Crew fosters ongoing and meaningful engagement within our surrounding communities, recognizing and valuing the significance of Indigenous traditional lands and the importance of preserving and honoring cultural and historical rights.
Our approach to working with First Nations is grounded in respect, honesty, open communication, and consistency. We understand the importance of developing and nurturing long-term relationships built on integrity and trust, and we prioritize these principles in all engagement efforts.
“From project planning, to construction, as well as reclamation, Crew seeks input and guidance from Indigenous communities during each phase of the development life cycle.”
– Matteo Villani, Senior Surface Landman, 11.5 years with Crew
Indigenous, First Nations, and Metis Proactive Engagement
Over the years, we have continually enhanced our engagement efforts through various methods, processes, and initiatives, including:
- Advising Chief and Council on Crew’s long-term operational plans and restoration activities.
- Early engagement on proposed projects and reclamation work with the Lands Department during regular meetings to foster meaningful dialogue and mutual understanding.
- Inviting community members at the beginning of a project to participate in discussions surrounding the layout of the proposed activity and attend archaeological assessments.
- Engagement in projects associated with “healing the land” and recognizing the importance of First Nation input on approaches to reclamation activities.
- Active participation in community events to gain a stronger understanding of traditions, culture, and opportunities to enhance our relationships with community members.
- Conducting operational tours with First Nation members of our active facility sites and drilling operations to assist in a greater understanding of the activities we undertake.
- Supporting various initiatives brought forward by First Nations communities, such as the “Books for School” program.
- Providing procurement opportunities to our local Indigenous communities to benefit economically in our development.
An archaeology contractor and representative from Saulteau First Nations conducting a shovel test to screen soil for an archaeological sweep on a proposed Crew project.
Mutual knowledge sharing of Crew’s operations and Indigenous cultural activities fosters lasting relationships and enables Crew to gain a deeper understanding of the cultural significance and values of each community we engage with.
Through frequent conversations with the community land departments and the Chief and Council members, we maintain open and consistent dialogue while also gaining valuable insight into community-based initiatives that may require support. This collaborative approach ensures that Crew aligns our efforts with the needs and priorities of the communities we work alongside. In addition, throughout the year, Crew communicates supplier spending with Chief and Council to show transparency and accountability in our business relationships.
Supporting Indigenous youth through education and health programs is extremely important to us. Through our ongoing dialogue with local community members, we identified an opportunity to support school-aged children by providing school fees for students from kindergarten to grade three and school supplies for students from grade four to grade 12. Through this opportunity Crew has coordinated the ordering, delivery, and distribution of supplies to over 430 students since 2019.
“Thank you, Crew Energy, for your generosity and contribution to a great cause. This donation of appropriate school supplies allows our Saulteau First Nations on-reserve school students in kindergarten to grade 12 to be prepared for the classroom. We are thrilled to have Crew Energy’s continued support. Your generosity means a lot to us here in education and to the Saulteau First Nations Community, you truly make the difference for us, and we are extremely grateful.”
– Audrey Norris, Manager of Education at Saulteau First Nations
Crew’s community relations department actively works with internal procurement departments to seek contract opportunities with Indigenous-owned businesses or third-party aligned partners. This has led to the successful utilization of drilling rigs, camp services, logging activities, lease building, pipeline installation, water management services, first aid, and safety services.
As part of our commitment to land restoration, Crew has partnered with First Nation communities and an environmental consulting company to provide these services. Our collaborations expose community members to restoration activities and opportunities to explore restoration as a potential career path.
Crew recognizes the significance of First Nations’ relationship to the land. Being mindful of this, Crew looks to continually improve our understanding of cultural and historical meaning in the areas that we work. Through our engagement and relationships, we have been fortunate to participate in field tours with various land department staff, elders, and youth. We gain insight through our discussions, listening to the elders as they tell stories, walking the landscape, and joining First Nation community members as they undertake traditional practices.
These opportunities have allowed Crew to strengthen our relationship with First Nation communities. Having the ability to spend a day with community members, picking berries and fiddleheads or learning the importance of healing plants, as we walk in traditional areas, is an invaluable and honouring experience.
Crew also hosts field tours on an annual basis to facilitate relationship-building with the community. The tours include Crew personnel, members of the community lands department, elders, and youth, and provide an opportunity to share information about our operations, processes, and sustainable policies with community members. These tours allow Crew to gain a greater understanding of the importance of site selection and implementing mitigation measures to lessen the impact of our area operations.
Crew continues to attend and support events celebrating Indigenous culture and heritage, such as cultural days or camps. In 2022, we were honored to attend and participate in the following:
- Doig River First Nation Kema Camp
- Saulteau First Nations Community Feast
- Doig River First Nation Doig Day
- Saulteau First Nations Pemican days
Through these cultural sharing experiences, we learn from First Nation land staff, elders, and members, as they expose Crew employees to traditional land management practices and provide insights into the significance of historical areas through storytelling.
Cultural Awareness Training
In our continuous efforts to foster mutually beneficial relationships with First Nation communities, we recognize the importance of conducting awareness and knowledge-sharing sessions. These sessions serve as valuable platforms for enhancing engagement and promoting a deeper understanding of each other’s perspectives, experiences, and cultural heritage.
In 2022, Crew incorporated an Indigenous Cultural Awareness session into our annual safety meeting. An Elder and representative from the Saulteau First Nations Lands Department provided an informative presentation to our employees, operators, and key vendors, which sparked great conversation. The session encompassed several key elements, including:
- Insights into Treaty 8 and First Nations culture
- Importance of language, wildlife, and First Nations’ traditional way of life
- Protection, preservation, and regeneration of the land and water
- Relationship building
Moose Hide Campaign
Through conversation with local Indigenous communities, it became evident how important the Moose Hide Campaign has become in educating people towards rejecting violence in our communities. What began as a B.C. born Indigenous-led grassroots movement to engage men and boys in ending violence towards women and children has grown into a nationwide movement taking action to end this violence. Crew’s support and participation focused on awareness and fostering engagement. By sharing details of the movement, distributing moose hide pins to recognize the campaign, and providing a link to the live stream event, we aimed to draw attention to this important initiative and encourage participation amongst our employees.
“I was asked to do a Saulteau Cultural Awareness Presentation for Crew Energy on April 20th in Fort St. John. I work with Matteo Villani from Crew, we meet on a quarterly basis or as needed, and both support the Moosehide Campaign. Crew does a good job at pre-engaging and field visits with SFN – we have a great working relationship. Crew donates yearly to community cultural events and educational initiatives. This spring, we will be planning a field date and will be harvesting Fiddleheads and cooking some moose meat over a Fire with Crew.”
– Fernie May Garbitt, Referral Technician, Saulteau Treaty Rights and Environmental Protection