Indigenous Advisory Committee Meeting Summaries and Minutes

 

Indigenous Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes and Summaries to post internally and externally

Meeting Summary December 9-10, 2020

The Canada Energy Regulator Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) met virtually on December 9-10, 2020. The meetings began with a prayer from Elder Vera Marie Crowchild from Tsuut’ina Nation, and a land acknowledgement from the CER Board of Directors (Board) Chairperson, from Vancouver Island.

Preliminary matters included approval of the minutes from the IAC meeting on October 14-15, 2020 and the joint Board-IAC meeting on October 26-27, 2020.

The first substantive item discussed was the draft IAC Terms of Reference. Members discussed topics including appropriate terminology and how to reflect the role of IAC Members directly nominated by National Indigenous Organizations.

The Chairperson of the Board of Directors provided members with an update on how the IAC’s comments had been incorporated into the CER Strategic Plan, 2021-22. This was followed by a discussion on the process the CER is developing for requesting and responding to IAC’s advice, and the development of a work plan for the IAC for fiscal year 2021-22.

The Board Chairperson provided an overview of the CER’s governance structure, focusing on the role of the IAC. The IAC then discussed the CER’s Data and Digital Innovation Strategic Priority. Members provided feedback and advice related to data sovereignty, in particular the cataloguing and access to Indigenous knowledge and confidential information.

The second day began with a presentation and general overview on the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committees (IAMC) for Trans Mountain and Enbridge Line 3. Following the presentation, the IAMC Indigenous Co-Chairs shared lessons learned and recommendations for moving forward. The discussion included how the work and mandates of the IAMCs and IAC might intersect.

The CER provided an overview of key projections and findings from the Canada Energy Futures 2020 Report, and discussed the CER’s Energy Information Program. Members provided feedback and advice including on the need to more effectively engage and communicate information to Indigenous Nations and communities.

The Committee finished their meeting with a discussion of the IAC approach to cultural protocols while working in both a virtual and post-pandemic world.

Meeting Minutes December 9-10, 2020
Day 1: Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Item 1: Opening Prayer, Welcome & Land Acknowledgement

The Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) Chairperson provided opening remarks. The meeting was opened with a prayer from Elder Vera Marie Crowchild from Tsuut’ina Nation, who was introduced by the CER’s Technical Specialist, Cultural Competence.

The Board Chairperson provided a land acknowledgement from the territories she was participating from on Vancouver Island, while also honouring the traditional territories of all participants.

Item 2: Preliminary Matters

An overview of the Agenda was provided; no concerns were noted.

There was a brief discussion on the minutes for the October 14- 5 and October 26-27 meetings. Through that discussion the CER Chief of Staff confirmed that the IAC meeting minutes would be posted on the CER public website. IAC members generally discussed how to ensure an appropriate level of transparency surrounding IAC meetings, including how best to format and structure the meeting minutes.

IAC members approved the minutes for the October 14-15 and October 26-27 meetings.

Item 3: CER Progress Update

  1. Terms of Reference

    The CER Chief of Staff noted that the revised version of the draft Terms of Reference (ToR), provided in the meeting materials incorporates previous comments from the IAC and Board.

    Key topics and discussion points raised on the ToR included:

    • The use of appropriate terminology for the Indigenous peoples of Canada – in particular regarding the Métis Nation.
    • How the ToR should appropriately reflect the role of those IAC members who were recommended by the Assembly of First Nations, Métis National Council, and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; while also allowing members to speak from their own personal expertise and experience.
    • The amendment process should clearly reflect a continual improvement approach.

    Based on the discussions, the CER Chief of Staff will bring a revised draft of the ToR back to the joint meeting of the Board and IAC in February 2021.

  2. Board Update: Amendments to the CER 2021-22 Strategic Plan:

    The Board Chairperson noted that IAC advice had greatly improved the CER Strategic Plan and explained how the Board incorporated that advice into the final version.

    Key topics and discussion points raised on the Strategic Plan included:

    • Potential impacts of Bill C-15 An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on the Strategic Plan. The CER Chief Executive Officer noted that the CER Act references the UN Declaration, and that work is already underway to implement the Declaration in CER operations.
    • How IAC advice could be provided on CER strategy, in the context of potentially evolving priorities and continual improvement and lessons learned. It was noted that the Strategic Plan is reviewed by the Board annually and is not static.
  3. Item on Guidance for IAC Advice

    The CER Chief of Staff provided a high level explanation of the document; namely, to inform the IAC of the CER’s intention to develop a process for requesting and responding to IAC advice, including how IAC advice will align with CER’s business planning cycle and the Board’s work plan.

    An item on a draft work plan for 2021-22 will be put together for the IAC and the Board to review in February 2021.

