Partnering with local Indigenous communities

Four people stand in a row smiling at the camera

Engaging meaningfully with Indigenous groups where our work is taking place through transparent, frequent, two-way dialogue is very important to us. This engagement is guided by FortisBC’s Statement of Indigenous Principles, which was developed in 2001, with guidance and input from Indigenous leaders across BC.

Working closely with Indigenous communities and building strong relationships is key to ensuring everyone benefits from our projects through opportunities such as procurement, education and training.

  • We are working closely with Indigenous groups on our Eagle Mountain – Woodfibre Gas Pipeline project and in 2016 signed an environmental assessment agreement with Squamish Nation – the first of its kind in Canada.
  • The Musqueam Capital Corporation is working with Clough as general contractor on an expansion of truck loading capacity at our Tilbury LNG facility. The project is bringing economic opportunities to local Indigenous businesses including Musqueam-affiliated companies.
  • We partnered with Proactive Safety and First-Aid in 2021 to create a safety officer internship on our Inland Gas Upgrades project for a member of the Ktunaxa Nation as a means of developing Indigenous talent and a potential career path.
  • We spent $4.2 million on services from 11 Indigenous-affiliated businesses for our FortisBC Gas Line Upgrades project between 2014 and 2019, including for environmental monitoring and equipment, while almost one in five of those working on the project self-identified as Indigenous.
  • We are making sure there are contracting opportunities for local Indigenous communities on our projects, including using contractors from Ktunaxa Nation and Mcleod Lake Indian Band on the Inland Gas Upgrades in 2020; and Tsawwassen First Nation on the Pattullo Gas Line Replacement .
  • We developed an equity partnership with the Stz’uminus (Chemainus) First Nation and Cowichan Tribes in 2012 on our Mt Hayes LNG facility. Each nation invested $5.7 million, creating jobs and economic opportunities in their communities. As a result, the region received $70 million in investment, which included sourcing local suppliers for goods and services, direct local employment during construction and 12 full-time operations jobs at the facility.
  • We worked with a Prince George Indigenous employment and training association to create unique on-site training opportunities for students in 2020 in Mackenzie as part of our Inland Gas Upgrades project.
  • We donated cedar logs to Suwa’lkh School in Coquitlam in 2018 that the school used to teach students traditional art and carving firsthand. 

We operate in the traditional territories of more than 150 Indigenous communities. 

Supporting local jobs and creating economic opportunities

Man sits inside a truck and another stands beside the truck, both smiling at the camera
Eric Johnston, Tsawwassen Shuttles Inc. (TSI) driver and Steve Stark, President & CEO, TSI

Part of maximizing the benefits our projects generate for BC communities is ensuring they generate local and Indigenous job and procurement opportunities. There are a number of ways we do this, such as working with contractors on their hiring policies or organizing business networking opportunities where local and Indigenous firms can learn about upcoming work. 

For example, our FortisBC Gas Line Upgrades project delivered approximately $74 million to local businesses between 2014 and 2019, while we’ve spent more than $125 million in BC since 2014 expanding our Tilbury LNG facility in Delta.