Oral Indigenous Knowledge provided to the Commission in virtual hearing as part of its consideration of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project detailed route hearings

June 18, 2020

On June 16, 2020 the Commission of the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) heard Oral Indigenous Knowledge from Semá:th First Nation as part of detailed route hearings for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. This was the first virtual hearing to take place after the CER announced business continuity measures and changes to regulatory processes in response to COVID-19 on March 16, 2020.

Semá:th First Nation is the first Indigenous community to provide Oral Indigenous Knowledge to the Commission as part of the current detailed route hearings. Currently, 14 per cent of the route has not been approved.

The virtual hearing spanned 3 hours and discussed a number of the First Nation’s concerns, including the recent crude oil release at Trans Mountain’s Sumas Pump Station in Abbotsford B.C. Audio recordings of the Oral Indigenous Knowledge can be found on the CER’s website. The transcripts are also on the CER’s public registry [Filing C06860].

The CER acknowledges the inseparable connection Indigenous peoples have with the land, air, water and the animals that call them home. The collection of Indigenous Knowledge is an important part of the CER’s adjudication processes as it recognizes and provides for the sharing of the unique cultures, knowledge and histories of Indigenous peoples.

During the pandemic, the CER is finding innovative ways to continue to perform its work. The ways in which the CER is fulfilling its mandate have changed but its commitment to protecting people and the environment remain the same.

“The CER’s journey towards reconciliation continues through open dialogue, sharing of perspectives and collaboration. We are committed to meaningfully engaging with Indigenous peoples,” said the CER’s Acting CEO, Sandy Lapointe. “Virtual hearings allow us to continue making decisions in a fair, timely and transparent manner, while keeping everyone safe.”

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