    IAC members generally acknowledged that while the guidance document is useful there is a need for a more detailed description of how IAC advice is transmitted to the CER at the operational level.

Item 4: CER’s Governance Structure– Presentation

The Board Chairperson provided an overview of the CER’s governance structure, highlighting the differences between the former National Energy Board and the new CER, with a focus on the integral role the IAC plays in the new governance structure.

Key topics and discussion points on the presentation included:

  • IAC members were interested in understanding how IAC strategic advice could influence the hearing process and ultimately regulated companies in the future.
  • The CER Chief of Staff explained that while neither the IAC nor the Board can provide advice to the Commission on a specific project or adjudication matter, other types of broad strategic and policy advice could potentially be shared with the Commission in an appropriate manner.
  • The CER needs to understand how Nations and communities receive information (including about the CER governance structure), and consider how to generate more awareness for Indigenous peoples, at the regional and local levels.

Item 5: Data and Digital Innovation Strategic Priority– Presentation

The Executive Vice-President Transparency and Strategic Engagement and the Vice President Data and Information Management and Chief Information Officer provided an overview of the CER’s Data and Digital Innovation Strategic Priority– including work being undertaken and planned.

Key topics and discussion points raised on the presentation included:

  • The importance of ensuring that any advice received from Elders or other traditional knowledge holders on a data management strategy, be inclusive of all of the Indigenous peoples of Canada (including First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation).
  • Concerns were raised about data sovereignty, in particular the protection of culturally sensitive and confidential information; the CER could consider application of the Ownership Control, Access and Possession Principles.
  • It was noted that many communities face significant infrastructural challenges related to data storage for archival information (including lack of internet access).
  • A future item could be brought to the IAC to examine data questions related to cataloguing and providing access to Indigenous knowledge and confidential information.
Day 2: Thursday, December 10 2020

Item 6 : Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committees for Trans Mountain and Enbridge Line 3

The IAC Chairperson provided opening remarks on the opportunities for learning between the IAC and the two Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committees (IAMCs).

The Executive Vice-President Transparency and Engagement and Vice President Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation provided an overview of the IAMCs for Trans Mountain and Enbridge Line 3.

Following the initial presentation, the IAMC Indigenous Co-Chairs for Trans Mountain and Enbridge Line 3 shared their perspectives and experiences, including on lessons learned and recommendations for moving forward.

Key topics and discussion points raised throughout the discussion included:

  • The Indigenous Co-Chairs both discussed the journey that led to the creation of the current IAMCs, and the progress and trust that had been built over a period of years.
  • The Indigenous Monitoring programs have provided opportunities for Indigenous Nations to build a relationship with government and the regulator and participate in monitoring in a way that was not previously available.
  • There is a desire to deepen the relationship and consider how Indigenous peoples can become more involved in a broader spectrum of activities, including oversight.
  • Looking ahead, the IAMCs are thinking about longer-term goals, including how to translate what has been learned from “boots on the ground” into a broader policy framework to institute continual and systemic change.
  • More generally, the IAMC table provides an opportunity for Indigenous Nations to share their perspectives outside of an adjudication process, which fosters a greater capacity/ understanding of issues.
  • Some of the broader issues to be considered include cumulative and lifelong impacts from projects. These impacts require longer-term monitoring and more broad-based understanding, post project construction.
  • IAMCs are a “breeding ground” of learning and innovation that can be applied to the work of the IAC to achieve their mandate.

The intersection of the IAC and the IAMCs was discussed, including potential ways the Committees can work together, how IAMC lessons learned can be brought to the awareness of the IAC for consideration in its advice, and how best to leverage the mandate of each Committee to drive change.

Item 7: Energy Futures 2020– Presentation

The CER Chief Economist shared key projections and findings from the CER’s Canada Energy Futures 2020 Report, and discussed the CER’s Energy Information program more broadly.

Key topics and discussion points raised on the presentation included:

  • IAC members noted that it is important to engage Indigenous academics and researchers who have relevant expertise; particularly in relation to the ethical collection of data related to Indigenous peoples.
  • It is important for the CER to consider how to more effectively communicate information and relate to people in Indigenous Nations and communities, particularly Elders. Suggestions for better presentation of information included:
    • Connect directly with communities (build relationships, send letters, etc.)
    • Information, reports and studies can be made more relatable through a story telling format.
  • The development of regional “centres of excellence” could be one way to support regional/community capacity and address the capacity gap.

Item 8: IAC Approach to Cultural Protocols

The CER Technical Specialist, Cultural Competence led a discussion with IAC members on the IAC approach to cultural protocols. The CER will continue to invite an Elder for each virtual meeting.

