We often work on or are 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 2012, Canadian Natural invested in excess of $250 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 Aboriginal groups. During 2012, we focused on increasing participation of Aboriginal peoples in employment with Canadian Natural and by working with our contractors; we have identified opportunities for greater participation of Aboriginal businesses across our operations.
In Wabasca-Desmarais (the Brintnell Project), for example, over 70 per cent of our local field employees and contract operators are Aboriginal. We also work with several local businesses ranging from heavy equipment to camp services and continue to develop successful relationships with Aboriginal 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 developments we have planned, upcoming contracting opportunities and how to submit bid applications. We continue to increase our level of consultation with Aboriginal groups regarding our activities on public lands throughout Western Canada to ensure we work with them on areas of specific concern.
Read more about our work with Aboriginal contractors.