Cermaq Canada operates in the traditional territory of First Nations in BC and is committed to developing and maintaining positive relationships with indigenous peoples. The company follows a set of guiding principles for these relationships.
Cermaq’s 10 principles of First Nation Relations
1. Recognition of traditional territories and areas of cultural or heritage interest
We accept and support that the success of any of our projects will be measured on the ability to effectively engage with local First Nations. Consultation and engagement requires a determination of which communities and First Nations our operations are related to.
2. Recognition that First Nations have overlapping or shared territories
Many projects will face the situation that there are multiple First Nations that have shared the land over time. There may be multiple communities that have interests and concerns related to our project and planned development.
3. Supporting the conclusion of fair, affordable and reasonable treaties
In many areas of the world treaties have not been settled – if treaties are not fair and Indigenous Peoples remain upset, business and Governments will not get the certainty they have been seeking.
4. Respecting the diversity of interests and cultures among First Nations
Of the 605 Bands in Canada 197, or 33%, are in British Columbia, which represents about 4% of the Canadian population. In many cases, the First Nations are as diverse in culture and heritage as Europeans are to Asians.
5. Respecting the internal affairs of First Nations
Cermaq will not get involved in internal Band conflicts.
6. Sharing a common commitment to sustainability and respect for the land and its resources
Cermaq is committed to create and maintain an environmentally sound, sustainable, and economically viable fin fish aquaculture businesses in the First Nation territories within which we operate or propose to operate that clearly demonstrates a respect for and seeks a balance amongst all living things.
7. Recognize that First Nations have varying interests and objectives in relationships and cooperative ventures
There is no one single template for relationships – successful cooperative ventures take time, commitment, trust, and respect.
8. Acknowledging there is a shortage of capital to involve First Nations in cooperative ventures
Many First Nations do not have access to capital, therefore, the position taken by companies that they are prepared to share the project benefits if the First Nations makes a substantive capital investment is a flawed expectation. Cermaq is willing to explore the interest of First Nations to create new partnerships that will create new fin fish aquaculture businesses that will bring benefits and opportunities to both the First Nations and Cermaq.
9. Encouraging the enhancement of First Nations capacity to develop training, employment and business opportunities in the resource sector
There are numerous examples where business and First Nations have worked in a cooperative manner to secure Government funding to support training and employment initiatives. Cermaq is willing to work with interested First Nations to secure this type of funding.
10. Support First Nations aspirations in securing economic development
Training and employment are often areas of most interest in local communities. Cermaq is committed to developing mutually beneficial relationships and partnerships that will enhance and increase training and employment opportunities.