Indigenous Advisory Committee Meeting Summaries and Minutes

Meeting Summary: March 2–4, 2022

The Canada Energy Regulator Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) met virtually on 2-4 March 2022. The meeting was opened by Elder John Watson from Ochapowace Nation.

The Chief of Staff opened the conversation with an overview of progress on action items as well as noting that the majority of IAC Members have agreed to continue for a third year with the committee and that the CER will be engaging with National Indigenous Organizations (NIOs), as well as others including the IAC, about the longer- term renewal of IAC membership in summer 2023.

The IAC Leadership provided an update on their communication, engagement, and other activities since the last meeting. IAC Members discussed correspondence directed to the IAC, set in the context of adjudicative matters before the Commission.

The IAC also received updates from the CER Chairperson highlighting recent discussions of the Board and explaining how IAC advice has been incorporated, and from the CEO related to a variety of operational topics including response to flooding in British Columbia, and the safe return of the Trans Mountain and Line 3 pipelines.

The IAC discussed the CER’s Regulatory Framework with a specific focus on the Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPR). Members highlighted the limited capacity of individuals, Nations, and communities to meaningfully engage in the OPR review, hence the importance of clearly conveying what feedback is being sought and how it may connect to broader legislative and regulatory changes.

The second day of the meeting was opened with a traditional welcoming song and prayer from Elder Catherine Blackstock, Gitxsan Hereditary Chief.

The IAC reviewed and provided strategic advice on an the CER’s roadmap for enhancing the involvement of Indigenous peoples in regulatory. IAC members emphasized the need to focus on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration) articles most salient to the CER’s work to measure the CER’s meaningful implementation of the UN Declaration and the importance of having metrics in place to measure the success of the roadmap and its activities.

IAC Members provided input to company-regulated Indigenous Monitoring Programs in the context of regulatory change and the CER regulatory framework. Members expressed the need to build technical capacity and technical skillsets at the community level so that Indigenous peoples can have meaningful conversations throughout all phases of the project lifecycle. A need for standards to ensure companies are providing appropriate training to Indigenous monitors was also noted.

The IAC was introduced to the Secretary of the Commission who acknowledged the importance of ensuring the advice of the IAC is considered in the Commission’s work at a broad strategic level, noting that the IAC does not provide advice on any decision made by the Commission. IAC Members discussed what a relationship between the Commission and IAC could look like with an introductory meeting between the Commission and the IAC Leadership as a proposed next step.

The meeting concluded with the IAC approving, by consensus, the IAC Progress and Impact Report with a few modifications and moving to a Tier One discussion on proposed updates and clarifications to the IAC Terms of Reference.

Elder Catherine Blackstock ended the meeting with closing remarks and wished everyone well.

Meeting Minutes March 2–4, 2022

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Item 1: Opening Prayer, Welcome & Land Acknowledgement

The Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) Chairperson called the meeting to order.

The meeting was opened with a prayer from Elder John Watson from Ochapowace Nation, who was introduced by the CER’s Technical Specialist, Indigenous Engagement.

The IAC Chairperson provided opening remarks, welcoming participants to the meeting and thanking Elder John Watson for starting off the meeting in a good way.

The Chairperson of the Board provided a land acknowledgement from the traditional and unceded ancestral lands of the Lkwungen People, in particular, the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations on south Vancouver Island and wished to pay them her respect, while also honouring the traditional territories of all participants. The Board Chairperson acknowledged the amount of valuable advice the IAC has shared with the CER since its establishment.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) offered a land acknowledgement from where she is located – the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy (comprising the Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai First Nations). Treaty 7 territory also includes the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda (including the Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations). The City of Calgary is home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.

Item 2: Preliminary Matters

The meeting agenda was accepted, as presented.

The Chief of Staff provided an overview of completed and outstanding action items, including a need to continue work to formalize communication between National Indigenous Organization (NIO) direct nominees and their respective nominating organizations. An initial meeting to discuss was held between the three nominated IAC Members and IAC leadership.

It was also noted that IAC Members will be continuing for a third year with the committee. The CER will be engaging with NIOs, as well as others including the IAC, about the longer term renewal of IAC membership in summer 2023. It was suggested that the CER consider the inclusion of additional youth members as part of the 2023 IAC renewal.

IAC Members approved the minutes for the IAC December 15-17, 2021 meeting and the IAC meeting of February  9, 2022.

Item 3: Leadership Update

This Item was for Information and Discussion and advances the Relationships and Governance Work Priority, Deliverable #4

The IAC Vice-Chairperson summarized the communication, engagement and other activities undertaken by IAC leadership since the last IAC meeting. This included regular meetings with CER and Board leadership to continue to build relationships, discuss the IAC’s work progress, and to provide early feedback on CER initiatives in relation to the IAC.

The Committee discussed correspondence directed to the IAC, set in the context of adjudicative matters before the Commission:

  • The IAC recognizes the adjudicative independence of the Commission. There was a request to look for opportunities for CER and IAC to engage with Nations and communities to hear their concerns and learn how to address them at a broader systematic level.
  • It was suggested that lessons learned be examined, once the adjudication process is concluded.
  • There was a request to develop communication tools that clarify the IAC’s role – specifically that the Committee cannot engage on a specific adjudicative matter, but that it is important for the IAC to be aware of what is happening within the broader context.

Item 4: CER Progress Update – Updates from the Board of Directors and CER CEO; IAC Advice Register

This Item was for Information and Discussion and advances the Relationships and Governance Work Priority, Deliverable #3

The Board Chairperson highlighted updates that have been made to the IAC Advice Register and also shared the outcome of recent discussions of the Board for awareness:

  • During the February Board Governance Committee meeting potential updates to the IAC Terms of Reference were discussed including:
    • Evolving language to represent the two approaches to how the Board and IAC are working together with regards toseeking strategic advice and the co-development of certain initiatives; and
    • Further clarifying that the IAC does not represent rights holders or replace Crown consultation.
  • The Board decided to extend current IAC Members’ terms by one year, to summer 2023.

The CEO provided updates on a variety of topics including response to flooding in British Columbia, and the safe return of the Trans Mountain pipeline to maximum operating pressure. The CEO discussed the CER’s ongoing work with the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committees for the Trans Mountain and Line 3 pipelines; the CER’s flagship Canada’s Energy Future 2021 Report and future work to model net-zero; and the CER’s progress to hire a new Professional Leader, Reconciliation.

Topics of discussion included:

  • The ongoing review process for the Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPR) and the limited capacity of certain Nations and communities to participate. The CEO noted the high level of interest from Indigenous communities and organizations, in particular, that the timeline for the current review has been extended and additional sources of funding for the process are being explored; and
  • The CEO confirmed that two Indigenous Monitors have been hired on a full-time basis by the CER.

Item 5: Regulatory Framework, Governance, and the Onshore Pipeline

This Item was for Information and Discussion and advances the Indigenous Peoples involvement within Regulatory Oversight Work Priority, Deliverable #18

The Executive Vice-President Regulatory provided an overview of the CER’s Regulatory Framework, associated governance roles and responsibilities, with a specific focus on the OPR. The purpose of the presentation was to set the context for the regulatory workshop on Indigenous Monitoring to be held with the IAC on March 3, 2022.

Topics of discussion regarding the OPR review included:

  • A need to clarify the IAC’s role in the OPR review;
  • Considering the potential use of other bodies, such as the Indigenous Advisory Monitoring Committees (IAMCs), to provide a more technical review of the Regulations while the IAC would focus more on the process at a strategic governance level, as per its mandate also noting that IAC advice would not be on behalf of Nations or rights-holders
  • Highlighting that the capacity of individuals and Nations and communities to engage meaningfully is limited; and
  • Noting the importance of clearly conveying what feedback is being sought and how it may connect to broader legislative and regulatory changes.

Day 2: Thursday, 3 March 2022

Item 6: Opening Prayer, Welcome & Land Acknowledgement

The IAC Chairperson welcomed back the participants and asked them if they had any thoughts to share from the previous day’s discussion.

It was noted that while the IAC Advice Register is helpful, it would be valuable to capture the key themes articulated by IAC, in particular those that are relevant to common initiatives across the Government of Canada. It would also be important to demonstrate how these key themes effect change and are incorporated into different CER policies and practices.

The meeting was opened with a traditional welcoming song and prayer from Elder Catherine Blackstock, Gitxsan Hereditary Chief, who was introduced by the CER’s Technical Specialist, Indigenous Engagement.