  • Members suggested that post- pandemic, Elders from each region could be invited to participate in IAC meetings; through this, IAC members could better learn about the different cultures represented at the table.
  • Post-pandemic, IAC members could host an IAC meeting in their home region.
  • The CER Technical Specialist, Cultural Competence asked IAC members to follow up with her if they had any further questions or suggestions regarding cultural protocols

Item 9: Closing Roundtable

IAC Chairperson, Board Chairperson and Chief of Staff provided brief closing remarks and next steps, before the facilitator turned it over to a broader closing roundtable with all members.


Meeting Adjourned at 1:30pm MT on 10 December 2020

Meeting Summary October 26-27, 2020

The Canada Energy Regulator’s (CER’s) Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) and Board of Directors (Board) met virtually in a joint meeting on October 26-27, 2020. The meeting began with a prayer from Elder Vera Marie Crowchild from Tsuut’ina Nation and a land acknowledgement from the Board Chairperson, which honoured the traditional territories of all participants.

Preliminary matters included an overview of the process undertaken to co-develop the Terms of Reference, and a summary of feedback received to date.

The IAC and Board considered the current draft Terms of Reference together with preliminary feedback received, through small group sessions and a larger plenary discussion. Through these conversations, members and Directors discussed potential foundational and guiding principles for the Terms of Reference, which could better reflect Indigenous worldviews throughout the document. Members and Directors also discussed the ways in which the IAC’s advice could be provided, and how it could best influence change within the CER and its regulated industry. The importance of relationships was also discussed, including how various relationships could be developed and maintained.

The IAC members met without the Board to discuss cultural protocol for IAC meetings, before going in camera, to select an interim Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.

On the second day of the meetings, the members and Directors turned to a discussion on the Strategic Plan– again through the format of small group sessions and a larger plenary discussion. The conversations focused on the inclusiveness of the language used in the Strategic Plan and the ways in which Indigenous involvement and perspectives could be enhanced through the document. The need for an accountability mechanism was also noted. Specific feedback was provided on the Mission and Vision statements, as well as on the four Strategic Priorities.

In the final session, members received an onboarding presentation from Executive Vice-President Regulatory, on the CER’s regulatory lifecycle. Topics covered included: CER jurisdiction; CER regulatory framework; and project lifecycle (project application process; and post-approval oversight).

Meeting Minutes October 26-27, 2020
Day 1: Monday, 26 October 2020

Item 1: Opening Prayer, Welcome & Land Acknowledgement

The meeting opened with a prayer from Elder Vera Marie Crowchild from Tsuut’ina Nation, after being introduced by the CER’s Technical Specialist, Cultural Competence.

The Board Chairperson provided a land acknowledgement from the territories she was participating from in the city of Vancouver, including those of the Musqueaum, Squamish Nation and Tsleil-Wauthuth Nation, while also honouring the traditional territories of all participants. The Board Chairperson provided some opening remarks.

Item 2: Preliminary Matters

CER Chief of Staff, provided a brief overview of the process undertaken to date to draft the Terms of Reference (ToR). Written and verbal feedback received from the Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) and the Board of Directors on the draft ToR was summarized in two documents that were included with the meeting materials. Feedback on these documents was welcomed. Staff will undertake changes to the initial draft ToR, following this meeting.

An overview of the Agenda, and general process for the small group sessions was provided.

Some members noted that the response to some discussion questions would be preliminary, until members gained a greater understanding of the CER, its governance and processes.

Item 3: IAC Terms of Reference – Small Group Sessions

IAC members, Directors of the Board and CER senior leaders broke into small groups to discuss questions on the following four topics: Guiding Principles; Shared Goals; IAC influence within the CER; and short term advice.

Highlights from group discussions follow below.

  • A foundational statement could be included to indicate that the work and advice of the IAC will be grounded in and guided by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, and the ten ‘Principles respecting the Government of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples’, as a framework for advancing reconciliation.
  • Guiding principles should be value-based and culturally relevant; this will assist in reflecting Indigenous worldviews throughout the document.
  • The IAC should have a meaningful and measureable impact on the CER’s work, which in turn has an impact on the regulated industry. Members noted the importance of understanding how their advice can impact policies and influence change, noting that change management is critically important.
  • While IAC advice will be provided at a strategic or policy level with the Board, it is important that advice lead to change at the operational levels of the organization, with a clear line of sight between the advice and change on the ground. A ‘reconciliation baseline’ could be developed to assist in measuring progress; through semi-annual reviews or other feedback loops, the IAC could see how their advice has been applied.
  • IAC’s influence should broadly be on the entirety of the CER’s operations, rather than being narrowly focused in a particular area. The Committee’s advice should be informed by lessons learned by members and other bodies (e.g., the Indigenous Advisory Monitoring Committees) from past involvement with the regulator.

