In locations inhabited or historically used by Indigenous peoples, we work with communities to respect their cultures and customs. In addition, we support employment initiatives and cultural heritage programs through local content development and strategic community investments.
We are committed to conducting meaningful engagements and open consultation with Indigenous peoples, incorporating traditional knowledge and land use practices into our plans and promoting community programs that respect traditions and cultures. Meaningful engagement is a key aspect of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent, a specific right that pertains to Indigenous peoples and is recognized in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
No two communities are the same, so our process begins by establishing engagement methods in accordance with local custom and preferences. Communities may decide, for example, whether they want us to meet with elected leaders, community elders, or other representatives, whether those engagements are conducted in a public forum, whether they are formal or informal, how frequently they occur.
Our interactions with Indigenous peoples around the world are consistent with the goals of the following frameworks:
- International Labor Organization Convention 169 Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries.
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- International Finance Corporation Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability.
- World Bank Operational Policy and Bank Procedure on Indigenous Peoples.
Partnering with Indigenous peoples in Canada
Our majority-owned affiliate in Canada, Imperial, Ltd., has consistently demonstrated high standards, innovation, and leadership in Canada’s energy industry for more than 140 years and is critical to ExxonMobil’s business in Canada. Core to Imperial’s strategy for collective success and delivering value is advancing social innovation and engagement by meaningfully supporting and contributing to local and Indigenous communities. Imperial is a Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business procurement champion, placing the company in a select group of corporations that have committed to increasing supply chain opportunities for Indigenous businesses. For example, Imperial developed a business partnership with Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation that identified heavy-duty welding as an area for strategic partnership. Imperial is proud of the growth and opportunity achieved, and Imperial continuously works to expand relations with Indigenous communities throughout Canada.
Indigenous stakeholders tell us that one of the most meaningful contributions our company can make on the journey of economic reconciliation is to grow healthy partnerships with Indigenous businesses. Imperial in Canada has worked to facilitate partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous suppliers and to align the company’s national supply chain needs with Indigenous partner capacity.
In 2021, those efforts reached an important milestone, as Imperial signed its largest-ever contracts with Indigenous-owned companies. Fort McKay Graham and Mikisew North American were awarded five-year contracts to provide large-scale earthwork, land reclamation, and mining support services, contributing to an all-time high in spending with Indigenous suppliers.
Imperial is focused now on expanding its efforts across the value chain with an emphasis on business development opportunities in downstream operations. At the same time, the company continues its work to incorporate Indigenous input and traditional knowledge in project execution, increase Indigenous representation in the workforce, and enhance employee Indigenous cultural education across Canada.
Many of Imperial’s operations and development opportunities are near Indigenous communities or on traditional lands. Imperial supports communities in areas where we explore, develop, and operate, and, as is always the case, we strive to establish meaningful relationships built on mutual trust, respect, and shared prosperity. The goal is to collaborate with Indigenous communities on a common vision for progress, sustainable economic development, and environmental stewardship.
Imperial has also established a series of Indigenous awareness professional development courses to further employee knowledge of Indigenous cultures, history, and traditions.
More information on Indigenous engagement at Imperial can be accessed here.