We look for opportunities to help preserve cultural heritage by managing the potential impacts of our operations and by making culturally appropriate community investments.
At ExxonMobil, our respect for the cultural heritage and customs of local communities carries into our business practices from project design and execution through ongoing operations. As we design our projects, we consider cultural and spiritual considerations, heritage sites, biodiversity conservation, traditional knowledge, and efficient use of resources.
We value and respect the diverse cultural histories of the areas where we operate. To do that, we use a cultural heritage identification process to identify potential sites of cultural significance. If the recovery or relocation of an artifact is appropriate, ExxonMobil develops tailored procedures in consultation with technical experts, local communities, and host country government officials. We leverage relevant studies to deepen the knowledge among our workforce and provide training to our construction and field contractor personnel to identify different types of cultural heritage in the areas where we work.
At Imperial Oil’s Kearl mining operations, three lakes are being built to replace impacted fish habitat. In October 2019, before construction began, a blessing was held at the future site of the second of these lakes, Lake Tourangeau.
The name was unveiled at the blessing ceremony, which was led by members of the Kearl Reclamation Planning Group composed of elders and community members from seven neighboring Indigenous communities. The group chose this name to honor a prominent local trapping family. The group will continue to visit Lake Tourangeau during construction to provide traditional knowledge, such as medicinal plants and habitat features that support a variety of wildlife, all of which could be incorporated into Imperial’s design, monitoring, reclamation plans, and activities.