Item 4: IAC Terms of Reference – Plenary Discussion

IAC members, directors of the Board and CER senior leaders and staff came back together in plenary for a general discussion on the draft ToR.

Topics of discussion through the plenary discussion included:

  • The importance of building relationships between, and within, the IAC and Board (and CER) was noted; this will allow individuals to better understand one another, and continually teach and learn from one another. Some members noted that, in building relationships, the Committee will be better able to convey Indigenous worldviews, and assist the Board and CER to understand how Indigenous peoples see the world. These views can then be incorporated into CER processes.
  • Joint meetings between the Board and the IAC should be held at least twice a year, and the Chairs should have a regular relationship.
  • There was a general understanding that, while the IAC’s advice will be through the Board, its influence within the larger governance structure may evolve over time. Several members also noted the importance of having the IAC’s influence extend beyond the CER to – for example, the companies regulated by the CER (proponents), the broader Government of Canada, and other regulatory authorities (e.g., provincial regulators).

Item 5: IAC approach to cultural protocols for meetings

The CER’s Technical Specialist, Cultural Competence led the IAC members in a discussion on what cultural protocol should look like for Committee meetings.

  • The members generally discussed how the IAC could build a respectful relationship with a number of Elders, who could get to know the Committee’s work and start each meeting in a good way. Attending Elders should be honoured and invited to remain for the entire meeting. One suggestion that the members discussed, was the possibility of three Elders being selected as (1) First Nation, (1) Métis, and (1) Inuit.
  • Irrespective of the Elders' origin, these individuals should be chosen based on their ability to respectfully reach across Nations and communities.
  • The importance of finding ways to balance the Elders' wisdom with the larger objectives and time constraints of the Committee was noted.
  • Other members noted the benefits of having Elders to share wisdom and provide balance. The Elders could provide advice and could potentially be called upon to resolve disputes.
  • One member requested that, in the land acknowledgment, the full term “Homeland of the Métis Nation” be referenced to reflect that Métis peoples are all part of one Nation.
  • Other protocols from other areas in the country were shared: i.e. the lighting of a qulliq lamp, which is an opening norm for Inuit peoples.

The members noted that cultural protocol was important. This would help start the meeting off in a good way, to allow for open minds and a safe space. Any protocol is likely to evolve.

Item 6: Selection of IAC Interim Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson

IAC members went in camera to select an interim Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.

Tribal Chief Tyrone McNeil was selected as interim Chairperson, and Kaella-Marie Earle was selected as interim Vice-Chairperson. The Interim Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson will hold their positions until May 31 2021.

Day 2: Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Item 7: Welcome, Introductory remarks on the CER Strategic Plan, and feedback overview

The Board Chairperson opened the meeting with a land acknowledgment.

The Board Chairperson welcomed the new Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the IAC; the IAC Chairperson provided some remarks on the selection process.

The Board Chairperson then provided a brief summary of the CER 2021-22 Strategic Plan, together with an overview of feedback received to date from the IAC, on the Strategic Plan.

Item 8: CER Strategic Plan – Small Group Session

IAC members, Directors of the Board and CER senior leaders broke into small groups to discuss questions on the Strategic Plan; questions were focused on language used in the Strategic Plan, and on enhancing Indigenous involvement and perspectives.

Specific areas of discussion included:

  • The term “Canadians” may not appropriately include Indigenous peoples. Consider referring to the Indigenous peoples of Canada in addition to Canadians.
  • Members noted that the Vision statement should be aspirational; recommendations were made to reframe and broaden the focus.

Strategic Priorities

  • Consider referring to the UN Declaration expressly in the Reconciliation Strategic Priority
  • In the Competitiveness Strategic Priority, consider highlighting the local aspects of competitiveness – i.e., ensuring benefits of industry are shared more broadly.
  • In the Trust and Confidence Strategic Priority, there is no express reference to Indigenous peoples. Building the trust of Indigenous peoples requires a focus on building respectful relationships.

Item 9: CER Strategic Plan – Plenary Discussion

IAC members, Directors of the Board and CER senior leaders and staff then came back together in plenary for a general discussion on the CER’s Strategic Plan, including the four Strategic Priorities.

Highlights from the group discussion include:

  • Rather than referring to Indigenous peoples, ensure the language is inclusive by referring separately to First Nations, the Métis Nation and the Inuit.
  • There needs to be an accountability mechanism for implementing and measuring progress against the Strategic Plan and its Priorities.
  • In the Reconciliation Strategic Priority, add a reference to the CER’s role in supporting and guiding the regulated industry towards advancing reconciliation
  • In the Data and Digital Innovation Strategic Priority, consider referring to innovation in the area of consultation and inclusion of communities, including to allow for improved public access and participation. There are often barriers to Indigenous peoples accessing data & digital information

Item 10: The CER’s Regulatory Lifecycle

CER Executive Vice-President Regulatory, presented to the IAC members on the CER’s regulatory lifecycle. Topics covered included: CER jurisdiction; CER regulatory framework; and project lifecycle (project application process; and post-approval oversight).

