Regional Assessment of Offshore Oil and Gas Exploratory Drilling East of Newfoundland and Labrador — Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Workshop: Indigenous Knowledge and Two-eyed Seeing — Engagement Activity / Meeting Notes

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Document reference number: 100

Date finalized: January 9, 2020

Date and Time / Duration

Wednesday, November 13, 2019
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. AST


Kwilmu'kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office (KMKNO) Board room, 75 Treaty Trail, Millbrook, Nova Scotia

Participants (External)


Shanice Mollen-Picard Conseil des Innu de Ekuanitshit
Uapukun Mestokosho Conseil des Innu de Ekuanitshit
Sara Andrade Conseil des Innu de Ekuanitshit
Derek Peters KMKNO
Ross Hinks Miawpukek First Nation
Devin Ward Mi'gmawe'l Tplu'taqnn
Marcy Cloud Mi'gmawe'l Tplu'taqnn
Tom Johnson Mi'gmawe'l Tplu'taqnn
George Russell Jr. NunatuKavut Community Council
Shelley Kath NunatuKavut Community Council
Stephen Rose Qalipu First Nation
Shelley Denny Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resource (UINR)
Jennifer Sylliboy UINR
Ave Dersch Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick
Corrie Melanson, facilitator

Participants (Internal)

Committee Members:

Garth Bangay
Wes Foote
Maureen Murphy Rustad
Keith Storey

Regional Assessment Task Team:

Impact Assessment Agency of Canada

Steve Bonnell
Carys Burgess
Virginia Crawford

Key Messages/Issues Raised

Principles and Values Highlighted:

  • 1. Two-eyed Seeing is a process. It's about how we know rather than what we know.
  • 2. There are many ways of knowing.
  • 3. Two-eyed Seeing should be recognized throughout the Regional Assessment Report rather than in one section.
  • 4. When in doubt, leave it out.
  • 5. Fallacy of "no data, no impact".
  • 6. Decolonize and address power imbalances.
  • 7. Two-eyed Seeing will result in conflict and tension and this should be embraced not avoided.
  • 8. Beliefs are not negotiable and we will have to adjust our values in order to develop a common vision.

Workshop Highlights:

  • 9. Presentation by Shelley Denny—Two-eyed Seeing followed by large group discussion.
  • 10. Break-out groups identify areas of tension and concern for Indigenous groups raised as a result of the Regional Assessment followed by large group discussion.
  • 11. Synthesis of areas of tension and concern into seven topics followed by break-out groups developing recommendations which follow principles of Two-eyed Seeing.

Areas of concern and group recommendations based on Two-eyed Seeing Principles:

  • 12. Cumulative effects:
    • linking multiple industry impacts to marine spatial mapping and links to impacts on multiple species
    • create multi-stakeholder/rights holder research group, stop doing offshore research in silos, one group/organization to make sure all research is integrated
    • expand current thinking on cumulative effects to consider climate change (e.g., impacts from large icebergs, impacts from big storms and waves, increasing water temperature/ocean acidity)
    • there are unreportable spills/allowable releases but multiply that by 1000 and it becomes significant, what is the threshold
  • 13. Power imbalances (representation, opportunities)
    • educate people at all levels on the Indigenous context (ex- rights and identity)
    • Indigenous people being able to hold the pen along side government when writing policy
    • capacity to be meaningfully included in the process (attend meetings, prep and debrief time) including funding for independent technical experts
    • Minister needs to be accountable when making decisions that are not in line with consensus decisions made by committees such as this, no black box, need a justification
    • Critical to have Indigenous direct involvement right at the beginning not when you are at the draft final report stage. This would require Indigenous reps on the Committee and Indigenous people should have a say in who sits on the Committee, consensus based approach when doing Committee work.
    • two way information sharing (the good and the bad), an obligation to share, for example on spills
  • 14. Valuing economy over environment (balance)—Vision of future
    • Take the long view—seven-generation approach
    • Why are we extracting hydrocarbons in a climate crisis
    • Environment has rights
  • 15. Lacking ability to adapt within processes (timelines)
    • Approval process goes too fast (important to ensure that there is a higher environmental standard for projects that do not require an impact assessment)
    • Need to show adaptability (e.g., add capping stacks, change activities as required by seasons – more/less ice, altered timing of migration, use of the environment by Indigenous Peoples, protection of sensitive areas)
  • 16. Lacking protection of areas of significance
    • New regulation in significant areas by establishing frameworks with those areas for protection. Why is there development within them? Have penalties for non-compliance.
    • Apply temporal and spatial exclusions
  • 17. Knowledge gaps and how they're addressed through collaboration. How we do things is the critical component in reaching solutions.
    • No new calls for bids until gaps resolved.
    • TK reports are of limited value because there is no interaction with those who wrote them and no understanding of how Indigenous people adapt to changing circumstance
    • Apply conservation tariffs or stronger ones for a Board of governance with Indigenous groups to determine where funding goes.
    • Apply precautionary principle.
  • 18. Lacking meaningful interaction between Indigenous groups and Industry.
    • This area of concern was not addressed beyond identifying it.

Follow-up / Action Items

  • 1. Follow up meeting to provide feedback and input in preliminary Regional Assessment recommendations—December 2, 2019 KMKNO Boardroom Millbrook Nova Scotia

Prepared By:

Virginia Crawford

Date modified: