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Established in 2014, the Aboriginal Liaison Program (ALP) is a partnership between Indigenous communities, the BC Oil and Gas Commission and other natural resource agencies.

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The Aboriginal Liaison Program (ALP) began as a partnership between Doig River First Nation and the BC Oil and Gas Commission in 2014. Since that time the program has expanded to include multiple government natural resource agencies and 15 First Nations. Partnering First Nation communities hire a local member as a Liaison to observe and report to their communities about resource development activities on their traditional territories. The ALP provides training to build Liaison knowledge and understanding of development activities and impacts, as well inform community members with objective, reliable and sound information. In addition, liaisons engage with natural resource agencies to enhance understanding of local traditional knowledge and the impacts of resource development within their traditional territories. Interaction with ALP Liaisons helps agency staff understand First Nations’ values and traditional ecological knowledge and learn first-hand about the culture and community of the Indigenous peoples they work with.

Who’s Involved?

First Nations:

ALP First Nations Map

Natural Resource Agencies:

  • BC Oil and Gas Commission
  • Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (including Environmental Assessment Office and Conservation Officer Service)
  • Ministry of Energy, Mines & Petroleum Resources
  • Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (including BC Wildfire Service, Stewardship and Compliance and Enforcement)
  • Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General (including Emergency Management BC)

What We Do

Liaisons:

  • Inspect and report on natural resource development activities in their communities and traditional territory
  • Represent their community concerns and work with natural resource agencies to ensure those concerns are addressed
  • Provide updates about their findings and activities back to their communities and the natural resource agencies
  • Develop project tailored to the community’s interests, concerns and abilities

Natural Resource Agencies:

  • Lead inspections
  • Respond to concerns and complaints
  • Communicate with Liaisons on a regular basis
  • Provide training opportunities
  • Address areas of concern
  • Provide information on stewardship and compliance monitoring projects
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2019-20 Annual Summary Report

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Natural Resource Aboriginal Liaison Program (ALP) Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ALP?

The ALP is an initiative that improves communication and develops partnerships between Indigenous communities and the Province’s natural resource agencies to facilitate Indigenous involvement in stewardship and monitoring of natural resource development in northern B.C.

ALP creates opportunity for agencies and Indigenous communities to work together and improve awareness of natural resource regulatory oversight, development, stewardship monitoring, emergency management, and restoration activities, etc.

Through the ALP, communities hire Liaisons as monitors to observe and report to their communities about resource development activities on their traditional territories. The ALP provides training opportunities to improve Liaisons’ knowledge and understanding of development activities and impacts, and enables them to inform their community with objective, reliable, and sound information.


What are the goals of the ALP?

To develop communication, relationships, and interactions between Indigenous groups and agencies that regulate natural resource development and emergency response;

To enhance awareness of Indigenous communities about the role of agencies in regulating the lifecycle of natural resource development; and

To enhance agency staff awareness of Indigenous peoples’ values and traditional knowledge in relation to natural resources.


How is ALP being developed?

The ALP has been active since 2014, starting with relationship-building between Doig River First Nation and the BC Oil and Gas Commission in northeast British Columbia. The program has grown to nine ALP agreements, 15 northern First Nations, and natural resource and emergency management agencies across three regions of northern British Columbia.

The ALP has been developed in collaboration with participating Indigenous communities, focusing initially on communities in Treaty 8 and along the northern gas pipeline corridors.

What is the role of a Liaison?

ALP Liaisons are hired by their community as monitors to observe and report about resource development activities on their traditional territories. The Liaison encourages two-way communication and information sharing between their community and natural resource agencies.

ALP Liaisons receive technical training in numerous resource industry areas and bring that knowledge, along with information they gain from their fieldwork, back to the community. Once trained, Liaisons work with agency staff to monitor compliance of resource development activities and resulting stewardship outcomes. Liaisons may be assigned monitoring and inspection tasks as appropriate, including reporting their observations and findings to their community and the ALP.

ALP Liaisons are knowledgeable individuals that identify concerns to agencies, observe resolution of concerns, and report back to the community. Liaisons communicate timely, current, and reliable information and knowledge between communities and government staff.


Will the scope of the Liaison role grow over time?

Coordinated through a provincial ALP Steering Committee, the ALP has expanded the role of the Liaison to include participation in compliance oversight, stewardship monitoring, and emergency management with provincial natural resource agencies.

Will other First Nations have access to the First Nations Monitoring and Liaison Program?

The ALP Steering Committee continues to explore ways to build programs with Indigenous communities potentially impacted by natural resource sector activities. The steering committee is currently working with the following communities in implementing the ALP:

  • Blueberry River First Nations
  • Carrier Sekani First Nations
  • Doig River First Nation
  • Fort Nelson First Nation
  • Haisla Nation
  • Lake Babine Nation
  • Nisga’a Lisims Government
  • Prophet River First Nation
  • Saulteau First Nations

The ALP may be expanded in future years pending the availability of resources and success of the current agreements. At this time funding and resources are limited and temporary and do not provide for development of agreements with other Indigenous communities. The ALP Steering Committee continues to build on the program’s successes and natural resource agencies continue to explore opportunities for strategic growth of the ALP.


Who can I contact for more information?

Jacques Corstanje

Director, Aboriginal Liaison Program
BC Oil and Gas Commission
Jacques.Corstanje@bcogc.ca


Hilary Wheeler

Director, Operations
Assistant Deputy Minister’s Office
Integrated Resource Operations Division
Forests, Lands, Natural Resource
Operations and Rural Development
Hilary.Wheeler@gov.bc.ca

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