The IAC Chairperson thanked Elder Blackstock for starting the meeting off in a good way.

Item 7: Strategy for Indigenous Peoples’ Involvement in Lifecycle Oversight

This Item was for Strategic Advice and advances the Indigenous Peoples’ involvement in Regulatory Oversight Work Priority, Deliverable # 18

The Executive Vice-President Transparency and Strategic Engagement provided an overview of the CER’s Roadmap for Enhancing the Involvement of Indigenous Peoples in Regulatory Oversight and sought the IAC’s advice and feedback on the CER’s proposed strategy.

The following strategic advice was provided:

  • The organization should focus on the articles of the UN Declaration that are most salient to the CER’s work to measure the CER’s meaningful implementation of the UN Declaration.
  • Metrics are required to measure success of the Roadmap and its activities.The organization should consider utilizing a “heat map” or visual image of how the CER is progressing. Additionally, the CER should set progress milestones to successfully pace and track the work.
  • Members highlighted the importance of taking a systemic approach to change. Effective communications tools that help Indigenous peoples, at the community level, understand the relevancy of the CER is critical. The CER should also consider the use of visual content in its communication tools.
  • The CER Regulatory Framework should reflect the diversity of Indigenous perspectives. There is a need for space and flexibility that considers the realities of oversight at the local level.

A need for IAC support to identify Indigenous experts to advise the CER on how to implement the UN Declaration. Need assistance on the interpretation of jurisprudence (case law) both at a systemic and specific level by Indigenous legal experts. Start by holding an exploratory meeting with these individuals to flesh out the key issues to be addressed.

The Executive Vice-President Transparency and Strategic Engagement emphasized that the CER Roadmap is aiming for systematic change; it is a strategy for how the CER will implement regulations and use other specific tools. Any further IAC feedback would be welcome over the next three weeks.

Item 8: Regulatory Workshop: Indigenous Monitoring

This Item was for Strategic Advice and advances the Indigenous Peoples’ involvement in Regulatory Oversight Work Priority, Deliverable #18

The Director Environmental Protection set the stage for the regulatory workshop by providing an overview of company-regulated Indigenous Monitoring Programs (IMPs) in the context of regulatory change and the CER regulatory framework. The purpose of the workshop was

  • To gather strategic advice on the goals and objectives of Regulated Company IMPs; and
  • To inform the OPR review and other potential regulatory framework opportunities.

The following strategic advice was provided:

  • Standards need to be in place for training Indigenous Monitors to ensure all companies are providing appropriate training for Indigenous Monitors.
  • Technical capacity needs to be built at the community level to ensure that Indigenous peoples are able to have meaningful conversations throughout all phases of the project lifecycle.
  • Building technical capacity and developing technical skillsets (e.g. in areas of engineering) within communities contributes to the overall economy and wellness of their communities.
  • The process needs to be participatory from the beginning, it needs to cover more than the oversight and construction phase, and it needs to provide opportunities for communities to engage in a meaningful way that includes inviting Indigenous Monitors and/or leadership into the initial planning process for activities. The CER also needs to be mindful of the role of Indigenous leadership and Indigenous monitors in the regulatory oversight process
  • There ae unique geographical attributes of each area and distinct needs of rights-holders in those areas .
  • While current company monitoring programs tend to be site specific and integrated into environmental programs, the CER should consider other aspects of company work throughout the lifecycle of a project that Indigenous monitors could be involved in. For example, Indigenous monitors could be invited to provide input into the environmental assessment and remediation process(es), and energy transition projects.
  • In addition to having Indigenous leaders and monitors involved, ot will be important to also have industry at the table. The discussion with the IAC will help to frame those discussions with industry.

Day 3: Friday, March 4, 2021

Item 9: Preparation for IAC Leadership Meet and Greet with the Commission

This Item was for Information and Discussion and advances the Crown Consultation and Accommodation Work Priority, Deliverable #20

The Chief of Staff introduced the Vice-President Secretary of the Commission who acknowledged the importance of ensuring the advice of the IAC is considered in the Commission’s work at a broad strategic level, noting that the IAC does not provide advice on any particular decision made by the Commission.

Following a roundtable of introductions, the Chief of Staff explained that the purpose of the discussion was to explore what a relationship between the Commission and IAC could look like. An introductory meeting between the Commission and the IAC Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson is proposed in the coming months.

It was noted that any interaction between the Commission and the IAC would proceed with full transparency as outlined in the IAC Terms of Reference.

Topics of discussion included:

  • The importance of developing the relationship between the IAC and Commission first;
  • Giving consideration to potential opportunities for discussion (e.g., providing a debrief to the IAC after adjudicative decisions are made to understand the reasoning behind decisions and develop potential opportunities to learn from one another);
  • A request by the IAC to receive a briefing from CER staff on the functions of the Commission;
  • A list of potential topics for discussion, such as Crown consultation and accommodation, and capacity for Nations to engage; and
  • That the Commission had previously indicated their support of including the development of a relationship with the IAC in their work plan (as conveyed by the Chief of Staff).

Item 10: IAC Annual Progress and Impact Report

This item was for Endorsement and advances the Relationships and Governance Work Priority, Deliverable #3

The Chief of Staff reviewed the changes made to the report since the IAC meeting February 9, 2022, including the clarification that IAC Members do not represent rights holders and that the Board retains its legislative authority when initiatives are co-developed between the IAC and Board. The term cultural competency was expanded to cultural competency and humility.

Topics of discussion included

  • A request to include, in the communications materials, language on the IAC’s unique relationship with the CER;
  • A request to adjust language in the ‘About the IAC’ section; and
  • A potential use of a future IAC meeting session to develop a vision statement and core principles for the IAC and potentially revisiting the guiding principles within the IAC Terms of Reference.

The report was approved by consensus with the above changes incorporated.

Item 11: IAC Discussion and Review of Terms of Reference

This Item was for Discussion and advances the Relationships and Governance Work Priority, Deliverables #1 and 5

Key outcomes of the IAC Discussion included:

  • Discussion of proposed amendments to the Terms of Reference, and agreement to emphasize that work planning, and the items on which the IAC provides strategic advice, are co-developed with the Board; and
  • The tentative plan to meet in-person in June, including the need to understand and ensure robust COVID protocols are followed.

Item 12: Closing Remarks

Elder Catherine Blackstock ended the meeting with closing remarks and wished everyone well.

Meeting Adjourned at 1:00 pm MT on March 4, 2022

Recording Secretary: Katherine Murphy, Chief of Staff

Meeting Minutes: February 9, 2022
Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Item 1: Welcome & Land Acknowledgement

The Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) Chairperson called the meeting to order.

Chief Harvey McLeod offered an opening prayer to start the meeting in a positive way.

Item 2: Preliminary Matters

The meeting agenda was accepted, as presented.

Item 3: Discussion: IAC Role and Approach to Work; Progress To-Date

This Item was for Discussion and advances the Relationships and Governance Work Priority

The IAC Chairperson highlighted that the intent of the discussion is an opportunity to re-centre the work and role of the IAC.

The Chief of Staff provided an overview of a draft IAC Progress & Impact Report highlighting the purpose of the report as well as key areas of progress. The IAC Progress & Impact Report is intended to be an annual report that is shared publicly once finalized.

Discussion included:

  • The Progress and Impact Report is a fair and accurate compilation of progress to-date
  • Future development of metrics or an IAC ‘score-card’
  • The meaning of the report’s ‘progress meter’, and discussion of the progress meter for each Work Priority
  • Cultural competency at the CER, including as it relates to procurement and engagement, and with a suggestion that the CER undertake blanket ceremonies as part of its cultural competency framework
  • The role of the IAC in providing strategic advice and in developing initiatives collaboratively with the Board of Directors
  • Noting that IAC, in delivering its mandate, does not represent rights holders and does not replace the CER’s engagement and Crown consultation with Indigenous peoples
    • The IAC codevelops policies and practices with the CER, which will help the organization consult and accommodate rights holders in alignment with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act
  • Accessibility of the Progress and Impact Report and how it will be shared
  • Support for the direct nominees of the National Indigenous Organizations in communicating the report to their respective Organizations

The next step is for the draft Progress and Impact Report to be discussed with the Board of Directors, then finalized for IAC endorsement at the March Regular Meeting.

Item 4: Closing Remarks

IAC Members provided closing remarks.

