This includes the critical work of reconciliation, in which we are guided by:
As a result of meaningful discussions with the First Nations and Métis communities with whom we consult, we have established three priorities:
This work includes our respect for the cultural heritage and traditional knowledge of Indigenous peoples. Where applicable, we seek their support for site visits prior to development, and are committed to understanding the importance of traditional use lands and mitigating our impact on them, including avoiding sites of cultural significance.
We employ archeological specialists on our developments. Should we identify a potential site with cultural or archeological content, we stop work, notify the regulatory authorities, and reach out to the First Nations and Métis communities for whom the location is traditional lands for further guidance. If the cultural heritage site is confirmed, we are guided by the Indigenous knowledge keepers on next steps: for example, preserving or avoiding the site, and ensuring access by the Indigenous community is maintained.
Over the past several years, we have provided our staff with opportunities to learn about the history of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, particularly the need for reconciliation, along with celebrations of Indigenous culture. We have worked with Indigenous learning providers to bring these to our staff on days of significance, including National Indigenous Peoples Day, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and Moose Hide Campaign Day. We also have a section on our intranet dedicated to learning more, with resources and connections to formal learning courses and to the First Nations and Métis communities with which we consult.
As part of our Vermilion Ways of Caring community investment program, we support Indigenous peoples where we live and work and are committed to building positive relationships.
In 2022, our contributions helped First Nations and Métis communities in Northeast British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan celebrate cultural events such as Treaty Days, Powwows, music festivals and community dinners. We also made investments in two key long-term partnerships.
We are proud to support Tse’k’wa, an archaeological site located near Fort St. John in Treaty 8 Territory. The archaeological site is managed by Tse’K’wa Heritage Society, a collaboration from Doig River, Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations.
Our support helped fund accessibility improvements including upgraded trails and a wheelchair ramp as well as universally designed facilities. Tse'k'wa was designated a National Historic Site in 2019 for its archaeological and cultural significance of the Dane-zaa people.
We are honored to partner with Indspire to support the Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships and Awards program. Beginning in 2023, our two Vermilion Energy Indigenous Student awards open to First Nations, Metis and Inuit students near our operational areas to apply for funding to help cover tuition, childcare, cultural support, and travel to enable them to pursue their education goals.