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Established in 2014, the Aboriginal Liaison Program (ALP) is a partnership between Indigenous communities, the BC Energy Regulator (BCER) and other natural resource agencies.

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The Aboriginal Liaison Program (ALP) began as a partnership between Doig River First Nation and the BC Oil and Gas Commission (now the BCER) in 2014. Since that time, the program has expanded to include multiple government natural resource agencies and 16 First Nations.

Partnering First Nations communities hire a local member as a Liaison to see and report to their communities about resource development activities on their traditional territories.

The program supplies training to Liaisons to increase knowledge and understanding of development activities and the impacts. The Liaison can then inform community members with sound, objective and reliable information.

The Liaisons also engage with natural resource agencies to increase understanding of local traditional knowledge and the impacts of resource development within their traditional territories. This teaches agency staff about First Nations’ values and traditional ecological knowledge as well as allows them to learn first-hand about the culture and community of the Indigenous peoples they work with.

This two-way learning has been successful and has proved to be a benefit for all.

Who’s Involved?

First Nations:

ALP First Nations Map

Natural Resource Agencies:

  • BC Energy Regulator
  • Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness
  • Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
    • Environment Assessment Office
    • Conservation Officer Services
  • Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation
  • Ministry of Forests
    • Natural Resource Officers
    • BC Wildfire Services
    • Fish & Wildlife Branch
  • Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
  • Ministry of Lands, Water and Resource Stewardship
  • Alberta Energy Regulator
  • Canada Energy Regulator

What We Do


  • Inspect and report on natural resource development activities in their communities and traditional territories
  • Represent their community interests and work with natural resource agencies to ensure those concerns are addressed
  • Provide updates about their findings and activities back to their communities and the natural resource agencies
  • Develop projects tailored to the community’s Indigenous land values and priorities
  • Build communication protocol between agencies and their representing communities

Natural Resource Agencies:

  • Lead inspections
  • Respond to concerns, complaints and provide feedback on compliance observation
  • Communicate with Liaisons on a regular basis
  • Provide training opportunities
  • Address areas of interest
  • Provide information on stewardship and compliance monitoring projects
  • Support communication protocol identified by Liaisons
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2019-20 Annual Summary Report

CER joins the Aboriginal Liaison Program in British Columbia

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Natural Resource Aboriginal Liaison Program (ALP) Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ALP?

The ALP supports communication and develops partnerships between Indigenous communities and the Province’s natural resource agencies. The program facilitates Indigenous involvement in stewardship and monitoring of energy development in northern B.C.

ALP creates opportunity for agencies and Indigenous communities to work together and improve awareness of natural resource regulatory oversight, development, stewardship monitoring, emergency management and restoration activities.

Through the ALP, communities hire Liaisons to observe and report to their communities about resource development activities on their traditional territories. The ALP provides training opportunities to improve Liaisons’ knowledge and understanding of development activities and impacts. It also enables them to inform their community with objective, reliable, and sound information.

Liaisons provide compliance oversight and submit reportable infractions to the regulating agencies while attending ALP activities such as independent monitoring and joint inspections with Agency or Industry.

What are the goals of the ALP?

To develop two-way communication, meaningful relationships, and interactions between Indigenous groups and agencies that regulate natural resource development and emergency response.

To enhance awareness in Indigenous communities about the role of agencies in regulating the lifecycle of energy development.

To enhance agency staff awareness of Indigenous peoples’ values and traditional knowledge in relation to natural resources.

How is the ALP being developed?

The ALP has been active since 2014, starting with relationship-building between Doig River First Nation and the BC Energy Regulator in northeast British Columbia. The program has grown across three regions of northern British Columbia.

The ALP has been developed in collaboration with participating Indigenous communities, focusing initially on communities in Treaty 8 and along the northern gas pipeline corridors.

What is the role of a Liaison?

ALP Liaisons are hired by their community to observe and report about resource development activities on Indigenous land values and priorities. The Liaison encourages two-way communication and information sharing between their community and natural resource agencies.

ALP Liaisons receive technical training in numerous resource industry areas and bring that knowledge, along with information they gain from their fieldwork, back to the community. Once trained, Liaisons work with agency staff to monitor compliance of resource development activities and resulting stewardship outcomes. Liaisons may be assigned monitoring and inspection tasks as appropriate, including reporting their observations and findings to their community and the ALP.

ALP Liaisons are knowledgeable individuals that identify concerns to agencies, observe resolution of concerns, and report back to the community or regulating agency for reportable infractions. Liaisons communicate timely, current, and reliable information and knowledge between communities and government staff.

Will the scope of the Liaison role grow over time?

Coordinated through a provincial ALP Steering Committee, the ALP has expanded the role of the Liaison to include participation in compliance oversight, stewardship monitoring, and emergency management with provincial natural resource agencies.

What First Nations are involved in the Aboriginal Liaison Program?

The ALP Steering Committee continues to explore ways to build programs with Indigenous communities potentially impacted by natural resource sector activities. The steering committee is currently working with the following communities in implementing the ALP:

  • Blueberry River First Nations
  • Carrier Sekani First Nations
  • Doig River First Nation
  • Fort Nelson First Nation
  • Haisla Nation
  • Lake Babine Nation
  • Nisga’a Lisims Government
  • Prophet River First Nation
  • Saulteau First Nations
  • West Moberly First Nations

Who can I contact for more information?

Katie Kirshner

Executive Director, Aboriginal Liaison Program & Operations
Compliance and Operations
BC Energy Regulator

Alanya Smith

A/Executive Director, Natural Resource Reconciliation Policy
Reconciliation and Natural Resource Sector Policy Division
Ministry of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship

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