Meeting Adjourned at 3:00 pm MT on February 9, 2022

Recording Secretary: Katherine Murphy, Chief of Staff

Meeting Summary: December 15–17, 2021

The Canada Energy Regulator Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) met virtually on December 15–17, 2021. The meeting was opened and closed by Elder Jeannette Starlight from Tsuut’ina Nation.

The meeting began with an update from IAC Leadership on their communication, engagement and other activities since the last meeting. The IAC also received updates from the CER Chairperson highlighting recent discussions of the Board and explaining how IAC advice has been incorporated, and from the CEO related to a variety of topics including recent flooding in British Columbia, and the Commission’s upcoming reviews of pipeline abandonment cost estimates.

The IAC approved a Communications and Engagement Protocol for the Committee.

The IAC reviewed and provided strategic advice on a CER summary of Supreme Court of Canada direction regarding Crown consultation and accommodation. The importance of juxtaposing with the UN Declaration, and ensuring the document captures the perspectives of Indigenous peoples was emphasized.

The IAC reviewed and provided input into a series of items it is co-developing with the Board of Directors on implementing the UN Declaration within the CER’s mandate. The IAC discussed the complexity of mapping key articles of the UN Declaration to the CER’s mandate, and provided feedback on a draft CER Statement on Reconciliation. The IAC considered draft Terms of Reference for a Working Group of Directors and IAC Members on the UN Declaration.

The IAC met with the Co-Chairs of the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committees (IAMCs) for Trans Mountain and Line 3. The Indigenous Co-Chairs shared their perspectives and experiences including lessons learned, challenges and recommendations for moving forward with renewal of the IAMCs. The group discussed how the relationship between the IAC and IAMCs could be formalized.

The Members then held an IAC Discussion on Committee progress and next steps.

Meeting Minutes December 15–17, 2021

Day 1: Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Item 1: Opening Prayer, Welcome & Land Acknowledgement

The Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) Chairperson called the meeting to order.

The meeting was opened with a prayer from Elder Jeannette Starlight from Tsuut’ina Nation, who was introduced by the CER’s Technical Specialist, Indigenous Engagement.

The IAC Chairperson provided opening remarks, welcoming participants to the meeting and thanking Elder Jeannette Starlight for starting off the meeting in a good way.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) offered a land acknowledgement from where she is located – the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy (comprising the Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai First Nations). Treaty 7 territory also includes the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda (including the Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations). The City of Calgary is home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.

Item 2: Preliminary Matters

The meeting agenda was accepted, as presented.

IAC Members approved the minutes for the IAC August 23, 2021 meeting and the Joint IAC Board meeting August 31 and September 2–3, 2021.

Item 3: Leadership Update

This Item was for Information and Discussion and advances the Relationships and Governance Work Priority, Deliverable #4

The IAC Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson summarized the communication, engagement and other activities undertaken by IAC leadership since the last IAC meeting. This included regular meetings with CER leadership and discussions with individual IAC Members including in relation to the pace of the IAC’s progress.

It was noted that the discussions with individual Members could be used to help identify additional areas of work where IAC Members have expressed interest and/or availability. It was suggested that a competency matrix or similar tool be developed for the IAC to reflect Members’ skill sets and areas of interest.

Item 4: CER Progress Update – Update from the Board of Directors; IAC Advice Register; IAC Work Plan

This Item was for Information and Discussion and advances the Relationships and Governance Work Priority, Deliverable #3

The Board Chairperson highlighted that updates have been made to the IAC Advice Register and also shared the outcome of recent discussions of the Board for awareness:

  1. The upcoming release, in January 2022, of a discussion paper launching the CER’s review of the Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPRs), and how it incorporates previous input from the IAC.
  2. A Board discussion on approaches to working with the IAC, including strategic advice and co-development.
  3. A Board decision to offer to extend current IAC Member terms by one year, to summer 2023.

The Chief Executive Officer provided updates on a variety of topics including: CER response to the recent flooding in British Columbia; renewal of the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committees (IAMCs); and the Commission of the CER’s upcoming reviews of both Abandonment Cost Estimate and Set-Aside and Collection Mechanisms for all pipeline companies the CER regulates.

The CEO shared that the CER is hiring a Professional Leader, Reconciliation. The CER is seeking interest from an IAC member to advise the EVP, Transparency and Strategic Engagement on the hiring process for this position.

Topics of discussion included:

  • With regard to the OPR discussion paper:
    • The need to build on the lessons learned from the IAMCs to ensure they are applied to new projects.
    • The UN Declaration should be referenced prominently in the OPR to frame the conversation at the community level.
    • Noting that there are some topics in the paper which do not contain a specific discussion question related to Indigenous issues, and to consider adding these.
    • Emergency response to natural disasters, and environmental degradation resulting from natural disasters should be brought into the conversation.
  • With regard to IAC Membership extensions: staggered terms should be considered for continuity.
  • The CER needs to ensure progress is being made and is demonstrable in concrete terms. Some concerns were raised about whether the IAC is having sufficient impact and whether it is fully integrated into the work of the CER.

The CER will update the IAC on feedback received during the engagement phase of the OPR review and the IAC will continue to be engaged during key phases of the multi-year review.

Item 5: IAC Communications and Engagement Protocol

This Item was for Decision and advances the Relationships and Governance Work Priority, Deliverable #6

The Chief of Staff noted that the draft IAC Communications and Engagement Protocol had been updated to reflect the IAC’s September 2021 comments related to the role of the Vice-Chair and media enquiries.

The IAC approved the Communications and Engagement Protocol by consensus.

Item 6: Supreme Court of Canada Direction on Crown Consultation and Accommodation

This Item was for Strategic Advice and advances the Crown Consultation and Accommodation Work Priority, Deliverable #19

The Executive Vice-President Law and General Counsel provided an overview of a CER document that summarizes Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) direction regarding Crown consultation and accommodation. The document is a foundational piece to be used as a resource moving forward.

The following strategic advice was provided:

  • The UN Declaration goes beyond the SCC’s direction on crown consultation and accommodation. Future work should juxtapose the two. The greatest opportunity to reflect the UN Declaration might be through implementing Free Prior and Informed Consent.
  • While the document effectively captures the CER’s perspective of SCC decisions, it does not reflect the Nations’ perspectives. Further engagement with Indigenous experts will be an important step to ensure Indigenous perspectives are considered in the interpretation of SCC decisions.
  • An introductory roadmap to be added to assist with navigation of the document as well as a listing of the definitions of the legal terms used.
The IAC Chairperson encouraged Members to share any additional comments with General Counsel. This item will return to the IAC, and to include how the CER applies the SCC’s direction to its Crown consultation and accommodation approach.

Day 2: Thursday, December 16, 2021

Item 7: Implementing the UN Declaration within the CER’s mandate

These Items were for Co-Development and advance the UN Declaration Work Priority, Deliverables #10-13

Application of the UN Declaration within the CER’s mandate

The Executive Vice-President Law and General Counsel provided an overview of the CER’s proposed approach to implementing the UN Declaration and sought the IAC’s input on a foundational document to inform the CER’s understanding of where there is a connection between key articles of the UN Declaration and the CER mandate.

Input provided to the co-development process:

  • Mapping out how the key articles of the UN Declaration link to the CER’s mandate is a complex process.
    • Further discussion at the IAC and/or within the proposed IAC-Board UN Declaration Working Group, and with the direct input of rights-holders and Indigenous experts, will be required to help ensure the implementation of key articles are aligned with Indigenous perspectives.
    • The exercise of linking key UN Declaration articles to the CER mandate provides an opportunity for the IAC to help the CER shape the principles and processes to better recognize Indigenous rights in the work on the ground.
  • A need to incorporate meaningful measures to monitor the progress of implementation within a specific timeframe.

Draft Statement on Reconciliation

The Executive Vice-President Transparency and Strategic Engagement provided an overview and sought the IAC’s input on the CER’s draft Statement on Reconciliation, specifically whether it captures the IAC’s earlier input and inspires transformational change in how the CER will move forward with Reconciliation.

Input provided to the co-development process:

  • Recognizing that this is a working document, there were no significant issues raised with the wording of the draft statement. There was a request for inclusion of the link between the CER and the Minister of Natural Resources as the organization is only one part of the larger federal government.
  • The IAC’s role is to provide strategic advice to the Board; Members do not represent rights holders or provide a conduit between the CER and Nations. It is the CER’s responsibility to consult with Nations.
  • The statement is a good way for the CER to communicate its intent and commitment with regard to its journey towards Reconciliation.

