Environment: Background Content

Canadian Energy Regulator: Indigenous Advisory Committee

February 18, 2021

IAC Terms of Reference

The Canada Energy Regulator’s Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) and Board of Directors – have co-developed and, at a joint meeting in early February, co-endorsed the Committee’s Terms of Reference. This represents a key milestone in the Committee’s development, as it begins its important and groundbreaking work with the CER.

As set out in the foundational document, the Committee’s work and advice will be grounded in advancing reconciliation by helping to transform the relationship between the CER and the Indigenous peoples of Canada. Its advice will bring a broader perspective to the CER reflecting the worldviews of First Nations, the Métis Nation and Inuit. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, and the Principles Respecting the Government of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous peoples will form the foundation, and provide the roadmap, for the Committee’s work.

The Committee’s integral role within the CER’s new governance structure will allow for the development of strong relationships between the Committee and the CER. These relationships will help build trust and mutual capacity, and provide an opportunity for frank discussions, shared learnings, and the promotion of positive systemic change within the CER and its regulated industry.

While the Committee will provide advice to the CER’s Board of Directors at a broad and strategic level, it will have tangible impacts in the day-to-day operations of the regulator. The CER will, for example, seek the Committee’s advice on approaches to Indigenous peoples’ involvement in CER compliance and oversight activities, and on the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples within the CER’s mandate. This advice will bring meaningful changes to the way the CER works, including in its oversight, expectations and requirements of the CER’s regulated companies.

August 28, 2019

The CER Act

The CER Act ensures Indigenous participation in the work of the CER through:

  • Recognition of Indigenous rights and confirmation of the Government’s duty to consult, including a requirement to assess impacts on these rights and consider Indigenous knowledge in decision making.
  • A legislated requirement that at least one member of the Board of Directors and one Commissioner be Indigenous.

Creation of an Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC or Committee), with membership representing First Nations, Inuit, and Métis interests, to enhance Indigenous involvement in energy projects.

The IAC will form a part of the CER’s formal governance structure and work directly with the CER’s new Board of Directors. The purpose of the IAC is to play a key advisory role to the CER’s Board of Directors on how best to enhance the involvement of Indigenous peoples and organizations in respect of CER- regulated infrastructure and other matters. It is envisioned that the IAC will help the Board of Directors “set the bar” when shaping the organization’s strategy related to incorporating Indigenous rights and interests into the CER’s work and processes.

The establishment of the IAC is one of several priorities related to the CER’s commitment to Reconciliation. A strategy and milestones were established in April 2019 to guide the CER’s efforts to advance Reconciliation. The IAC will help the CER’s Board of Directors further shape the CER’s strategy and actions.

Commitment to Reconciliation

“We are committed to the ongoing process of Reconciliation and building a new relationship with Indigenous Peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.
Our work is guided by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the Principles respecting the Government of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous Peoples.

Meaningful engagement with Indigenous communities makes us a better regulator by supporting better decisions, improved safety and environmental protection, and effective issue resolution.”
The IAC will be comprised of 5-7 members, 3 of whom are appointed directly by representative national Indigenous organizations: the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis National Council, and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.

Other Background Content By Theme

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Indigenous Leadership Initiative: Guardians

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Indigenous Circle of Experts

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International Environmental Issues

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Indigenous Opposition to Bill C-69

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Indigenous Alliances

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