Aboriginal Relations

Our Aboriginal neighbours have special and unique interests in the land on which we operate. Building mutually beneficial relationships with Aboriginal communities is important to us and we strive to ensure we maintain these relationships. We take the time to meet and get to know people so we can learn, understand and respect their concerns as well as give them information about our operations and projects. Open dialogue and an open mind benefits us all. 

Respectful relationships

Because Pembina's operations are often located on or near First Nations and Métis lands, our commitment to consultation with these audiences is important. Building these relationships with Aboriginal communities helps us understand the importance of the area's traditional knowledge and culture while exploring opportunities to collaborate on community projects relating to health, education, training, employment and business development.

To ensure the formation of enduring and trusting relationships with our Aboriginal communities, our Aboriginal Relations team is focused on five key undertakings:

1. Awareness: Provide Aboriginal Awareness training to Pembina's employees and contractors and in our communities.

Pembina is committed to honest and on-going communications with Aboriginal communities and working to enhance knowledge of, respect and consideration for, Aboriginal peoples among our employees, consultants and contractors.


2. Workforce Development: Continue efforts to increase Aboriginal employment at Pembina and within industry at large.

Pembina helps to build Aboriginal capacity through training and employment related to our operational activities. By identifying business or employment opportunities that strengthen the economies of Aboriginal communities, we create competitively-priced, quality products or services that help our business grow. 

Pembina values the positive and respectful relationships we have developed with the Aboriginal communities near our operations.
Pembina supports opportunities for Aboriginal suppliers to engage in ongoing activities and the development of new projects.

For interested parties, please click here.

3. Community Relations: Support our Aboriginal communities and respond to issues.

Aboriginal communities put their trust in Pembina when we work in their Traditional lands. Through our community investment program we honour this relationship and give back to the communities where we operate. Our investment decisions are based on our understanding of the unique needs and characteristics of each community. As a result of our consultation efforts, we focus our community investment initiatives on supporting organizations that advance education, preserve and protect the environment, and foster wellness and cultural awareness.

4. Consultation: Support Pembina's operations and growth platform through open and honest consultation.

When defining a project consultation plan with each Aboriginal community, Pembina ensures that all consultation efforts adhere to the applicable Aboriginal consultation guidelines:


  • Ensures appropriate distribution of project-specific information and Government Regulators’ public information documents to potential adversely affected Aboriginal communities in a timely manner that meets or exceeds regulatory requirements;
  • Identifies issues and concerns of those Aboriginal communities potentially affected by a given project. Respond to questions and concerns from Aboriginal groups by discussing options, alternatives, and mitigating measures with respect to potential impacts of the project. Establish communication with these parties to facilitate issue resolution and ongoing communication as the project moves through the planning, construction and post-construction phases; and
  • Provides Aboriginal communities an opportunity to have meaningful input into decisions with respect to project planning and development.

Aboriginal Employment & Training Program

Pembina is committed to building a diverse workforce and looks to train and hire members from local Aboriginal communities. The program provides participants with exposure to oil and gas and on-the-job experience and we gain their unique skills and experiences.
This program offers practical work experience that prepares participants for careers as field operators with Pembina. For those who successfully complete their contact, this program features the opportunity for permanent employment.
This program provides a paid work term for individuals interested in gaining experience in the oil and gas industry. 
In partnership with educational institutions, Pembina may offer practicum placements for students enrolled in a 3rd or 4th Class Power Engineering program. 
Trainees support the Environmental Inspector in the day-to-day management of environmental mitigation during pipeline construction.

Pembina’s Environmental Trainee Program

Supporting training for the future while strengthening relationships for today.

Pembina’s consultation efforts with Alberta First Nation communities a few years back lead to the development of a program that is benefitting everyone who participates, while strengthening relationships in the process.

The First Nations Environmental Technician Program was developed with the goal of helping First Nations communities build internal capacity to understand the process of pipeline construction and participate in the environmental work that takes place when companies such as Pembina propose a new project. Program participants work with Environmental Planners and Inspectors to get an understanding of the procedures and construction methods used to install pipelines, while working to protect the environment. For Pembina employees and contractors, they learn from the aboriginal community representatives regarding the area’s traditional land use interests.

It’s win-win for all involved.

Typically, Pembina works with the community to identify candidates for the training and conducts an interview process, to get a better understanding of why they are interested in the program.  Personal objectives such as protecting the environment, interest in construction, concern about traditional land use, do they hunt or fish, are they interested in learning new skills, etc. are important factors in selecting the candidates for the training. The number selected is based on the size of the project. Pembina identifies the need to balance the size of the project, the number of communities and overlapping interests.

The program also helps inform Aboriginal communities, through the experiences of the participants, on the environmental work that actually goes into preparing and mitigating a pipeline project, while cultivating a positive relationship between the community and the company for the project and activities in the area.

Preservation of Alberta's cultural past


Archaeology on the Willesden Green Pipeline Project

Before beginning any new project, Pembina conducts environmental studies to understand the potential impacts a proposed project may have on the land, air, wildlife and watersheds – and then develops detailed plans to minimize our environmental footprint.  In preparation for the Willesden Green Pipeline Project TERA Environment, on behalf of Pembina, conducted a Historical Resources Impact Assessment during which 240 shovel tests were excavated in 19 locations with higher potential for archaeological sites.

Buried artifacts were found at two of these locations, resulting in the identification of two new archaeological sites: one ancient Aboriginal campsite on the north side of Rose Creek near Rocky Mountain House; and a second Aboriginal campsite on the north side of Washout Creek near Drayton Valley. Pembina attempted to find alternate route options that would avoid the sites, but none were available and therefore opted to mitigate these sites through excavation, which was also conducted by TERA archaeologists along with assistants from the O'Chiese First Nation in December, 2010.

Stone tools, flint knapping debris and remains of old fire pits were found at both sites, providing evidence of activities including stone tool production, hide processing, cooking and bone grease extraction. Various styles of stone dart and arrow heads were found at Rose Creek, from which the archaeologists learned that the site had been occupied by people at least twice in the past: as early as 4,800 years ago, and as recently as 200 years ago. A stone arrow point was found at Washout Creek, revealing that this site was occupied at a time between 2,000 and 200 years ago.

The recoveries made at both of these sites, which were donated to museums, are important and provide us a new window on people's activities from times long ago.