations and meetings. These include:

  • Indigenous rights, recognition and reconciliation
  • Indigenous way of life – connection to the Land
  • Cumulative effects and climate change
  • Economic benefits
  • Collaboration and co-development
  • Indigenous involvement in oversight

One of the participants, Elder Jeannette Starlight from Tsuut’ina Nation, shares a few words of wisdom about the importance of the leadership meetings and the co-writing process and what it means for continued Reconciliation.


*Remarks in Tsuut’ina*

I ask for understanding, commitment and prayer to work with the land, the energies that were created with this land, for this land and everything that falls within.

I thank Creator for the beauty of all his creations, the ancestors that left us these beautiful lands to live on, to survive, to hold on to the energy that surrounds all these things. They are all a part of us and we have to really look at it, take it to our heart, keep it there, and always remember all the different things that come with it.

The mountains, the waters, the rocks, the animals, the birds, everything Creators created for us.
*Remarks in Tsuut’ina*
I'm honored to be in your circle. This is a very important day for me. I woke up happy, excited, and a lot of energy has been flowing through me since I walked into this museum.

It's because there are changes, lots of changes that are going to be happening here. And I have to keep my own energy contained so that it won't fly out. I expand or extend or over use my energy. I have to contain it. To be asked to do this work with people about energy regulators, you know, it's really important to look at those words. To regulate the energy within the lands, the air, fire, mountains, water, everything.

How can we really regulate all of these things within the scope of all of these things? Creator has a hold of it, and he's the one that helps to regulate all of this. That's my belief, my understanding of all of these things. My granny and I used to always say, Be careful of everything. You have to be careful because what you hold here, what has to be held here. We have to make sure that everything is included within.

With that, I really feel that these things, the words that are written on paper, and I've said it before, it has to jump out of the paper off the page. So that all nations can understand where the energetic work and the Indigenous lenses have to come together and really make people understand. Other nations have their own concepts, ideas, prayers, understanding of all the work that they also do within the scope of this energy work that they do with the lands.

That's my understanding. We all have our own ways. We all have to collaborate and put everything, the good energy back into this land and everything that use the elements of this, this land. I'm honored to be here. That's my understanding of everything, the words that are written down. It's for future generations and we got to keep it going.

We don't know what tomorrow is going to hold. So those words have to be powerful, very powerful and understood by the future generations. We have to make it so that they look at these words and they understand exactly what all the chiefs, all the First Nations, everyone, all the Indigenous People have said before today, and hopefully it resonates to tomorrow.

*Remarks in Tsuut’ina*

You know, like I'm always talking about energy and the energy that they did put into this work to make sure that the words really reflect their leaders’ words. They have to they had to really sit with it and really put a lot of thought and their emotion, their energy, everything into this work so that the words will flow for the betterment of all the work that these people that the nations, Metis have all been saying.

So the words have to be combined in order for it to resonate through the nations and to the future. So these writers did a lot of this work in order for these words to be put on paper properly. I acknowledge the emotion and the energy that they had to put into it, and now they have to turn around as soon as it's complete and approved and sent out, published.

I pray that these people take all their emotion and energy back so that they themselves would be complete again, because they did this work for years. Now they have to come back, release it to where it's meant to be and come back and be whole again. That's what I pray and hope and wish for all the people that this that this hard work and their words are going to be repeated over and over through generations.

The only thing I'm going to end with is when completion, I would like them each to go out and put tobacco down and thank the elements for everything that they came across or understood it to be and give it back. They have to send it back. That's part of trying to be yourself again. So this is what they have to do.

They have to send everything that they can keep it. They can claim it as their own for the if they go to the river. If they go to the mountains. Real clean, clean place. Just pray and thank it and give it back.

Read the full report

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Activity underway

Technical Workshops

During the winter 2024, we will host a series of workshops with technical staff from interested Indigenous communities to continue the discussion on the co-development of the mechanism. The workshops are designed to gather greater insight on what should be the purpose and mandate of the collaborative mechanism, as well as how it should be structured and operate.

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Next steps


The co-drafting of an agreement for the collaborative mechanism will be informed by what we learn during the technical workshops, as well as what we heard from the leadership meetings.


The details, including the timeframe for the implementation of the collaborative mechanism, will be determined during the development of the agreement.

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Indigenous Peoples’ Involvement in CER Compliance and Oversight for NGTL 2022

Indigenous Peoples’ Involvement in CER Compliance and Oversight for NGTL 2021

Indigenous Monitoring

Open Letter: CER Commitments on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act Action Plan – Chapter 1: Shared priorities

Pipeline Profiles: NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL)

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