As TransCanada gets ready to celebrate Canada’s National Aboriginal Day with displays of traditional food, dance and culture, the company never loses sight of the fact that building trusted relationships with North America’s Aboriginal and Native American peoples is ongoing, every day.
TransCanada has been listening to and learning from North America’s first people for decades. This legacy of trust, respect and collaboration continues to guide our actions beyond any regulatory obligation.
Indeed, as a matter of policy, we remain engaged with communities throughout and after every project’s completion to ensure the lines of communication stay open and every concern is addressed. Currently, we‘re engaging with more than one-third of Canada’s 622 Aboriginal communities on our projects — an unprecedented track record for any company.
In our 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, Aboriginal, Native American and Indigenous Peoples was listed as a top area of focus for the company.
We believe that each community should be better off after we leave it than before we entered it.
Our commitments are guided not only by good intentions, but they are enshrined in Aboriginal Relations Policy (Canada) and a Native American Relations Policy (U.S.) that recognize the different legal and constitutional situations within the two countries, and the vast cultural diversity among Indigenous peoples. However, both policies do recognize one commonality — a special relationship with the land and its resources.
Our own engagement process with each Aboriginal and Native American community begins with trying to understand where their needs exist — from training to education to business opportunities. An individual approach to the needs of each community requires knowledge, experience and sensitivity. This is why our Aboriginal Relations team has grown to more than 90 individuals, all of whom regard themselves as advocates for the communities they serve, as well as ambassadors for TransCanada.