The Chairperson of the Board noted that it is important that the CER and the IAC are building these pieces as a collaborative process. Co-development of the Statement on Reconciliation should take the time necessary for the IAC and the Board of Directors to develop a statement that resonates with both groups.

Terms of Reference for IAC Working Group on UN Declaration

The CER Chief of Staff provided an overview of the proposed IAC-Board working group on the UN Declaration and sought IAC endorsement of their Terms of Reference. The working group would be a mechanism for CER staff to get early input on CER initiatives related to the implementation of the UN Declaration. The Group would not have delegated authority; formal advice on specific deliverables would come from the full IAC and Board of Directors.

Input provided to the co-development process:

  • The Working Group should consider how and where it should focus its efforts in carrying out the work.
  • There was a discussion about IAC members seeking feedback on items from outside consultants, and questions regarding resources for the IAC were discussed.

The IAC Chairperson encouraged IAC members to take a closer look at the Terms of Reference for the Working Group with the goal to endorse it and move forward in the New Year.

Day 3: Friday, December 17, 2021

Item 8: Annual Engagement with Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committees’ Indigenous co-chairs

This Item was for Information and Discussion and advances the Relationships and Governance Work Priority, Deliverable #8

The IAC Chairperson provided opening remarks on the opportunities for learning between the IAC and the IAMCs and the need to elevate the lessons learned to a more strategic level. This discussion is an opportunity to begin the conversation on how to formalize the relationship between the three committees.

The Executive Vice-President Transparency and Engagement and the CER Chief of Staff provided an overview of the two IAMCs and IAC.

Following the initial presentation, the IAMC Indigenous Co-Chairs shared their perspectives and experiences, including lessons learned, challenges and recommendations for moving forward with renewal of their funding program for the next five years.

Topics of discussion included:

  • The challenge of reaching consensus on shared priorities for IAMC renewal across multiple departments and with the Indigenous caucus. The challenge of conducting lifecycle work under a temporary funding model.
  • The need for and impact of deep culture change within federal government departments, and the significant risk of inaction.
  • The impact of the recent flooding on Indigenous communities in British Columbia highlighted the need for the IAMCs and Indigenous Monitors to maintain their role in emergency response management. The IAMCs should broaden their role in providing advice to regulators.
    • Indigenous monitors are connected to the land and communities which allows them to bring the voices of the Elders and a rich understanding of the land to their role as monitors.
  • Increased hiring of Indigenous peoples to roles throughout the CER will achieve a sustainable and more inclusive community.
  • The role of the CER in ensuring the proponent conducts adequate engagement with impacted Nations.
  • The objective of the IAMC’s to move from an advisory role to an oversight role.

As a next step in developing a formalized relationship between the two IAMCs and the IAC, it was proposed that a presentation to the IAMCs on the IAC be given. The Chief of Staff will coordinate with IAC leadership.

Item 9: IAC Discussion

The IAC went in-camera (with the Chief of Staff) to discuss priorities, progress, and next steps. Action items from the IAC Discussion are:

  • A meeting between IAC leadership and the three Members directly nominated to the IAC by National Indigenous Organizations
  • Consider a longer IAC Discussion in the New Year (one or two meetings) to discuss the IAC approach to working and progress, including co-development and strategic advice, and measuring progress and success.
  • Chief of Staff to confirm with individual IAC Members if they wish to extend their terms by one year.
  • Two IAC Members were identified to advise the EVP Transparency and Strategic Engagement on the hiring process for the Professional Leader, Reconciliation.

Item 10: Closing Remarks

Elder Jeannette Starlight ended the meeting with a closing prayer and wished everyone well.

Meeting Adjourned at 1:00 pm MT on December 17, 2021

Recording Secretary: Katherine Murphy, Chief of Staff

Meeting Summary: August 31 and September 2–3, 2021

The Canada Energy Regulator Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) met virtually on August 31 and September 2–3, 2021. The Board of Directors participated in the meeting on August 31 and September 2. The meeting was opened with a prayer from Elder Vera Marie Crowchild from Tsuut’ina Nation.

The CER Executive Vice-President Law and General Counsel opened a conversation on the CER’s path towards reconciliation. IAC Members and Directors agreed to co-develop a Statement on Reconciliation, based on a set of principles or commitments which are grounded in the work of the regulator.

A subsequent item was presented by the Executive Vice-President Regulatory on a draft Indigenous Knowledge Policy Framework, led by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada. IAC Member and Director views were sought on the draft Framework in the CER’s context. Discussion highlighted the challenges of a single policy framework that covers First Nations, Métis, and Inuit perspectives as well as all communities. Further, discussion highlighted the need to consider the draft principles through the lens of the UN Declaration and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

An upcoming review of the Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPRs) was discussed, with a focus on the engagement process. Discussion included the need to analyze feedback that has been received to date on the OPRs as a means to inform the engagement process and areas that require updates. Members also expressed interest in understanding how the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act would be considered within the OPR review along with other potential subjects such as economic reconciliation and energy transition.

The Chief of Staff proposed, for IAC discussion, an initial approach to additional IAC work between quarterly meetings with a goal to build and maintain relationships, increase awareness and capacity of the CER and its mandate, ensure the IAC is fully integrated into the CER’s governance structure, and help deliver on the ambitious work plan. Further discussion will follow at the next IAC meeting.

The Members then entered a Tier One discussion to discuss priorities, interests, and next steps.

Meeting Minutes August 31 and September 2–3, 2021

Day 1: Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Item 1: Opening Prayer, Welcome & Land Acknowledgement

The Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) Chairperson called the meeting to order.

The meeting was opened with a prayer from Elder Vera Marie Crowchild from Tsuut’ina Nation, who was introduced by the CER’s Technical Leader, Indigenous Advisor and Cultural Protocol.

The IAC Chairperson provided opening remarks, welcoming participants to the meeting and thanking Elder Vera Marie Crowchild for starting off the meeting in a good way.

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. The Board Chairperson noted that it was the first anniversary since the establishment of the IAC and that it has been a shared learning journey together.

Item 2: Preliminary Matters

The meeting agenda was accepted, as presented.

Item 3: Roundtable

Three new CER Directors had been appointed since the last IAC meeting. Through a roundtable, IAC Member and Directors of the Board introduced themselves; sharing where they were joining from, and why they joined the IAC or the Board of Directors.

Item 4: CER Progress Update – Update from the Board of Directors; IAC Advice Register; IAC Work Plan

The Board Chairperson provided an update on the IAC Advice Register and the IAC Work Plan noting:

  • The IAC work plan is ambitious, and the Board is supportive. The document will be evergreen and flexible as the work evolves.
  • Updates have been made to the Work Plan as a result of Board, IAC and staff feedback including:
    • Furthering alignment between the strategic plan and IAC work plan.
    • Clarifying that co-development work to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration) is subject to the broader work that the Government of Canada is undertaking.
    • Adding reference to relevant articles of the UN Declaration and to include other seminal reports such as the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and of the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls.
  • CER Staff have developed a visual of the Work Plan as a tool to communicate the IAC’s work plan. IAC Members were encouraged to provide feedback at any time.

Topics of discussion included:

  • Appreciation for the IAC Advice Register as well as a request to add the date for when IAC advice was received. The group identified a need to, over time, discern which items are advice and which are for action, by whom (i.e., CER, Board, IAC), and over what timeframe. Members emphasized the importance of seeing the impact of their advice and how it was implemented.
  • IAC Members noted that several federal departments have established Indigenous Advisory Committees and requested staff provide an overview on which committees are in place as well as their mandates and membership.
  • Members expressed interest in understanding the evolving legal landscape related to how the CER’s work impacts Indigenous peoples exercising their rights. The Chief of Staff noted that, as an example, an analysis will be coming forward to the IAC regarding the legal landscape relating to the CER’s Crown Consultation approach.

Item 5: Working Definition of Reconciliation

As part of the UN Declaration IAC Work Priority, this item is co-developed between the IAC and the Board.

The CER Executive Vice-President Law and General Counsel opened the item by providing context on the item stemming from the IAC Work Plan and implementation plan of the Reconciliation Strategic Priority. With early input from IAC and Board Leadership, the item is being presented to support a conversation between the Board and IAC on the path forward towards reconciliation and how best to collaboratively approach this effort.

