We often work on, or in close proximity to traditional Aboriginal land. Our teams work with these communities on a daily basis to build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships. Through understanding, respect and cooperation we strive to maintain strong relationships and enhance the opportunities for participation in our oil and natural gas developments.
Our commitments to Aboriginal communities include respecting their rights, interests and knowledge by actively seeking their views and input, as well as developing and maintaining effective two-way communication.
The knowledge and experience we receive from the Aboriginal communities help us better understand the surroundings and our impact. Learning about the traditional cultures, wildlife, and how the landscape has changed over the years is part of our long-term commitment to these communities.
Our operations provide employment and act as catalysts for local business development. We support Aboriginal communities near our operations playing a more direct role in the development of oil and natural gas resources. In 2011, Canadian Natural invested $192 million on goods and services from Aboriginal companies in Western Canada.
Aboriginal Business Development and Employment
At Canadian Natural we make a point of understanding the protocols when working with the different Aboriginal groups. During 2011 and continuing into 2012, we have focused on increasing participation of Aboriginal peoples in employment with Canadian Natural and with our contractors.
Our Community Liaisons share information about our projects and work with Aboriginal businesses to ensure they are pre-qualified to be part of our contracting process. We meet regularly with communities to outline the type of documents we have planned, upcoming contracting opportunities and how to submit bid applications. Since 2011, Canadian Natural manages the contractor list through ComplyWorks to improve this process and include more businesses.
Also, through traditional use studies we receive Aboriginal expertise from community members who assist us with traditional knowledge, environmental impact assessments or monitoring for our developments.
We employ local people and businesses in all of our projects. At our operations in Wabasca-Desmarais (the Brintnell Project) over 70% of our local field employees and contract operators are Aboriginal. Additionally, we work with several local businesses ranging from heavy equipment to camp services. The number of local equipment operators we work with increases during winter construction.
We continue to develop successful relationships with Aboriginal contractors. Read more about our work with Aboriginal Contractors.