Canada, and specifically the Province of Alberta, where Ivanhoe's Tamarack Project is being developed, has a comprehensive and well-established regulatory and legal framework regarding public engagement and Aboriginal consultation for oil and gas project development. As required by regulatory process, Ivanhoe has also developed a Strategy and Plan for the Consultation of First Nations and Métis Communities, which meets the requirements of Alberta's First Nations Consultation Guidelines on Land Management and Resource Development and has been accepted by Alberta Environment.
Volume 1, Section 5.0 of Ivanhoe's recent Tamarack Project Application submission outlines the Public Engagement and Aboriginal Consultation Approach. Ivanhoe began its consultation activities in June 2008, over two years prior to filing its regulatory submission, with the following objectives:
- Identifying Aboriginal community and public stakeholder Project-specific issues or concerns;
- Identify potential short and long-term adverse impacts of the Project on Aboriginal communities and public stakeholders;
- Identify the exercise of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights in the Regional and Local Study Areas and identify potential impacts to Aboriginal communities exercising those rights;
- Provide Aboriginal communities and public stakeholders with clear and timely information about the Project;
- Gather Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Traditional Land Use information and incorporate that information where practical, into the environmental impact assessment (EIA) and Project Design;
- Identify options for mitigation of potential impacts;
- Identify and participate in long-term, meaningful and sustainable mechanisms that benefit the quality of life for people living and working in the region;
- Obtain Aboriginal community and public stakeholder support for the Project.
Ivanhoe is a member of Industry Relations Corporations (IRCs) of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation, Fort McKay First Nation and the Fort McMurray #468 First Nation, and the Mikisew Cree First Nation Government & Industry Relations (GIR) department. IRCs and GIR are organizations developed by the First Nations and funded by industry to build capacity and allow for effective consultation between the two groups regarding project development in northeastern Alberta. Ivanhoe also works closely with Métis Locals to provide information on the Project and identify potential impacts and benefits. As appropriate, Ivanhoe provides additional capacity funding to ensure Aboriginal communities can be consulted in a meaningful way.