The IAC and Board agreed to co-develop a Statement on Reconciliation, based on a set of principles or commitments which are grounded in the work of the regulator. The following strategic advice was given to be incorporated into the co-development process:

  • The CER should not seek to “define” reconciliation.
  • Reconciliation should be described as a journey with the principles reflecting the fact that we are on a shared path, inclusive of co-development. The UN Declaration is a framework for reconciliation.
  • Test the principles against past activity(ies) to discover how the principles work in practice.
  • Identify how the government’s commitments to implementing the UN Declaration may reconcile with the CER’s current regulatory regime and practices.
  • Set up a conversation between industry and the CER on what implementing reconciliation looks like.
  • Engage National Indigenous Organizations and individual Nations and communities on the CER’s approach to reconciliation.

Day 2: Thursday, September 2, 2021

Item 6: Opening Prayer, Welcome & Land Acknowledgement

The meeting was opened with a prayer from Elder Vera Marie Crowchild from Tsuut’ina Nation.

The IAC Chairperson welcomed participants back to the meeting and thanked Elder Vera Marie Crowchild for starting off the meeting in a good way.

The Board Chairperson acknowledged the territories of all participants, thanking IAC and Board members for openly sharing their thoughts about reconciliation during the previous day’s discussion.

Item 7: Government of Canada Indigenous Knowledge Policy Framework

As part of the Crown Consultation and Accommodation IAC Work Priority, the IAC provided advice and input to the Board on this item.

The Executive Vice-President Regulatory provided an overview of the development and content of the draft Indigenous Knowledge Policy Framework, led by the Impact Assessment Agency, and sought the IAC and Board of Directors’ advice on the draft Framework in the CER’s context.

Advice and input included:

  • It is challenging to develop a single policy framework that incorporates First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives as well as all communities. Indigenous law and Indigenous science are encompassed in Indigenous knowledge.
  • Replace the word “consideration” within principal three as it diminishes the intent of what the UN Declaration calls for. Instead, refer to “incorporation and integration” of Indigenous knowledge.
  • Though recognizing it is First Nations specific, there is a connection with principles of OCAP (Ownership, Control, Access and Possession) – a tool to support information governance on the path to First Nations data sovereignty.
  • There is a need for earnest engagement at the community level recognizing that there is work going on across the country. Further, the draft principles should be evaluated through the lens of the UN Declaration and Bill C-15.

The Vice President Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation confirmed that feedback will be provided to the Impact Assessment Agency and that the discussion will continue. Further, he confirmed that CER specific guidance would be developed once the Indigenous Knowledge Policy Framework is in place.

Item 8: Onshore Pipeline Regulations: Overview and process for amendment

As part of the Indigenous Peoples’ Involvement in Regulatory Oversight IAC Work Priority, the IAC provided advice and input to the Board on this item.

The Executive Vice-President Regulatory provided an overview of the Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPRs) and the scope of the upcoming regulatory review noting that the work to date has benefited from feedback received from the Indigenous Advisory Monitoring Committees (IAMCs) on the current regulations. The purpose of the presentation was to seek advice and input on the upcoming CER engagement and review process.

Advice and input included:

  • The CER should identify and analyze the feedback that has been received to date on the OPRs through Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committees and from Indigenous communities to inform the engagement process and areas that require updates. Acknowledging what has already been heard by the CER helps support a respectful start to the engagement forward.
  • The CER should articulate how Bill C-15 would be considered as part of the OPR review. There was general recognition that there is a desire to disrupt how process and requirements were previously set, to appropriately incorporate Indigenous rights and perspectives.
  • The CER should identify how jurisdictional issues, economic reconciliation, energy transition, industry standards and change management may be incorporated into the OPR and/or the review process.

Item 9: Closing Remarks

Elder Vera Marie Crowchild wished everyone well.

Day 3: Friday, September 3, 2021

Item 10: Opening Prayer, Welcome & Land Acknowledgement

The Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) Chairperson called the meeting to order. The meeting was opened with a prayer from Elder Vera Marie Crowchild from Tsuut’ina Nation.

Item 11: Proposed Approach to Working Between Meetings

As a result of feedback from IAC Members and in the course of developing the IAC Work Plan a discussion on the potential of IAC work between meetings was requested by the Committee. The Chief of Staff noted that the purpose of potential additional work would be to build and maintain relationships, increase awareness and capacity of the CER and its mandate, ensure the IAC is fully integrated into the CER’s governance structure, and help deliver on the ambitious work plan. A variety of options were presented and discussed.

Topics of discussion included:

  • Recognition that there is varying capacity between IAC Members and that any work between meetings would be optional. It will be important to have occasional check-ins with members who do not have the ability to participate more frequently. It was emphasized that all work of the IAC is to be at the strategic level and within the IAC mandate, as outlined in the Terms of Reference.
  • IAC Members requested additional clarity on scope and purpose of potential small-group work to assist Members in understanding how these may work (i.e., that a draft Terms of Reference be prepared for Committee consideration). At the same time, general recognition that not all work needs to be through formal venues and may occur through less formal discussions.
  • The need to be able to see, and show, the tangible impact of the IAC while considering the pace of change for the organization and work within our mandate.

Item 12: IAC Tier One Discussion

The IAC went in camera to discuss priorities, progress, and next steps.

In a de-brief of the Tier One discussion, the following points were highlighted:

  • Going forward, for Tier One discussions, IAC Members will meet alone to start, with the Chief of Staff joining the session part way through.
  • The Chief of Staff will summarize key take-aways from meetings held between IAC leadership and individual Members.
  • IAC leadership would like to meet with the Indigenous co-chairs of the IAMCs to discuss how the mandate of the Committees can work together.
  • There is a desire to better understand what resources the CER has at hand to support the work of the IAC (e.g., in terms of working with external experts).
  • IAC leadership may extend the November meetings (e.g., by an hour each day) depending on the Agendas, to ensure enough time for discussion.
  • It was noted that CER hiring processes impact and reflect on the IAC and advising on these processes is something the IAC can be engaged in.

Item 13: Closing Remarks

Elder Vera Marie Crowchild encouraged participants to stay safe and healthy, take care of themselves and family, and not work too hard on the important tasks ahead.

Meeting Adjourned at 1:00 pm MT on September 3, 2021

Recording Secretary: Katherine Murphy, Chief of Staff

Meeting Summary: August 23, 2021

The Canada Energy Regulator Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) met virtually on August 23, 2021. The meeting was opened with a prayer from Chief Harvey McLeod.

IAC leadership provided a report to the Committee on their communication, engagement, and other activities over the previous quarter. The Chief of Staff provided a presentation, for discussion, of the CER governance and organization structure.

The Chief of Staff introduced for IAC feedback a Communications and Engagement Protocol to support efficient, meaningful, and effective communication and engagement by the IAC Members with CER staff and external parties. The Committee discussed the Agenda for the upcoming Joint IAC and Board of Directors Meeting, and the CER General Counsel attended to discuss, for feedback, the approach to an item on a Statement on Reconciliation. The IAC had a Tier One discussion, and the IAC Chairperson closed the meeting.

Meeting Minutes August 23, 2021

Monday, August 23, 2021

Item 1: Welcome & Land Acknowledgement

The Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) Chairperson called the meeting to order. The meeting was opened with a prayer from Chief Harvey McLeod.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) offered a land acknowledgement from where she is located – the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy (comprising the Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai First Nations). Treaty 7 territory also includes the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda (including the Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations). The City of Calgary is home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.

Item 2: Preliminary Matters

The meeting agenda was reviewed and IAC Members approved the minutes for the May 4–5, 2021 meeting.

The Chief of Staff noted that current health measures in place for the CER, as a federal government entity, continue to restrict non-essential interprovincial travel. When feasible, in-person meetings of the IAC will be organized recognizing the benefits of meeting together.

The IAC Members endorsed a new approach for a meeting summary being approved by the IAC Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson immediately following the IAC meeting, to enable timely and transparent communication of IAC activities, prior to formal approval of the full meeting minutes at the next regular IAC meeting.

Item 3: IAC Leadership Update

The IAC Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson provided a written summary report of their ongoing meetings with the CER, together with any key communications of relevance. The Chairperson summarized activities undertaken by IAC leadership since the May IAC Meeting including:

  • Regular meetings with CER leadership to build relationships and offer considerations on Indigenous-related matters.
  • An information sharing meeting with the Co-chairs of the IAC of the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada that focused on the composition and expertise of the Committees, their respective work plans and areas of potential cross-over.