Some of the key topics and discussion points raised following the presentation included:

  • The processes around the end of a pipeline’s life, including: the decision to abandon in-place or remove; what occurs if a company goes bankrupt at the end of a pipeline’s life.
  • Proponent standards through the application phase (project splitting; shared standards or cooperation with other jurisdictions).
  • How the CER has brought practices and learnings regarding Indigenous monitors into its policies and the larger organization.
  • How can standards be modified, to better account for Indigenous perspectives and worldviews; and to move to a more performance-based model?

Item 11: Closing Remarks

CER Chief of Staff provided brief closing remarks, including next steps.

Action Items

  • Board of Directors to consider advice on Strategic Plan for potential amendments (to be considered at meeting of the Board of Directors in November 2020). Summary of changes made will be shared with the IAC.
  • CER Staff to amend draft Terms of Reference based on input received and submit next draft to Committee, for consideration at December Committee meeting.
  • CER to arrange an Elder for next meeting (December 2020); and to bring forward a follow-up item at that time, on cultural protocol for IAC meetings going forward.

Meeting Adjourned at 1:00 pm MT on 27 October 2020

Meeting Summary October 14-15, 2020

The Canada Energy Regulator Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) met virtually on October 14-15, 2020. The meeting began with a prayer from Elder Sykes Powderface from the Stoney Nakoda Nation, and a land acknowledgement from the CER Chief Executive Officer from the City of Calgary.

Preliminary matters included a recap of the inaugural September 2-3, 2020 IAC meeting, and updates on future meetings.

The first substantive item discussed was the draft IAC Terms of Reference, which is being co-developed with the CER Board of Directors. The members reviewed the initial draft of the document. Through this discussion, members noted important elements that should be included in this foundational document, such as a clear definition of ‘consensus’, a statement on how their advice would be situated within the CER’s broader governance model, and appropriate inclusive language to describe the Indigenous peoples of Canada. Members also sought additional information on their role and mandate; and provided feedback on their vision for how IAC meetings, relationships, and advice could be structured.

The Board Chairperson then provided members with an overview of the draft CER Strategic Plan, 2021-22, for information and preliminary advice. In the discussion following the Chairperson’s presentation, members reflected on ways in which the language could be improved; as well as how certain direct references from the Canadian Energy Regulatory Act could be incorporated.

Finally, the Executive Vice-President Transparency and Strategic Engagement provided an overview of the CER’s Reconciliation Strategic Priority (including work to date and suggested areas of focus going forward), for information and preliminary advice. Members provided feedback and guidance on specific initiatives being undertaken under this strategic priority including Indigenous procurement, the CER cultural competence program, and areas for improvement within regulatory processes.

Meeting Minutes October 14-15, 2020
Day 1: Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Item 1: Opening Prayer, Welcome & Land Acknowledgement

The meeting began with a prayer from Elder Sykes Powderface from the Stoney Nakoda Nation who was introduced by the CER’s Technical Specialist, Cultural Competence.

CER Chief Executive Officer (CEO) provided a land acknowledgement from the city of Calgary as host of the Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) meeting.

Item 2: Preliminary Matters

CER Chief of Staff provided a recap of the inaugural September 2-3, 2020 IAC meeting, noting that the meeting minutes were included in the meeting material. No changes to the minutes were requested. The CER offered to receive comments via email.

A number of updates were provided on the September 2-3 meeting action items:

  • A draft Terms of Reference (ToR) was included in the meeting material.
  • The CER has set up GCCollab as a document sharing platform. IAC members have received sign-in information. Meeting material and previous onboarding material will be housed on this platform.
  • CER staff have canvassed availability for an additional meeting; set for December 9-10, 2020.

An overview of the Agenda was provided; no concerns were noted.

Item 3: IAC Terms of Reference – Introduction

CER Chief of Staff provided an overview of the process to draft the current version of the ToR, noting that it was developed by staff, based on discussions to date with the IAC as well as other precedents. It was noted that the intent of the current meeting is to discuss the key issues and highlight areas to focus discussion for the joint meeting with the Board on October 26-27, 2020.

Areas of preliminary discussion included:

  • Importance of finding ways for the IAC to contribute meaningfully – both at a strategic level and in terms of helping to inform specific regulatory approaches/processes.
  • The ToR should better reflect guiding and foundational principles, such as those set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration) (e.g. Articles 25, 26, 27), Constitution, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action; consideration should be given to direction from federal government Ministerial mandate letters, and inclusion of reference to self-determination, sustainability and stewardship.

