The Indian Resource Council is calling for continued funding for the highly successful First Nations Site Rehabilitation Program to address methane emissions and land disturbance on First Nations lands.

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CALGARY, Alta., April 21, 2022 /CNW/ – The Indian Resource Council of Canada (“IRC”), an organization representing over 130 First Nations who produce or have a vested interest in the energy industry, requests the full support of Canada for continued funding from the Government of from Alberta Site Rehabilitation Program (Period 6), otherwise known as the First Nations Site Rehabilitation Program (FNRP). The government of from Canada $1.2 billion The 2021 Job Creation Program was the source of funding for this extremely successful First Nations program.

The Indian Resource Council is calling for continued funding for the highly successful First Nations Site Rehabilitation Program to address methane emissions and land disturbance on First Nations lands. (CNW Group/Indian Resource Council)

The IRC is responsible for the creation of the FNRSP. Our effective engagement and collaboration with the Government of alberta resulted in Period 6 of the Alberta SRP. Starting in February 2021, almost a year later than the rest of the PRS program, we know this period has been the most transparent and efficient in the alberta program. Over the past 14 months, IRC, participating First Nations and contractors have managed this program to effectively deploy more than $110 millionfrom an initial allocation of only $85 million. During this period, the IRC has provided critical technical capacity and support to over 30 Alberta First Nations and their contractors. The funding provided has covered over 1,600 sites and created long-term capacity for First Nations and Indigenous entrepreneurs. This has resulted in a reduction in methane gas emissions, equivalent to removing 250,000 cars from Canada roads and returning more than 5,000 acres of land to a state that benefits every nation.

Collectively, we have proven that we can work within the confines of government process and deliver exceptional results. The IRC and its members are aware that the SRP was a job creation program. Through this approach, the IRC, in partnership with First Nations, has trained over 360 First Nations people from 42 First Nations in alberta. This enabled 78% of those trained to find employment directly after participating in the well site abandonment and rehabilitation program, and a further 13% started their own business. The remaining students went to post-secondary schools and trade schools. PRS programming has produced extraordinary results not often seen in other employment growth initiatives. From a financial perspective, this translated into an ultra-conservative ROI calculation of 17x for this program, on training alone. Further analysis of the PRSPN has seen the number of Indigenous businesses involved in reclamation and remediation activities increase from 30 in 2018 to over 140 in 2022. This growth simply cannot be ignored.

The tremendous success and achievements of the FNSRP program can only be overshadowed by the work that remains to be done. To date, there are still more than 3,000 sites to be processed through from Alberta First Nations Reserves. The IRC is requesting funding to continue this successful program, allowing for a seamless continuation of these tremendous achievements. It would be disappointing to lose the positive momentum of the PRSPN, forcing IRC, First Nations and contractors to learn yet another new process.

IRC President/CEO stephen buffalo states “What is continually left out of these conversations is that these responsibilities are the legal responsibility of oil and gas licensees, while at the same time the Government of Canada Indian Oil and Gas Canada (IOGC) has a fiduciary responsibility to care for these historic wells on First Nation lands through its administrative department. industry and Canada have benefited from development on First Nations lands. Wealth has been created, we just want the government of Canada come to the table to work with First Nations and industry to clean up the remaining lands and return them to their natural state. It’s about getting it right, it’s about our future generations, all of us.”

Chief Greg Desjarlais of Frog Lake First Nation, the largest beneficiary of the FNSRP, commends IRC for its role in the FNSRP and expressed its support for the continuation of this program. The Chief says “Frog Lake and many other nations have benefited a lot from this program. We are cleaning up our lands while creating employment opportunities for our people. So I commend the two Canada and alberta for this initiative. However, there is still much work to be done on our traditional lands and territories. I support the IRC’s request for the continuation of this very successful program.”

The IRC will organize a media event on April 26and in Treaty territory 6.

SOURCE Indian Resource Council

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