Areas of discussion included

  • The importance of understanding the breadth of the work the CER is doing related to Indigenous peoples and how the IAC can have an impact over the longer term;
  • The need to be conscious of the IAC scope and mandate and IAC Members best use of their time with consideration of the unique knowledge and skills of specific members; and
  • Agreement that IAC members who would like to suggest a topic for an IAC Agenda can reach out to IAC leadership who would consider and potentially raise at a Leadership meeting, add it to an Agenda or Tier One discussion, or as otherwise appropriate.

Item 4: CER Organizational Structure

Responding to a prior request of the IAC, the Chief of Staff provided a written and verbal overview of the CER organization structure including how the CER fits within the Natural Resources Canada portfolio, CER governance structure, including roles and responsibilities of each arm of the governance structure; and organization chart noting that the IAC material comes together from across the organization and IAC advice is integrated back into each of those areas.

Areas of discussion included:

  • Appreciation was noted for gaining a stronger understanding of how the CER is organized. The IAC Chairperson suggested that the CER organizational chart include the IAC with a direct line to the Board.
  • The IAC Chairperson and CEO confirmed that the Chief of Staff is the main point of contact from the CER. CER staff requests of the IAC would come through the Chief of Staff in an effort to contextualize and organize requests. The Chief of Staff will give consideration, working with IAC leadership, to providing guidance for IAC members if they receive a request or information from CER staff directly.

Item 5: IAC Communications and Engagement Protocol

The Chief of Staff presented a draft IAC Communications and Engagement Protocol for discussion and feedback. The protocol is intended to support efficient, meaningful, and effective communication and engagement by the IAC Members with CER staff; as well as with external parties including Indigenous Nations, communities, and organizations, the CER’s regulated industry, other stakeholders, and media.

Areas of discussion included:

  • The Chief of Staff noting future opportunities for IAC Members to meet with CER staff.
  • Consideration for communication between the three IAC Members that are direct nominees of National Indigenous Organizations (NIOs) and their respective nominating organization, as well as regular communication from the CER to the NIOs. Discussion of potential information updates to share and an interest in further conversation on how this may occur. IAC leadership will take this away for further discussion with CER leadership and come back to the Committee. IAC members discussed desire for timely information updates which they can share.

The Chief of Staff will circulate the draft protocol to IAC Members via email for additional comments. The protocol will be brought back to the IAC at the November meeting for formal endorsement. However, as the content is not materially new, the CER would continue to operationalize it in practice in the meantime. 

Item 6: September Meeting Look-Ahead

Agenda for September Meetings

The Chief of Staff walked through the Agenda items for the meetings on Augusut 31 and September 2–3, 2021.

The CER Executive Vice-President Law and General Counsel provided context on the agenda item on a working definition of Reconciliation in the CER context; a deliverable in the IAC work plan under the UN Declaration priority. Incorporating guidance from IAC and Board Leadership, staff are bringing forward an item that shifts focus from defining reconciliation to articulating the CER’s overall path forward to achieve reconciliation through the implementation of the UN Declaration. This path forward would also align with the CER’s Reconciliation Strategic Priority.

Areas of discussion included:

  • The IAC Chairperson noted the importance of inviting IAC members to engage in early discussions of CER initiatives.
  • Consideration of outside speakers or facilitated conversation with external individuals for the IAC to discuss topics such as regulations, Crown Consultation, etc.
  • The importance of discussing the implementation of recommendations and plans to ensure intended impacts.

Item 7: IAC Tier One Discussion

IAC members held a Tier One discussion.

IAC Chairperson closed the meeting.

Meeting Adjourned at approximately 1:00 pm MT on August 23, 2021

Recording Secretary: Katherine Murphy, Chief of Staff

Meeting Summary: May 4–5, 2021

The Canada Energy Regulator Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) met virtually on May 4–5, 2001. The meeting was opened with a prayer from Elder Doreen Bergum from the Métis Nation of Alberta Region 3.

The Chief of Staff introduced an IAC Advice Register as a standing item to track IAC advice, CER Board responses and the status of any implementation. IAC members agreed with the overall structure, and to the use of this document as a tracking tool, going forward.

The Vice-President Field Operations provided an overview of Indigenous peoples’ involvement in compliance and oversight with the CER, with a focus on Indigenous monitoring, to start the discussion on lessons learned and possible approaches to co-development of a broader, systemic approach for CER-regulated infrastructure. IAC members expressed a desire to strengthen the relationship between the IAC and IAMCs to ensure IAMC lessons learned can be brought to the IAC to be incorporated into their strategic advice to the CER. Members also highlighted the importance of sustained and targeted training for Indigenous monitors, and in finding ways to expand the role such that it is full-time, long-term, and stable with consideration being given to mentoring and succession planning.

The members then entered into a Tier One discussion, without CER staff present.

The second day began with a summary from the IAC Tier One discussion. IAC members confirmed Tribal Chief Tyrone McNeil as the IAC Chairperson and Kaella-Marie Earle as IAC Vice-Chairperson for a term ending July 31, 2022. Members expressed an interest in engaging in a dialogue on energy transition and the need to obtain clarity on their role and space within the CER, to allow them to effectively provide advice and influence change.

The next substantive item discussed was the IAC work plan. Key topics of discussion included the work priority related to Crown Consultation and Accommodation; and the importance of clear communication of technical information. The IAC work plan was endorsed, in principle, recognizing that it is a living document that will be continually improved and maintained in an evergreen manner.

The remainder of the meeting was devoted to a presentation from Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond on the implementation of the UN Declaration in the CER context, through her reflections on Bill C-15 An Act Respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Ms. Turpel-Lafond noted the importance of the CER, working collaboratively with the IAC, to develop tools on key aspects of the UN Declaration. Participants’ reflections included the importance of the CER continuing to engage a team of Indigenous thought leaders on implementing the UN Declaration. The CER was encouraged, with the assistance and advice of IAC members, to put a UN Declaration lens on its regulatory tools and continue to break new ground.

Meeting Minutes May 4–5 2021
Day 1: Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Item 1: Opening Prayer, Welcome & Land Acknowledgement

The Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) Chairperson called the meeting to order. Participants were asked to take a moment of silence to remember all those who had been lost to COVID-19 in their communities and beyond.

The meeting was opened with a prayer from Elder Doreen Bergum from the Métis Nation Alberta Region 3, who was introduced by the Canada Energy Regulator’s (CER) Technical Leader, Indigenous Advisor and Cultural Protocol.

The IAC Chairperson provided opening remarks, welcoming participants to the meeting and noting several items that were upcoming on the agenda, including a draft work plan.

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

Item 2: Preliminary Matters

The meeting agenda was accepted, as presented.

The Chief of Staff asked IAC members if they had any concerns with the minutes for the February 4–5, 2021 meeting. None were noted. Members approved the minutes.

Item 3: CER Progress Update – IAC Leadership Report; IAC Advice Register

IAC Leadership Report

The IAC Chairperson summarized the communication, engagement and other activities undertaken by IAC leadership since the February IAC Meeting including:

  • Regular meetings with CER leadership to build relationships and test items or initiatives in relation to the IAC.
  • Interviews on two external assessments; namely, on the CER’s communications approach and the CER’s governance structure.
  • Media interviews conducted following the release of the IAC Terms of Reference. IAC members asked questions about IAC leadership activities, and noted the importance of ensuring Métis, Inuit and First Nations perspectives are reflected in external assessments conducted by the CER.

IAC Advice Register

The Chief of Staff introduced an IAC Advice Register as a standing item to track IAC advice, CER Board responses and the status of implementation.

Members discussed the format and structure of the IAC Advice Register.

Suggested amendments included:

  • Adding a reference in the far right hand column, to relevant articles of the UN Declaration (in particular for the CER context – Articles 3, 19, 23, 32, 46); which could also be expanded to include other seminal reports such as the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and of the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls.
  • Creating a separate tab that only includes the IAC advice column (categorized by topic).

Following the discussion, IAC members accepted the overall structure, and agreed to the use of this document as a tracking tool going forward.

Item 4: Indigenous Peoples’ Involvement in Regulatory Oversight

The CER Executive Vice-President Regulatory gave opening comments.

The Vice-President Field Operations provided an overview of Indigenous peoples’ involvement in compliance and oversight, with a focus on Indigenous monitoring. The purpose of the presentation was to start the discussion on lessons learned, future objectives, and possible approaches to co-development of a broader, systemic approach to compliance and oversight, for CER-regulated infrastructure.

