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Respecting the traditions and perspectives o​​​f Indigenous Peoples

As a company that operates across North America, we respectfully acknowledge that our work takes place on the territory and traditional lands of many Indigenous Peoples. Several of our Canadian operations reside on treaty territory.

​Our history is interwoven with the development of Edmonton, the histories and legacies of interaction between settlers and Indigenous Peoples, and the siting of our facilities within Edmonton. The banks of the North Saskatchewan River, where both our water treatment plants are located, have been a sacred gathering place since time immemorial.​

We respect the histories, languages, and cultures of First Nations, Metis, Inuit, and all Indigenous peoples across North America, whose presence continues to enrich our vibrant community.

We recognize the deep connections Indigenous Peoples have to the land and water and respect their rights, history, culture, aspirations and diversity. This has led to our commitment to becoming a sector leader in Indigenous relations and to creating an environment where the participation, perspectives and traditions of Indigenous Peoples are respected and valued in our business today and into the future. ​

 ​​Ceremony was returned to the land surrounding the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant (the former reserve lands of Enoch Cree Nation) on September 1, 2020 for the first time in over 100 years. On this day, Enoch Cree Nation and EPCOR signed an MOU formalizing their commitment to working together in the spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.

N​ational Day for Truth and Reconciliation​

Together with our Indigenous Relations Steering Comm​ittee, EPCOR hosted a series of events, activities and resources for our teams to foster reflection and learning on September 30 and beyond.​​


​Our commitment in action​

Proud member of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

As a member of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, we're working to implement comprehensive and robust program toward achieving status under the Council's Progressive Aboriginal Relations Certification. We are working to achieve Committed level of status in 2021 and Bronze level certification by the end of 2023. Once Bronze level status is achieved we are committed to setting targets for higher level performance standards. 

Archeological monitoring with Indigenous Nations​

An important part of our planning process includes our Indigenous Monitoring Program, which provides Indigenous Nations and communities with access to sites where excavations related to our projects are taking place. We regularly reach out to more than 30 First Nations and Métis communities in the greater Edmonton area on major projects in the river valley.

Archeological monitoring and partnerships with Indigenous Nations also extends beyond Edmonton, including work in the Southern Bruce region of Ontario as part of our recent natural gas distribution projects. This enables Indigenous Nations and communities to participate in oversight of archeological work and ensures the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives. 

Learn more about our work at the E.L. Smith and Rossdale Water Treatment Plants.

Partnering on clean water and utility infrastructure

We're developing strong business relationships with Indigenous-owned companies, and engaging in commercial partnerships with Indigenous governments and businesses. We've entered into formal partnerships with two First Nations communities in Ontario and British Columbia, seeking opportunities to work together to bring safe, clean drinking water to Indigenous communities; build reliable wastewater services; and support community economic development.

We are also working to create an internal database of Indigenous businesses and suppliers that exist and operate in the communities we serve.

 Community Investment

Through our community investment funding, we support organizations dedicated to supporting Indigenous students and youth along their educational journey to help them have a better chance of success. 

  • In early 2020, we partnered with the First Peoples' House at the University of Alberta to support the success of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) learners by funding the Transition Year Program to provide Science, Technology, Engineering and Math curriculum supports until 2023.
  • We have been providing annual support for an Indigenous Cultural Liaison with BGCBIGS since 2018, as well as the Indigenous Career Pathways program through Careers: Next Generation since 2015.

When COVID-19 impacted the community, EPCOR stepped up and introduced two years of special funding to support sectors significantly impacted by the pandemic. Arts, culture and festival organizations along with charitable sector received funding.

In 2020 and 2021, EPCOR provided more than $775,000 in community support through the programs outlined above.

EPCOR's Indigenous Relations Steering Committee

In 2019, we formed an Indigenous Relations Steering Committee, which has representation from senior leadership and Indigenous and non-Indigenous employees from across the organization. The committee is providing leadership and guidance in our work to pursuing business opportunities with Indigenous companies and suppliers, recruiting Indigenous employees, and supporting the development of learning opportunities for staff.

​​EPCOR's Indigenous R​elations Steerin​g Committee

In 2019, we formed an Indigenous Relations Steering Committee, which has representation from senior leadership and Indigenous and non-Indigenous employees from across the organization. Together, the committee is pursuing opportunities to work with Indigenous businesses and suppliers, recruit Indigenous employees, and educate our employees about Indigenous Peoples and culture.​

Indigenous Peoples at EPCOR

Supporting greater awareness, understanding and recognition of Indigenous culture, traditions and history throughout the organization is also an objective of our Indigenous Employees Resource Group (ERG): Indigenous Peoples at EPCOR. With membership from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous employees, the ERG also provides opportunities for Indigenous employees and allies to connect, take part in special events, and more.

​Featur​ed st​​ory:

Edmonton's E.L. Smith and Rossdale Water Treatment Plants in Edmonton operate on the former reserve lands of Enoch Cree Nation. Together, we're ensuring this land is respected and protected.​

EPCOR and Enoch Cree Nation have a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that formalizes a commitment to work together in the spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.Learn more about our commitment


EPCOR and Enoch Cree Nation have a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that formalizes a commitment to work together in the spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.

Learn more about our commitment​​

​National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

On this day we join our friends, neighbors and communities across Canada in recognizing and honoring residential school survivors and their families through commemoration, acts of reconciliation and the sharing of Indigenous culture, history and perspectives. 

Building a path forward together​​​

It took many generations to shape the deeply rooted circumstances we see in front of us today, which will undoubtedly make it a long road to reconciliation, healing and equality. There is a lot of work ahead of us, but as a company the community counts on, an employer, a neighbor and a friend, we are committed to that journey – and to doing the right thing.

We are deeply grateful to the Indigenous elders, leaders, knowledge keepers, survivors and families who bravely share their experiences, perspectives and wisdom as we walk through this journey together. On September 30, and every day.


​How we're honoring residential school survivors, their families and the children who never made it home

As an organization, we are embarking on a shared journey and are taking steps together toward truth and reconciliation.

On September 30, 2021, EPCOR honored residential school surviv​ors and their families through commemoration, acts of reconciliation, and shared learnings. We hosted events for our employees to reflect on the lasting impact of residential schools, demonstrate our support for the survivors, their families and their communities; and learn how we can all contribute to reconciliation.

To encourage a greater understanding and appreciation for Indigenous culture and the important role Indigenous Peoples played in shaping our country, we are hosting a series of events and activities throughout the month of September and beyond.