Alton Natural Gas Storage is committed to building long-term, mutually beneficial working relationships with Aboriginal communities while recognizing and respecting Aboriginal and Treaty Rights, individual values and traditions. Since 2006 we have been developing relationships on a foundation of respect for the languages, customs, and political, social and cultural institutions of Aboriginal peoples. To view an example about Alton’s engagement with the Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia, see the Kwilmu'kw Maw-klusqaqn January 2016 Newsletter.
Alton values the participation of the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia in environmental monitoring of the project and engagement on project benefits. The company remains in active dialogue with Mi’kmaw leaders in these areas. This includes discussions with Sipekne’katik First Nation regarding environmental protection and community benefits. See for example the Alton information sheet provided for the Sipekne’katik community meeting on May 24, 2017. In addition, see an example of our earlier dialogue with Sipekne’katik regarding Alton and potential benefits from the project for that community.
Mi’kmaq Ecological Knowledge Study
As part of our work to research the Shubenacadie River and surrounding areas, a Mi'kmaq Ecological Study was conducted for Alton. A 2012 update to the study built on the original findings from 2007.
Mi’kmaq-led Independent Science Review
Alton participated in a third-party review of the science behind the project. The company that conducted the review was retained by the Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office (KMKNO) on behalf of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs in the negotiations and consultations among the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia, the Province of Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada about Alton. The review focused on assessing potential impacts of the proposed project on fish and fish habitat of the Shubenacadie Estuary.
Alton’s response to the review is an outcome of discussions of a multiparty working group that met through the fall of 2015. As a result of the independent review and working group engagement, environmental protections on the project were further enhanced. The working group included representation from Alton, the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia, and federal and provincial governments.
Studying the Shubenacadie River
Alton is providing funding to IKANAWTIKET Environmental Incorporated to help support a two year study that is currently underway on the Shubenacadie River system. IKANAWTIKET is an Aboriginal environmental educational charity. In 2017 Alton extended support for the study to help provide a year-to-year comparison of sampling results.
Raising wetlands awareness
A new, portable lab will be visiting schools, community groups and special events in 2018 to help explain the value of wetlands and how they work. The lab was developed by IKANAWTIKET in conjunction with the Engineering Department at Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Agriculture. Alton supported development of the lab. Read more about the lab in the September 2017 community newsletter.
Fish fact sheets
Years of research on the Shubenacadie River have been summarized in new fish fact sheets developed by Dalhousie University with input from Alton consultants and reviewed by a multi-party working group including federal and provincial departments and representatives of the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia.