We respectfully acknowledge that the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant is located on Treaty 6 territory – the traditional lands of the Blackfoot, the Cree, the Dene, the Nakota Sioux, and the Saulteaux and later the Métis.
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 recognize that the ongoing success of our projects relies upon the success we have in establishing the appropriate, respectful relationships with Indigenous Nations and communities.
- We will engage First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people from a position of mutual trust, combined with a willingness to understand their needs and concerns — cultural, social, spiritual, environmental and economic.
- We engage with Indigenous peoples to ensure that potential impacts of our projects are properly identified and understood, and that we are working alongside one another to reach mutually agreed-upon solutions to those impacts.
We are proposing to build a new solar farm on our property just south of the existing E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant. As part of the project development process, we have engaged in the following:
- Consultation with 21 First Nations, Métis Nations and Indigenous communities including presentations to Chiefs & Councils
- Site visits by Elders
- Archaeological participation in Stage 2 archaeology work
- Development of ceremony to bless site area prior to construction
- Indigenous involvement in working group for Solar Farm Community Integration Workshop
Our Memorandum of Understanding with Enoch First Nation creates a path forward on all projects that cause ground disturbance at the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant going forward.
A shared history
The E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant is situated along a bend in the North Saskatchewan River located upstream from the historic placement of the settlement of Edmonton.
This is within Treaty #6 territory, the signing of which established a reserve (Tommy Lapotac Indian Reserve) whose boundaries included the water treatment plant area. The reserve was gradually made smaller through "surrenders" in 1902 and 1908, culminating in the current area of Enoch Cree Nation, to the west outside the modern city limits.
Historically, these areas were traditional transportation ways, communication networks and encampment spots. The ongoing discovery of archeological evidence demonstrates the longstanding use of the river valley by Indigenous peoples and connects EPCOR's river valley operations to present-day Indigenous rights-holders.