Key topics and discussion points raised during and following the presentation included:

  • The development of the two Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committees (IAMCs) and related Indigenous monitoring programs have created opportunities for Indigenous Nations to provide an Indigenous lens to regulatory oversight. The CER has gained a greater appreciation for the value that Indigenous monitors bring.
  • IAC members expressed a desire to strengthen the relationship between the IAC and IAMCs, and suggested ways of doing so. This will allow the IAMC learnings on the ground to be incorporated into the IAC's strategic advice to the CER.
  • Members suggested that staff working on Indigenous monitoring programs at the CER review the TMX line wide gathering report (December 2020) for information and ideas.
  • Members further highlighted the importance of sustained and targeted training for Indigenous monitors, and encouraged the CER and others to find ways to expand the role, such that it could be a full-time, long-term, meaningful, and stable position. The importance of succession planning and mentorship was also noted.
Members noted the importance of having a reporting structure, whereby Indigenous monitors report back to their Nations as opposed to the CER or industry.

Item 5: IAC Tier One Discussion- Confirmation of IAC Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson

Day 2: Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Item 6: Opening Prayer, Welcome & Land Acknowledgement

The meeting was opened with a prayer from Elder Doreen Bergum from the Métis Nation Alberta Region 3.

The Technical Leader, Indigenous Advisor and Cultural Protocol provided a land acknowledgement from the territories she was participating from in Calgary, Alberta, also honouring the traditional territories of all participants.

Item 7: De-brief from IAC Tier One Discussion

The IAC Chairperson provided a summary of the members’ in camera discussion noting:

  • Members moved to identify Tribal Chief Tyrone McNeil as the IAC Chairperson and Kaella-Marie Earle as IAC Vice-Chairperson for a term ending July 31, 2022. Passed by consensus.
  • Members expressed an interest in engaging in a dialogue on energy transition. This will allow Indigenous voices to be included in energy policy being developed, as the system transitions (historically, energy policy has been developed without Indigenous voices). This dialogue could be through work on Energy Futures, or other initiatives.
  • Members discussed the need to obtain clarity on their role and space within the CER, to allow them to effectively provide advice and influence change. Specific ideas discussed were to meet more regularly (including amongst themselves); and to obtain information on the CER organizational structure.
  • Members noted their general comfort with receiving drafts of work products from CER staff

Item 8: Work Plan

The Chief of Staff provided an overview of the IAC work plan, for discussion and endorsement.

During the discussion, members raised the following points on the format and content of the work plan:

  • Members discussed expanding the title of the "Crown Consultation" priority in the work plan, to become "Crown Consultation and Accommodation".
  • Members discussed expanding the description of the UN Declaration priority to include a focus on specific Articles of the Declaration and reference to other seminal reports such as the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and of the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls.
  • IAC members discussed the importance of clear communications and noted the ambition of the work plan. A suggestion was made for certain IAC members to support the CER, in reframing technical information and documents (initially the IAC work plan), to make them more accessible.
  • Consider use of case study format, to consider and contrast an issue from the perspective of each of First Nations (Treaty), First Nations (non-Treaty), Métis, and Inuit.

Following their discussion, members moved to endorse, in principle, the IAC work plan, recognizing that it is a living document and will be continually improved and maintained in an evergreen manner, including through additional discussions and input from the Committee. The motion carried on a consensus basis.

The Chief of Staff indicated that she would continue to discuss the above points with IAC and Board to make continual improvements. The next step will be for the IAC work plan to be brought to the upcoming meeting of the Board for review.

Item 9: UN Declaration in the CER Context

The IAC Chairperson welcomed guest speaker Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond. The IAC Chairperson also noted that the Board of Directors were in attendance for the presentation, to further joint learning on the UN Declaration.

The CER Executive Vice-President Law and General Counsel provided brief opening remarks, noting Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond’s recent appearance at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs in the review of Bill C-15 An Act Respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Ms. Turpel-Lafond then provided a framework for understanding the implementation of the UN Declaration in the CER context through her reflections on Bill C-15.

Key topics and discussion points raised during and following the presentation included:

  • Bill C-15 lays the foundation for transformational change. The goal of the proposed legislation is to move from transactional exchanges with Indigenous peoples to transformational and relational structures based on human rights principles. Bill C-15 provides the opportunity to shift relationships with Indigenous peoples.
  • In discussing Bill C-15 specifically, Ms. Turpel-Lafond noted that the UN Declaration could be seen as a framework to understand s.35 of the Canadian Constitution; the Declaration will reset Crown relationships, laws and policies, and should result in a more pragmatic approach to resolve conflicts (outside of the Courts).
  • Ms. Turpel-Lafond further discussed how to move from the high-level principles articulated in the UN Declaration to the practical work of implementation. She noted that developing the right tools will be important in helping to create the path to implement the UN Declaration.
  • A number of potential tools were noted for the CER context, namely:
    • Develop a process for the identification of Indigenous governing bodies, who appropriately represent rights and title holders;
    • Develop a tool to apply the concept of Free Prior and Informed Consent within the CER’s regulatory responsibilities;
    • Develop a tool to consider sustainable development and climate change innovation for Indigenous communities.
  • IAC members discussed the importance of the CER continuing to engage a team of Indigenous thought leaders on implementing the UN Declaration.
  • In response to Committee member and Director questions, Ms. Turpel-Lafond noted that the CER will need to undertake both “forward facing” work (collaboratively developing tools in the area of energy regulation) and inward facing work (cultivating tools of cultural humility, which is focused on changing mindsets, rather than a specific outcome).
  • Members discussed replacing "culture competence" with “cultural humility”, which is more reflective of an ongoing life journey; a mindset as opposed to an outcome.

The CER was encouraged, with the assistance and advice of IAC members, to put a UN Declaration lens on its regulatory tools and continue to break new ground.

Item 10: Closing Remarks

Elder Doreen Bergum gave a closing prayer.

The IAC Chairperson and Chief of Staff provided brief closing remarks.

Meeting Adjourned at 1:14 pm MT on May 5, 2021

Recording Secretary: Katherine Murphy, Chief of Staff

Meeting Summary: February 4-5, 2021

The Canada Energy Regulator Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) and the Board of Directors met virtually on February 4–5, 2021. The meeting was opened with a prayer from Elder Doreen Bergum from the Métis Nation of Alberta Region 3, and a land acknowledgement from the Board Chairperson, from south Vancouver Island.

The first substantive item discussed was the draft IAC Terms of Reference (ToR). The CER Chief of Staff thanked IAC members who assisted in clarifying the terminology in the ToR related to the Métis Nation and the role of members appointed by the National Indigenous Organizations. It was noted that the ToR was also amended to reflect a continual approval approach. The ToR were co-endorsed by all participating Directors and IAC members.

The Vice President Energy Adjudication provided an overview and sought IAC advice on the CER’s approach to Crown Consultation; including work being undertaken and planned. The discussion following the presentation focused on the need for the CER to clearly define the roles and processes though the consultation process and for Indigenous perspectives obtained through consultation to be integrated from the earliest stages, and incorporated throughout, as part of the hearing process. Capacity gaps were also identified as a significant barrier to meaningful and effective consultation.

The second day began with a presentation from International Chief Wilton Littlechild on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration). Chief Littlechild provided a framework for understanding the UN Declaration, through his reflections and experiences on the creation and history of the UN Declaration. Chief Littlechild provided important context to the Articles of the UN Declaration all of which are positive, solution-based, and represent minimum standards of human rights. Participants’ reflections on the discussion focused on the importance of a clear and unequivocal commitment to implementing the UN Declaration, and of not taking a legalistic approach. The importance of working together was emphasized throughout the discussion.

The remainder of the meeting was devoted to a discussion on a draft IAC work plan. Key topics of discussion included how to most effectively set and understand work priorities, and evaluate progress on an annual basis. The CER will have one-on-one discussions with individual members before the next meeting; comments will be incorporated, and a revised work plan will be brought back for co-endorsement in the spring.

Meeting Minutes February 4–5, 2021
Day 1: Thursday, February 4, 2021

Item 1: Opening Prayer, Welcome & Land Acknowledgement

The Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) Chairperson called the meeting to order. The meeting was opened with a prayer from Elder Doreen Bergum from the Métis Nation Alberta Region 3, who was introduced by the Canada Energy Regulator’s (CER) Technical Leader, Indigenous Advisor and Cultural Protocol.