Item 4: IAC Terms of Reference – Plenary Discussion

IAC members were provided with a draft ToR, which contained preliminary written comments received in advance from some IAC members.

Topics of discussion on the draft ToR included:

  • There is a desire to explore, understand and articulate the Committee’s role, mandate, potential sphere of influence and relationships, and how their advice will be operationalized. This includes within the CER (e.g., to the Commission, CEO and staff) and beyond the CER to the Minister and broader federal government as well as other similar advisory committees, such as the one in place for the Impact Assessment Agency.
  • Members need to share the lessons they have learned through past experiences with the CER and regulatory processes to inform areas of advice from the IAC.
  • The importance of language was noted (e.g., the use of the terms Indigenous Nations and communities would be inclusive of the Inuit perspective).

Item 5: IAC Terms of Reference – Small Group Workshop Session

IAC members and CER senior leaders broke into small groups focused on three key areas (Chairperson role and selection process; formulating advice and definition of consensus; and IAC membership, meetings, transparency and communication).

Highlights from group discussions follow below.

Chairperson role and selection process

  • The Committee will select an Interim Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson (e.g., for six months) at the October 26 meeting. Members will be asked by the Chief of Staff to self-identify their interest in these roles in advance of that meeting. The Interim Chair and Vice-Chair will be in place to help guide the finalization of the ToRs and to help the Committee find its footing. There was an acknowledgement of the need for a strong relationship between the Chairs of the Board and the IAC.

Formulating advice and definition of consensus

  • The significant diversity of the Committee was noted. While there was a sense that the Committee will strive for consensus and to speak with one voice, this diversity may result in multiple points of advice being given on some issues. A clear definition of ‘consensus’ is important.

IAC membership, meetings, transparency and communication

  • The Committee discussed the need to create the time and space within IAC and Board meetings to allow for the development of relationships, so members can get to know and learn from one another.
  • Committee members raised questions about what advice would be communicated publically, and when. The importance of documenting the advice given was noted.
Day 2: Thursday, 15 October 2020

Item 6: Overview of 2021-22 Draft CER Strategic Plan

The Board Chairperson provided an overview of the draft CER Strategic Plan, 2021-22, for information and preliminary advice. Specifically, the Chairperson discussed the process the Board followed to create the plan and the reasoning behind each component. The Chairperson noted that the Strategic Plan is evergreen.

Areas of discussion included:

  • A potential disconnect between the CER’s mission (which speaks of “respecting” rights), and the Reconciliation Strategic Priority was noted. The language in the latter is stronger, and more in line with the UN Declaration.
  • The Canadian Energy Regulator Act references renewed nation-to-nation, government-to-government and Inuit-Crown relationships, but this is not reflected within the Strategic Plan; consideration should be given to incorporating this expressly.
  • The IAC could offer advice on the CER’s risk-based approach to regulation and the risk model it uses to inform its compliance and oversight activities. Indigenous peoples view risk in a different manner, given their relationship with the land and can contribute this perspective, which the CER cannot.
  • Use of the word “partnership” may not be appropriate. “Partnership” can mean many different things, and not all Indigenous Nations and communities may want a partnership relationship. Consider using relationship-based language instead.

Item 7: Overview of CER’s Reconciliation Strategic Priority

The CER Executive Vice-President Transparency and Strategic Engagement provided an overview of the CER’s Reconciliation Strategic Priority (including work to date and suggested areas of focus going forward), for information and preliminary advice.

Areas of discussion included:

  • Committee members were generally positive on progress made by the CER towards advancing reconciliation over the past several years.
  • Committee members encouraged the CER to create specific and measurable targets for its objectives. For Indigenous procurement, clear and concrete targets should be set and consideration given to a minimum requirement for Indigenous content.
  • Members questioned how enhancing the organization’s cultural competency could be measured in the era of reconciliation, as well as information on the cultural competency program. Cross-cultural competency was suggested as an area for IAC advice.
  • Committee members pointed to personal experiences with CER processes in highlighting where changes could be made. A key area discussed was a lack of consistency and need for minimum and consistent standards for proponent engagement with Indigenous communities. Further, a desire to discuss how the CER holds regulated companies accountable (e.g., to commitments made in the regulatory process) was noted.
  • Members also highlighted the need to empower communities to better understand and work with the regulatory process through enhanced education, development of enhanced, interactive tools and simplification and streamlining of the process.

Item 8: Closing Roundtable

  • Due to time limitations, there was no closing roundtable.

