CNL is committed to recognizing Indigenous rights and interests, and engagement with these communities is a critical component of the Port Hope Area Initiative. Historically, the PHAI Public Information Program has included Indigenous communities and organizations as a target audience. In alignment with our commitment to advance reconciliation through meaningful actions, CNL is developing a PHAI Indigenous Communications & Engagement Program to support open, honest, and transparent interactions with rights holders and Indigenous interest holders and foster relationships with First Nations and Métis communities through ongoing learning about their values and interests.
When the PHAI moved to the implementation phase in 2012, the Mississaugas of the Williams Treaties First Nations asked to receive regular updates about the projects. CNL staff met at least annually with representatives from Hiawatha First Nation, Curve Lake First Nation, Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation and Alderville First Nation to provide project updates and engage in discussions on topics including environmental protection, economic opportunity and cultural heritage resource protection.
Since March 2021, at the request of Curve Lake First Nation, CNL’s Indigenous Engagement team established monthly meetings with representatives from the Mississauga First Nations as well as the Chippewa communities including staff from Beausoleil First Nation, Georgina Island First Nation and Rama First Nation. These meetings are organized with input from the community representatives and each meeting is focused on CNL environmental remediation projects and/or the interests identified by the Nations.
In recent years CNL has also shared PHAI project updates with representatives from the Anishinabek Nation and Métis Nation of Ontario. Other Indigenous communities including Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, and local Métis Councils have also expressed interest in the projects based on their geographic proximity and interest in other projects in the area. Over the years, CNL has provided project information mailings to keep these communities up to date and circulates invitations to special events including Industry Day, career fairs and information sessions.
CNL continues to build relationships with Indigenous communities through project information sharing and on-going dialogue on how we can meet the needs of the communities.