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

Item 2: Preliminary Matters

The CER Chief of Staff introduced and welcomed the new Executive Administrator to the IAC.

The Chief of Staff asked IAC members if they had any concerns with the minutes for the December 9–10, 2020 meeting. It was noted that all previously approved IAC meeting minutes were ready to be posted on the CER external website.

IAC members approved the minutes for the December 9–10, 2020 meeting.

Item 3: CER Progress Update – Terms of Reference

The CER Chief of Staff thanked IAC members who assisted in clarifying the terminology in the Terms of Reference (ToR) related to the Métis Nation and the role of members nominated by the National Indigenous Organizations. It was noted that the ToR was also amended to reflect a continual improvement approach.

The IAC Chairperson asked Committee members and the Board of Directors if they had any further comments or concerns before they could move to co-endorse the ToR, on the basis of an agreement by consensus.

Key topics and discussion points raised on the ToR included:

  • Committee members and Directors of the Board generally expressed an appreciation for the co-development process and the final version of the ToR
  • IAC members noted that this is a living document that would continue to evolve.
  • The ToR were co-endorsed by all IAC members and Directors.

The Chief of Staff explained that the ToR would be posted on the CER website, and shared with National Indigenous Organizations and other interested Indigenous Nations and communities, regulated companies and other government departments over the coming weeks.

Item 4: Welcome and Introduction of International Chief Wilton Littlechild

The CER Technical Leader, Indigenous Advisor and Cultural Protocol introduced International Chief Wilton Littlechild, a guest speaker on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration).

The IAC members, Directors, and senior CER leadership introduced themselves, after which the IAC Chairperson provided Chief Littlechild with a brief overview of the mandate of the IAC. It was noted, in particular, that the Board and the Committee had just co-endorsed the IAC ToR, which includes a foundational statement that the work and advice of the IAC will be grounded and guided by the UN Declaration.

Chief Littlechild acknowledged the traditional territories from where everyone was speaking, and provided some preliminary reflections on the UN Declaration, his own experiences, and the work of the IAC.

Item 5: CER Approach to Crown Consultation

The Executive Vice-President Regulatory gave opening comments.

The Vice-President Energy Adjudication provided an overview, and sought IAC advice on the CER’s proposed approach to Crown Consultation.

Key topics and discussion points raised on the presentation included:

  • The importance of language and clear communications: Language needs to refer to rights-bearing Nations and communities, to whom the duty to consult is owed.
    • The CER confirmed that the intent is to provide more meaningful opportunities for Indigenous peoples to be involved in the process from the earliest stages to ensure Indigenous perspectives and worldviews can be incorporated and addressed.
  • The roles and processes to be undertaken through the consultation process must be clearly defined: the CER should be clear on the role that various actors will play through the consultation process (CER as Crown, Commission as adjudicator, proponents); the role of the larger Government of Canada and Cabinet must also be clear, in terms of providing accommodation measures, and how Indigenous Nations and communities can elevate concerns and outstanding issues with the CER process or decisions.
  • Indigenous perspectives obtained through consultation need to be integrated from the earliest stages, and incorporated throughout, as part of the “main” hearing process.
    • Meaningful and effective consultation needs to begin during the development and design stage of the Project to ensure Indigenous perspectives and worldviews are incorporated and concerns addressed.
    • The consultation process cannot be a side process, running parallel to ‘main’ hearing process; it needs to reflect meaningful communication and cooperation with the decision makers, and involvement in decision-making, throughout. Consideration should be given to dispute resolution mechanisms.
  • Capacity gaps were identified as a significant barrier to meaningful and effective consultation, including insufficient time/expertise to participate effectively in project reviews; insufficient base capacity funding (permanent funding that goes beyond specific projects); consultation fatigue due to very large volumes of projects and inability to effectively address cumulative impacts; information gaps about consultations underway (e.g., communities not being aware of consultations that are occurring); language barriers; and physical access to the hearing process (e.g., internet access, technology).
Day 2: Friday, February 5, 2021

Item 6: An Initial Discussion – United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the CER Context and Update on Federal Legislation

The Board Chairperson welcomed back Chief Littlechild.

The CER Executive Vice-President Law and General Counsel provided brief opening remarks, noting:

  • The CER has made a clear and unequivocal commitment to implement the UN Declaration.
  • It is important to consider the overall breadth and scope of the UN Declaration rather than focusing on specific articles.
  • The CER (and others) should be cautious about being overly legalistic in respect of the work to implement the UN Declaration; any direction from the Courts is likely to provide only minimum legal expectations.

Chief Littlechild then provided a framework for understanding the UN Declaration, through his reflections and experiences on the creation and history of the UN Declaration.

Key topics and discussion points raised during and following the presentation included:

  • Chief Littlechild noted several sets of principles that may be instructive to identify shared values, including: Principles respecting the Government of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples; Principles from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action; Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples; and the UN Declaration.
  • Chief Littlechild provided important context to the Articles of the Declaration all of which are positive, solution-based, and represent minimum standards of human rights.
  • While various specific Articles were highlighted for their relevance to the work of the CER (e.g., Articles 3, 19, 23, 32, 46), the importance of reading the document as a whole, with an overarching focus on the right to self-determination, was emphasized.
  • Chief Littlechild noted that the principles reflected in the UN Declaration are Canadian ones (e.g., see Article 46(3)) and have been expressly incorporated into Bill C-15.
  • Articles 17, 40 and 47 provide a good conflict resolution mechanism. The UN Declaration has embedded positive solutions to resolve issues.
  • Participants provided some reflections on the discussion and the Declaration. Comments included the importance of a clear and unequivocal commitment to implementing the Declaration, and of not taking a legalistic approach. The importance of working together to advance this work was emphasized throughout the discussion.
  • Chief Littlechild encouraged the CER and the IAC to focus on finding solutions; what is good for Indigenous peoples is good for Canada.

Item 7: IAC Work Plan

  • Before entering into a discussion on the work plan, IAC members shared their thoughts about the importance of developing trusting relationships within the circle, and creating a safe and supportive environment. This may take time.
  • A forum could be established, where the IAC, Board and CER staff make time to learn and work through some cultural sensitivities.

The Chief of Staff discussed the broad approach for the IAC work plan, which is a living document. The proposed three-year plan provided was based on the advice of CER management and is a representation of potential items that could be brought to the IAC for advice.

Key topics and discussion points raised included:

  • Before entering into a discussion on the work plan, IAC members shared their thoughts about the importance of developing trusting relationships within the circle, and creating a safe and supportive environment. This may take time.
  • A forum could be established, where the IAC, Board and CER staff make time to learn and work through some cultural sensitivities.

The Chief of Staff discussed the broad approach for the IAC work plan, which is a living document. The proposed three-year plan provided was based on the advice of CER management and is a representation of potential items that could be brought to the IAC for advice.

Key topics and discussion points raised included:

  • How to most effectively set and understand work priorities, and then evaluate progress on an annual basis.
  • Specific tools and ideas discussed included:
    • One-on-one discussions between meetings
    • Facilitated IAC visioning session to help identify the big picture of where we are going and when/how we will get there
    • Survey questions to members between quarterly meetings
    • Meeting with IAC members only
    • Targeted working groups on specific topics between quarterly meetings
    • Creation of an advice tracker or register
    • Use of case studies
    • An annual self-evaluation process to measure IAC effectiveness
  • Each IAC meeting should include an update from the IAC Chair and Vice-Chair on their activities between quarterly meetings.
  • The CER will work to set up one-on-one discussions with individual members before the next meeting; CER staff will then incorporate comments received, and bring back a revised work plan for co-endorsement in the spring.

Item 8: Closing Remarks

IAC Chairperson and Chief of Staff provided brief closing remarks and comments on next steps.

Meeting Adjourned at 1:00pm MT on February 5, 2021

Recording Secretary: Katherine Murphy, Chief of Staff

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, December 9, 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

  • i. Mandate. 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.

  • ii. 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.

  • iii. 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.

    Les membres du CCA en général ont reconnu que même si le document d’orientation est utile, une description plus détaillée de la façon dont les conseils du CCA sont transmis à la Régie au niveau opérationnel est nécessaire.

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 December 10, 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, October 26, 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, October 27, 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 October 27, 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, October 14, 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, October 15, 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 October 15, 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, September 2, 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, September 3, 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 September 3, 2020

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