Action Items

  • Chief of Staff will circulate a number of documents requested, including: By-laws of the Board of Directors (reference), Canadian Energy Regulator Act, and National Energy Board Modernization Report

Meeting Adjourned at 1:05pm MT on 15 October 2020

Meeting Summary September 2-3, 2020

The inaugural meeting of the Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) was held virtually on September 2-3, 2020. The meeting began with Elder Sykes Powderface, from the Stoney Nakoda Nation from the Calgary area giving opening remarks and a land acknowledgement from the Tsuut’ina Nation’s Grey Eagle Hotel and Conference by video. This was followed by opening and welcome remarks from the Board of Directors and CER Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The Board Chairperson noted that the IAC completes the CER’s governance structure and that the Board wants to co-develop the Committee’s Terms of Reference with the IAC.

The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) provided IAC members with an overview of the governance of the organization, together with an overview of what the CER regulates, and where energy infrastructure is located. The Committee also discussed a potential process for an interim Chairperson and the Guiding Principles for the IAC.

In the second day of the meetings, the IAC met with the Board of Directors, CEO and Lead Commissioner. The Lead Commissioner provided a brief overview of the role of the CER’s Commission. The IAC and the Board also discussed a framework for co-development of the IAC Terms of Reference and potential collaboration moving forward.

Finally, both the Minister of Natural Resources, and the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Canada provided welcoming remarks.

Meeting Minutes September 2-3, 2020
Day 1: Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Item 1: Opening Prayer, Land Acknowledgement, Introductions

  • The meeting began with CER Staff introducing Elder Sykes Powderface from the Stoney Nakoda Nation in the Calgary area. Prior to the meeting the Elder prayed and smudged off camera. The Elder then gave opening remarks, shared thoughts with the Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) members and gave a land acknowledgement from the Tsuut’ina Nation’s Grey Eagle Hotel & Conference Centre by video.
  • A round table of introductions took place from all the participants.

Item 2: Opening Remarks

Opening and welcome remarks were provided by the Board of Directors and CER Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

  • The Board Chairperson noted that the Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) completes the CER’s governance structure and that the Board wants to co-develop the Committee Terms of Reference (ToRs) with the IAC. Members were invited to take ownership of the Committee and to build a strong team. The Board Chairperson provided a personal commitment to work with the Committee in a respectful partnership and to find creative and meaningful ways to advance reconciliation through systemic change.
  • Members were thanked for their participation; it was noted that reconciliation is a shared responsibility, and that the Board wants to work collaboratively with the Committee on the ToRs, and shift how the CER works, addressing and fighting systemic racism, and changing how the Board makes decisions moving forward.
  • The CEO’s role was explained ensuring that IAC advice is operationalized throughout the CER. A collaborative approach was encouraged, with members bringing a diversity of experience and perspectives to the table.

The Elder provided some additional remarks before departing the meeting. He noted the importance of working with youth, helping them and providing guidance as they face racism.

Item 3: Agenda Review (For Discussion)

An overview of the Agenda was provided; no concerns were noted.

Item 4: Overview of Canada Energy Regulator (Onboarding)

An overview of the CER was provided.

  • The commitments in the preamble to the Canadian Energy Regulator Act (CER Act) were discussed, together with the governance of the CER, and how the IAC and Board might work together.
  • The CEO provided an overview of what the CER regulates, and where CER-regulated infrastructure is located.

Topics of discussion included:

  • The differences between the mandates of the IAC, and the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committees for the Trans Mountain Pipeline and Expansion Project and the Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Project, as well as lessons learned from the IAMCs.
  • Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, including a comment that we are moving from a push to recognize rights, towards implementing legal rights including title.
  • The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration), including how it might be incorporated into the ToR.
  • The importance of discussing and understanding in more depth what reconciliation means for the IAC’s work. Considering economic reconciliation and reconciliation through digital innovation and relationships, as examples.
  • How the CER works with provincial and territorial regulatory bodies and associated relationships in areas of the country where there is no CER-regulated infrastructure.
  • IAC governance, including whether members will speak with individual voices or as a shared voice while still bringing their unique perspectives and diversity of views, noting that there are different definition of consensus.
  • The importance of members getting to know each other, as well as Directors.
  • The format of IAC meetings including possible Indigenous members caucus/in camera session as part of the Committee’s meetings.
  • Potential areas for the IAC to provide advice including provisions in the CER Act related to Indigenous peoples.
  • Suggestion to update our language to use Indigenous Nations, as opposed to Indigenous peoples, and it was noted that further discussion is needed.

