​7 facts about Canada’s Indigenous communities and oil and gas

Image: Joey Podlubny/JWN

Responsible resource development supports the growth of Canada’s Indigenous communities and is part of the broader reconciliation process, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) said in a new report this week.

Governments should take action by recognizing the advantages that oil and gas development provides in support of Indigenous self-determination and reconciliation through economic opportunities, CAPP said.

Ottawa, and provincial governments where appropriate, should focus on initiatives that will produce positive, tangible results for communities by resolving long-standing reconciliation issues, the industry lobby group said.

Additionally, there should be greater collaboration with Indigenous peoples and industry on education and skills development training.

CAPP’s report includes key stats about Indigenous communities and oil and gas development. Here’s seven of them:

  1. Between 2015 and 2016, oilsands operators invested more than $3.3 billion on procurement and worked with 399 Indigenous businesses in 66 Alberta communities.
  2. Despite the economic downturn that started in 2014, the proportion of activity with Indigenous businesses as a proportion of total capital expenditures has grown by 2.5 per cent.
  3. According to PetroLMI, in 2016 about six per cent of the oil and natural gas industry’s workforce identified as Indigenous, double the Canadian workforce average.
  4. Six per cent of apprenticeships in Canada are Indigenous people working in industry- related trades.
  5. A recent report by the Montreal Economic Institute estimates the average wage for First Nations members working in oil and natural gas extraction in 2016 was nearly $150,000 annually and more than $200,000 annually for those working on natural gas pipelines.
  6. Before Northern Gateway was cancelled by the federal government, the Alberta Equity Partners – representing 31 Indigenous communities – secured $2 billion in long-term economic, business and education opportunities with Enbridge, and a 33-per-cent ownership in the pipeline.
  7. Between 2015 and 2016, oilsands operators provided $40.79 million for consultation capacity funding to Indigenous communities.