Fostering relationships is an important part of how we work at Emera. Our approach includes building trust by finding common interest, and achieving results through collaboration. We recognize that the best outcomes happen when we work together, finding the solutions that create value for everyone involved.
Indigenous People & Native Americans
Emera recognizes the importance of building mutually beneficial relationships with indigenous people. Our goal is to establish these relationships on a foundation of respect and trust that acknowledges the culture, heritage and traditions of indigenous people.
We acknowledge that traditional knowledge is held orally within indigenous communities and better understood through meetings and conversations. Community visits, participation in events and ceremonies are central to our approach.
Nova Scotia Power
The Nova Scotia Power team continues to work towards establishing mutually beneficial relationships with the Nova Scotia Assembly of Mi’kmaq Chiefs, KMKNO (Kwilmu’kw Maw-Klusuaqn Negotiation Office) and the 13 Mi’kmaq First Nation communities in Nova Scotia. In 2016, Nova Scotia Power visited communities, participated in ceremonies, attended celebrations and continued to develop connections with Aboriginal organizations in Nova Scotia.
In 2016, some of the ways Nova Scotia Power built relationships included:
- Signed a five-year funding agreement with the KMKNO to address resource, capacity and participation in projects and activities;
- Established an archaeology program for a capital project that employed two Mi’kmaq Observers and three Mi’kmaq Archaeological Technicians;
- Partnered with two Mi’kmaq First Nation communities and Clean Foundation for a pilot in energy efficiency to address assessment, retrofits, and education in the communities.
Emera Newfoundland & Labrador
Emera Newfoundland & Labrador signed a Socio- Economic Agreement with the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nations Band in Newfoundland and the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs for the Maritime Link Project in 2014. These include commitments made during the federal Environmental Assessment process for the Maritime Link such as ongoing engagement, consideration of current land use and resources for traditional purposes, and monitoring of potential interactions. The Socio-Economic Agreement also promotes training, employment and business opportunities for members of indigenous communities.
In 2016, some of the ways Emera Newfoundland & Labrador built relationships and created shared value included:
- Met regularly with the Memski First Nations Band of Nova Scotia and the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nations Band of Newfoundland to discuss progress on the Maritime Link;
- Awarded the Caribou Traditional Use Study to the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band. This study deepens our collective understanding of the traditional use of Caribou within the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation and builds on an initial study which was conducted in 2014;
- Provided $75,000 to help further the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nations Band’s mandate to help preserve and share its heritage and culture with the Qalipu membership and the general population.
New Mexico Gas
With existing natural gas infrastructure that spans across 17 of the 23 tribal government entities in New Mexico, the New Mexico Gas team is working to develop, maintain and continually enhance mutually respectful relations with all New Mexico Pueblos, Tribes and Nations.
Since 2009, some of the ways the New Mexico Gas team has built relationships and created shared value include:
- Developing land use authorizations (ROWs, leases, agreements, etc.);
- Extending mainlines to areas not currently served;
- Delivering ongoing communications and awareness of our projects and efforts;
- Making donations and contributions to projects that benefit tribal communities;
- Offering a Native American Scholarship Program.
We recognize that how we operate and grow our business makes a difference to our communities. To better engage with our customers and community members on issues related to our operations, we set up Community Liaison Committees in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland & Labrador. Similarly, in Florida, we invite community members and leaders to open house meetings where they can ask questions one-on-one with the Tampa Electric team about upcoming projects. We incorporate the outcomes of these conversations, meetings and committees into our plans. This keeps us close to our customers and ensures that our future is built on a strong foundation of collaboration and understanding.
Engaging on the Maritime Link
In addition to delivering an important new transmission project, the Emera Newfoundland & Labrador team have another significant goal – being the best source of information for stakeholders about the Maritime Link project. Team members began community engagement efforts in the spring of 2011 and since then have consulted with stakeholders including regulatory agencies, residents, landowners, commercial fish harvesters, industry, the business community, guide outfitters, hunters, anglers, special-interest groups and the general public. Community engagement opportunities have included one-on-one meetings, technical workshops, supplier sessions, public- information sessions and presentations to industry groups. As the project approaches completion, the team will continue to meet with stakeholders who have an interest in the Maritime Link.