Item 5: Working Together: Establishing Ground Rules and Approach to Interim Chairperson (For Discussion and Consideration)

See the above discussion, which is also relevant to this Agenda Item. Limited time was allocated to this item

Topics of discussion included:

  • Timing to select a Chairperson to allow for members to get to know each other.
  • Considering the approach to the Chairperson for example having the Chairperson role circulate amongst members to begin.
  • How the Chairperson could be helpful to focus the discussion and that members who might be interested in being the Chairperson could indicate their interest at the next meeting. More information may be required on the time commitment for the Chairperson.

Item 6: Guiding Principles of the IAC (For Discussion)

See the above discussion, which is also relevant to this Agenda item. Limited time was allocated for this Item.

Discussion Included:

  • A need to hear from the Board on what it expects from the Committee.
  • It would be helpful for CER staff to prepare a draft ToR, covering the various practical aspects; then the Committee can review, discuss and provide guiding principles and values.
Day 2: Thursday, 3 September 2020

Item 7: Meet and Greet with Board of Directors, CEO and Lead Commissioners

Introductions and welcoming remarks were provided by the Board and Lead Commissioner, followed by Committee member introductions.

  • Directors thanked members for their service on the Committee, and indicated that they are looking forward to working with the Committee
  • The Lead Commissioner welcomed Committee members and also provided a brief overview of the role of the CER’s Commission. The Board Chairperson noted the importance of the Commission’s adjudicative independence and that the Board is prohibited from providing the Commission with advice or direction on any specific adjudicative matter.
  • In their introductions, Committee members discussed:
    • their backgrounds, areas of experience, interest and focus
    • the impact that the pandemic is having on communities and Elders in particular
    • the recent spill at the Sumas pump station and the role of the Indigenous Advisory Monitoring Committee in response

Item 8: Framework for Co-development

The IAC and the Board discussed approaches to and thoughts on co-development and collaboration moving forward.

Topics of discussion included:

  • A principle of ‘all voices are valued, and all voices are valid’
  • The importance of recording IAC advice, and regularly reporting back to the Committee on how the advice has been incorporated or implemented
  • Providing a defined space for ceremony, some suggestions to achieve this were: an Elder could open all meetings and/or perhaps the Committee could have a designated Elder, or meeting openings from any of the Nations represented on the Committee
  • Within the TOR to consider referring to alignment of voices, context and constitutionally recognized rights. Potential, too, to visually identify the communities where Committee members are from and reside today
  • The CER intends to onboard the IAC to the Reconciliation Focus Area in more detail this fall, including what has been done to date and forward-looking plans, and to seek the Committee’s advice on the CER’s Strategic Plan. It was noted that the IAC is new, is still being on-boarded and establishing its governance, making the provision of comprehensive advice difficult. The Strategic Plan is evergreen and advice may need to be provided over time.
  • Request to use a document-sharing site for meeting materials, as opposed to email.

Item 9: Welcome from Natural Resources Canada

Welcome remarks were provided by the Minister of Natural Resources and Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Canada.

  • The Minister noted that the IAC completes the governance structure of the CER. He thanked members for taking on this role and for bringing their unique insights to bear. The Minister further noted that Indigenous oversight of the energy sector is central to the CER Act and indicated the Government’s commitment to implementing the UN Declaration and its associated action plan. He noted the severe impact of the pandemic on Indigenous communities and the Indigenous economy.
  • The Deputy Minister invited the Committee to become part of the CER and to influence the organization from the inside. She noted that the establishment of the IAC is an exciting and landmark moment.

Topics of discussion included:

  • Response to and mitigation of climate change
  • Mutual capacity building and the immense potential for positive change that the IAC brings
  • Recognizing differences between Indigenous communities and Nations, wide diversity across the country, and the importance of using a distinctions-based approach
  • The next generation of Indigenous young people joining the energy sector
  • Recognition and implementation of Indigenous law
  • The importance of ongoing dialogue

Item 10: Closing Roundtable

Committee members, Directors, CEO and staff made closing remarks.

Topics of discussion included:

  • The importance that each time we meet, we feel better than the time before
  • The importance of working through difficult conversation and not letting disagreements deter our work
  • Managing expectations, keeping in mind the need for time, space, patience, and achieving meaningful engagement and advice.
  • Consider meeting more regularly than quarterly at first (e.g., monthly) and as the Committee is on-boarded
  • Noting there are differing degrees of experience with the CER on the Committee and a desire by some members to learn/read/have access to additional resources.

Action Items

  • CER staff to prepare a draft TOR, covering the various practical aspects; for Committee review, discussion and advice on guiding principles and values
  • CER staff to explore providing materials via a document sharing platform, rather than by email
  • CER staff to prepare Agendas for the next IAC meetings that incorporate general feedback and commitments from this inaugural meeting; and CER staff to canvas for more frequent meetings (e.g., monthly) over the first several months.

Meeting Adjourned at 1:30pm MT on 3 September 2020

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