The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was adopted by the General Assembly in 2007. The Declaration establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the Indigenous peoples of the world.
UNDRIP and FPIC principles are woven throughout TC Energy governing documents (i.e., Indigenous Relations Policy, Guiding Principles, Strategy), TC Energy’s Indigenous Relations Program, and our work with Indigenous groups.
TC Energy supports the spirit and intent of UNDRIP and complies with the laws of the country in which we are operating concerning its policies on engagement with Indigenous people. We engage early with Indigenous groups to allow them to identify interests, understand the potential effects of our business activities and make decisions freely and openly. This enables the best collaborative approach to project planning, environmental avoidance, mitigation and enhancement that fully considers the potential effects on Indigenous' rights or the ability to exercise them.
Our goal at TC Energy is to achieve consent from Indigenous communities on our projects. We believe that Indigenous groups must have a meaningful say in the development of energy projects that impact them and realize long-term benefits from them.
In all jurisdictions where we have activities, we work with Indigenous groups to identify the best approach to gain support. We start by working to understand potentially impacted Indigenous communities’ concerns and mitigate project-related effects on the exercise of Indigenous rights through environmental and project-planning to earn support. Through our work, we strive to maximize project benefits for potentially affected Indigenous communities through various means, including investment in community-led initiatives, employment, contracting and supplier capacity development opportunities.
We recognize the significance of, and need, for reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Considering Indigenous communities’ input, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada’s Calls to Action and the need to adopt UNDRIP as a framework for reconciliation, we developed and released our inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2021. The RAP outlines six measurable goals, including establishing an Indigenous Advisory Council to the Executive Leadership Team, cultural awareness training for the Board of Directors and employees, investment in Indigenous communities, setting contracting targets for the work we do with Indigenous businesses and developing a framework for equity on new projects. We released the RAP Update in 2022 to report on the progress of commitments.
The countries we operate in have distinct laws protecting Indigenous rights and interests. TC Energy engages with Indigenous communities adhering to, and often exceeding, the regulatory requirements of the respective jurisdictions in which we conduct our business activities.
Our Indigenous Relations policy, strategy, guiding principles, and the IR Program inform our work with Indigenous groups, with a goal of ensuring that any effects on the exercise of Indigenous rights are mitigated throughout the project planning process.
Our goal at TC Energy is to achieve consent from Indigenous communities on our projects and to avoid and mitigate potential effects on the exercise of Indigenous and Treaty rights through appropriate environmental and project planning. We work with Indigenous groups to build consensus through early and meaningful engagement and consultation activities.