Backgrounder: Indigenous Participation in the Economic Development of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project


On March 25, 2019, the Minister of Finance announced the Government's commitment to 129 Indigenous communities to explore the possibilities of Indigenous economic participation in the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX). This participation would be in addition to accommodation measures and commercial arrangements with Trans Mountain Corporation.

This commitment responds to the significant interest expressed by Indigenous groups, before and during the Phase III consultation process, and represents a significant opportunity to support Indigenous economic prosperity and reconciliation priorities. Economic participation could include equity ownership, revenue sharing, and resource "royalty" agreements.

Interested Indigenous groups have stated that greater economic participation in TMX is an opportunity to create additional economic benefits for their communities from TMX.

With the Governor in Council approval of the Project, the Government is launching discussions with impacted Indigenous groups that have the objective of securing an economic partnership on the Project.

Government representatives will host discussions in Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton and Kamloops. Indigenous groups would be invited to attend a meeting during which they would provide their views and provide the Government with additional information about how to pursue these discussions and negotiations. 

Groups that are unable to attend an in-person meeting will be invited to participate over the phone and views will continue to be accepted in writing.

The Government will also seek input from select members of the private sector to solicit additional input. Roundtables would be held with representatives from the following groups:

  • Banking/financial services
  • Oil and gas sector (e.g., shippers)
  • Project aggregators (e.g., Indigenous Resource Council, First Nations Major Projects Coalition)

A group of external experts will also be appointed to provide guidance and support to the Department of Finance as it advances this work, and ensure access to a variety of expertise and viewpoints. Members will be chosen based on their experience in negotiating with Indigenous groups, in the energy sector, in putting together financial deals, and in providing advice to governments.

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