Operators are engaging in new ways with Indigenous groups in Newfoundland and Labrador, through a series of safety and offshore engagement training sessions. The CAPP-sponsored sessions aim to educate about the oil and gas industry and safety culture, while looking at future opportunities to work together.
Eric Christmas is one of the organizers of the sessions, modelled on a successful series of safety culture seminars delivered to all 13 Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq communities in 2018. Christmas is an Indigenous business consultant and a member of the board of directors of LearnSphere, an organization that provides training to help small and medium-sized companies be more competitive.
The initial session was held March 5-6 in St. John’s in conjunction with a larger LearnSphere Indigenous training event held that week. The March 5 session included 16 Indigenous participants who were then joined on March 6 by over 30 local oil and gas industry representatives. The sessions included an overview of the oil and gas industry and safety culture, information about supply chain readiness and presentations from Indigenous firms, suppliers and operators. There were also one-on-one meetings to allow all organizations to get to know each other better. Participants received a free Safety Culture 101 online course and a 12-month subscription to a Digital Safety Inspection App.
As a result of this initial event, many Indigenous organizations are now looking to come together as an Atlantic regional business association to help pursue future opportunities in oil and gas, and other industries. Christmas said they are encouraged by the progress to date.