Canada Energy Regulator announces members of 1st Indigenous advisory committee

Pipe for the Trans Mountain Pipeline is unloaded in Edson, Alta., on June 18, 2019. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press)
The Canada Energy Regulator has announced the members of a new Indigenous advisory committee which is expected to play a key advisory role to the regulator’s board of directors.

Eight people have now joined the new committee, with a ninth person to be added at the choosing of national Inuit organization Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.

The creation of the committee is part of the ongoing overhaul of the National Energy Board. The board was replaced by the Canada Energy Regulator with the passing of Bill C-69 last year.

The Canada Energy Regulator is responsible for reviewing energy project proposals that fall within its jurisdiction and makes recommendations to cabinet around approvals and issues conditions for approval. It’s also responsible for oversight of existing pipelines and transmission lines.

In overhauling the regulator, the federal government committed to “greater Indigenous participation,” which included the creation of an Indigenous Advisory Committee.

Cassie Doyle, chairperson of the regulator’s board of directors, said she’ll be looking to the committee to help make systemic change within the regulator.

“We are embarking on something quite new, which is how do you change a whole big institution with over 50 years of history.”Cassie Doyle, chairperson of the Canada Energy Regulator's board of directors

Doyle said there have been “challenging” aspects in the regulator’s history and said she’s grateful to the candidates who stepped forward to join the committee.

She said she sees a strong diversity of experience among those who have joined.

Committee to provide ‘strategic advice’

The committee’s members are:

  • Marie Delorme
  • Kaella-Marie Earle
  • Judy Gingell
  • Harvey McLeod
  • Tyrone McNeil
  • Scott Patles-Richardson
  • Matthew T. Peigan
  • Marci Riel

Several of the people joining the new committee have worked with existing Indigenous advisory and monitoring committees (IAMC) at the regulator.

Chief Matthew T. Peigan (Pasqua First Nation) and Marci Riel (Manitoba Métis Federation) have been involved with the IAMC for Enbridge Line 3, while Chief Harvey McLeod (Upper Nicola) and Tribal Chief Tyrone McNeil (Stó:lō) have been involved with the committee for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

Upper Nicola Chief Harvey McLeod is a member of the Canada Energy Regulator’s new Indigenous advisory committee. (Upper Nicola Band)

The new committee also includes youth and elder representation.

Melanie Debassige, a member of the board of directors, said she’ll be looking to the committee to “provide the board with some really strong strategic advice on some of the initiatives we have moving forward to make Canada a stronger regulator.”

Doyle said the next steps for the committee will involve bringing the group together to get to know each other, for starters. They’ll then be provided with an orientation of the regulator and meet with the board of directors and Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan.

The board and committee will be co-developing the terms of reference of their work together, with a big picture goal of transforming the relationship between the regulator and Indigenous Peoples.

The regulator said it received over 90 applications for the committee positions. Three of the positions were set aside for appointments by the Assembly of First Nation, Métis National Council and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Reconciliation means doing business differently in Canada, northerners say, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Miners hunting for metals to battery cars threaten Finland’s Sámi reindeer herders’ homeland, The Independent Barents Observer

Norway: The Arctic railway – Building a future or destroying a culture?, Eye on the Arctic

Russia: Russian Indigenous groups call on Elon Musk to boycott company behind Arctic environmental disasters, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sami in Sweden start work on structure of Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Eye on the Arctic

United States: Alaska reckons with missing data on murdered Indigenous women, Alaska Public Media

Chantelle Bellrichard, CBC News

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