Oil and gas sector sheds light on strides made with Indigenous companies, people

·3 min read
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) has released a report highlighting efforts made by the oil and gas industry.   (Larry MacDougal/The Canadian Press - image credit)
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) has released a report highlighting efforts made by the oil and gas industry. (Larry MacDougal/The Canadian Press - image credit)

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) has released a report highlighting efforts made by the oil and gas sector to train, hire and partner with Indigeneous companies, communities and individuals.

This is the second in a series of reports by CAPP outlining environment, social and governance performance in Canada's upstream natural gas and oil industry. The first illustrated the industry's track record in lowering emissions intensity.

CAPP president Tim McMillan says it's important the public knows about the work being done by the sector to facilitate stronger relationships with Indigenous peoples that in turn lead to successful outcomes for both sides.

He also says the report will act as a benchmark for the sector.

"Where we are at, where we've come from, and use it to look at where we are going, and what we think are going to be the successful components into the future for our industry and our partners," said McMillan.

Some of the report's highlights include:

  • Indigenous people make up 6.3 per cent of the upstream industry's workforce. For comparison, Indigenous peoples make up about 3.3 per cent of Canada's total workforce.

  • Between 2009 and 2019, Indigenous share of industry jobs rose from 5.1 per cent to 6.3 per cent in the upstream industry.

  • The share of senior management roles increased from 1.3 per cent to 1.7 per cent, while the wage gap decreased from 14 per cent to 10 per cent.

  • In 2019, the natural gas and oil industry procured more than $2.6 billion of goods and services from 275 Indigenous suppliers, contractors and other businesses across Canada.

  • From 2017 to 2019, the oilsands industry's Indigenous community investment spending rose from $21 million to $32 million. Funding helped support such initiatives as community activities, in-kind investments and contributions to community infrastructure.

Métis entrepreneur Jordan Jolicoeur says in his experience, there are a lot more Indigenous businesses finding success in the oil and gas sector, especially over the past five years.

"You are really seeing a push to engage Indigenous businesses in supply chain through procurement," said Jolicoeur, president and CEO of Carvel Electric. "The oil and gas sector is really narrowing in on creating business opportunities so that Indigenous people are employed in the industry, and I am seeing a very large uptake in that."

Jolicoeur, who is also on the board of directors of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, says the progress will be slow because it takes time for Indigenous businesses to grow. He says it also takes time for individuals to gain the management experience necessary to sit at the table, but he says it's happening.

"Now I walk into a meeting on site, there will be an Indigenous [person] at the table in the management role, and that did not happen in my earlier career."

Jolicoeur adds that these kinds of partnerships have far reaching effects.

"When Indigenous companies succeed, they hire their people, they create opportunities, they become role models in their communities … for the young person to say I can do that, I can have that good job" said Jolicoeur.

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