Fort Chipewyan Métis Association

Government & Industry Relations (GIR) Department.

“Protecting Our Interests”—the Purpose of the GIR Department

The pace and effects of resource development in the region puts Fort Chipewyan Métis lands, resources, and cultural sustainability at risk. The GIR department manages the Community’s concerns regarding impacts and effects from development and resource extraction, with industry and government, and build the necessary capacity to effectively participate and express our concerns effectively.

The Fort Chip Métis works to protect Fort Chipewyan Métis rights, interests, and lands in relations with resource developers, government agencies, and the broader public. Our wish is to build the following capacities now and for the future of the Fort Chipewyan Métis:

  • greater community involvement in lands management and regulatory processes;
  • rights recognition and reconciliation with government; and
  • relationship and awareness-building with the oil sands industry and other resource developers regarding our inherent stewardship requirements for meaningful exercise of Section 35 Aboriginal rights.

The GIR department is maintained with funding from industry Bi-lateral Agreements, government contribution agreements, and grant funding opportunities

“Healthy Lands, Healthy People”

The health of our people, who we are as a people, and how we sustain ourselves over generations is tied to our relationship with the surrounding lands, waters, animals and beings. We give thanks for these gifts provided by Mother Earth. This means honouring a respectful, reciprocal relationship with these gifts and their health through our cultural values and beliefs, customs, protocols, and practices. Our responsibility for this relationship and to our future generations is maintained through our land-based knowledge and teachings, shared between our elders and youth, over generations.

Our traditional stewardship values are critical to the preservation of our cultural activities and sustainability of our resources. Our experiential knowledge, passed from our ancestors through many generations, provides a deep understanding of the health (quality and condition) of our lands, from before disturbance, changes to the quality and condition observed since, and our expectations for the level required to sustain our surroundings and our ability to meaningfully exercise our rights, according to our cultural perspectives and traditions.

Priorities the GIR manages include, but are not limited to

  • Traditional food, water, and medicinal security;
  • water quality, quantity and navigability;
  • access;
  • wildlife health/habitat;
  • fish health/habitat and the Aboriginal fishery;
  • FCM commercial fishery;
  • Wetland and terrestrial plant health/habitat;
  • Air quality
  • project-specific and cumulative effects;
  • exacerbated effects of climate change; and
  • monitoring our lands and resources.

Main GIR Activities

  • Interaction with the oil sands industry
  • Facilitate on-going consultation within the Community so FCM land users know how their traditional lands are being affected by industrial development and to obtaintheir knowledge and guidance;
  • assessment of industry-specific and cumulative effects impacts on FCM lands;
  • Review resource development applications, environmental impact assessments and other regulatory documents to ensure that the environmental issues important to FCM are addressed and accommodated, mitigated and compensated;
  • negotiate impact benefit agreements,
  • supervises community engagement and consultation efforts associated with government and industry obligations and oversees several regulatory activities.
  • responsible for government relations associated with resource development and Crown land management and policy recommendations for development
  • Continuously interface with utility, timber harvest, and conventional oil and gas companies, with heavy oil and oil sands developers and government with respect to social, cultural, economic and environmental matters, and to provide industry with a reliable contact point; and
  • Develop in-community knowledge and capacity for addressing environmental, social, cultural, economic and technical matters relating to resource development.
  • Any related outcomes from community-driven priorities

Contact Your GIR Representative.

You can reach the Fort Chip Métis GIR team online. Just email Carmen Wells, lands and regulatory manager, at Carmen.wells@fortchipMétis.ca.

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