Government of Canada Extends Funding to Increase Indigenous Participation  in Oil and Gas Infrastructure Development

News release

November 13, 2020                                           Ottawa, Ontario                         Natural Resources Canada       


The informed and meaningful participation of Indigenous peoples in oil and gas projects provides important economic opportunities for their communities.

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, today announced up to $12 million in funding over two years for the Indigenous Natural Resource Partnerships (INRP) program for Indigenous communities and organizations in British Columbia and Alberta to further increase their participation in economic opportunities related to oil and gas infrastructure development.

This announcement builds on the success of the 2019–20 Indigenous Natural Resource Partnerships program by extending it to support projects that enhance the capacity of Indigenous communities to capitalize on business opportunities, facilitate access for Indigenous communities and organizations to resources, and support community and regional engagement related to oil and gas infrastructure projects.

The response to the initial program was a success: 35 groups received funding for projects ranging from $15,000 to $1.35 million, supporting a range of initiatives responsive to community priorities, including the development of business plans and feasibility studies, training opportunities that facilitated employment, forums on regional interests, and other resources and supports that enhanced Indigenous participation in oil and gas infrastructure development.

Natural Resources Canada is currently accepting applications for the INRP. For details on how to apply to the program and submit a project proposal, eligibility requirements and assessment criteria, visit the INRP website.


“The Indigenous Natural Resource Partnerships program will help Indigenous communities respond to opportunities and create economic benefits.”

Seamus O’Regan
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

“This funding enables FNMPC to continue our core service delivery to our member First Nations so they have access to the capacity tools and options upon which informed business decisions can be made regarding their participation in major projects.”

Chief Sharleen Gale
Chair of the First Nation Major Projects Coalition

“Pimee Well Servicing LP is proud to have made the capital investments in this project alongside Natural Resources Canada. The Modernization project for Rig 11 enabled our company to secure service work and employ members from our shareholder communities with long-term work opportunities”

Sandy Jackson
Industry Relations/ Business Development, Pimee Well Servicing LP

“The INRP funding has given us the opportunity to build a strategic digital roadmap for our organizations. The transformation from a starting point where our digital systems were knit together on an ad-hoc basis into something truly cohesive and strategic has allowed us position to participate competitively in large energy projects in northern B.C.”

Michael Tilson
CEO, Chu Cho Environmental

Quick facts

  • Examples of projects that received INRP funding in 2019–20:

    • First Nations Major Projects Coalition (B.C. and Alberta) – $1,350,000 for First Nations-Led Innovation in Advancing Major Project Development in British Columbia and Alberta. This project is undertaking activities to increase the participation of their First Nations members in economic opportunities related to energy infrastructure.
    • Pimee Well Servicing (Alberta) – $350,000 for the Rig 11 Freestanding Double Rig Modernization Project. This project is supporting an Indigenous company, wholly owned by six Alberta First Nations, in expanding their customer base and diversifying their services by undertaking a modernization project and retrofitting an oil rig.
    • Chu Cho Environmental (B.C.) – $80,000 for Building Technological Capacity for Chu Cho Environmental and Wai Wah Environmental to Increase Economic Participation in Energy Infrastructure Projects. This project is supporting Kitselas First Nation and their partner Tsay Keh Dene Nation in developing a cohesive digital strategy and implementation plan that will increase their capacity to participate individually and as partners in economic opportunities related to energy infrastructure projects. 

Associated links


Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations


Ian Cameron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

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