We often work on or are in close proximity to traditional Aboriginal land. Our teams work with these communities on a daily basis to build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships. Through understanding, respect and cooperation we strive to maintain strong relationships. Learning about traditional cultures, wildlife, and how the landscape has changed over the years is part of our long-term commitment to these communities and helps us further enhance our practices.
Canadian Natural has formalized processes and guiding principles in place to support our work with Aboriginal communities. Through the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), Canadian Natural supports the federal government’s decision to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as a framework for reconciliation in Canada, and the implementation of its principles in a manner that is consistent with the Canadian Constitution and law. On areas that are relevant to the oil and natural gas industry, Canadian Natural will be a constructive, thoughtful partner while a framework for reconciliation is developed.
At Canadian Natural, we seek meaningful input regarding proposed development plans through ongoing proactive two-way communication that helps to identify and address issues and opportunities.
Our Aboriginal consultation work is in accordance with a consultation plan. When developing a project-specific consultation plan, Canadian Natural works with each Aboriginal community to understand their individual consultation needs and requirements.
For major projects, to support Canadian Natural’s understanding of the potential project related impacts on treaty or traditional lands, our consultation plans commonly include assessments to measure potential impacts. Environmental and socioeconomic impact assessments highlight any regional risks to be addressed in project planning. We also support Aboriginal communities to document traditional land use and/or current use in order to mitigate potential impacts to the extent possible. Canadian Natural also documents traditional ecological knowledge that is shared and considers its use when compiling baseline environmental information, developing monitoring programs and planning mitigation (e.g., reclamation).
Canadian Natural maintains relationships with communities in the areas where we operate to communicate opportunities and address concerns that may arise. Canadian Natural adheres to five key communication and consultation objectives:
1. Seek meaningful input regarding proposed development plans through ongoing proactive two-way communication;
2. Identify and address any issues;
3. Contribute to Canadian Natural’s broader goals of responsible operations, i.e. mitigating environmental, health, and safety concerns by acknowledging, considering and incorporating input from communities;
4. Fulfill regulatory requirements related to public consultation and communications to support a timely and successful regulatory application process; and
5. Achieve a high level of community acceptance.
In addition, our Code of Integrity, Business Ethics and Conduct and Statement of Human Rights are integrated into our contracts for service providers, operators and management in all activities.
To read about our 2015 highlights of stakeholder engagements and consultation see our 2015 Stewardship Report to Stakeholders.