Introduction to the IAMC
The Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee (IAMC) brings together 13 Indigenous and six senior federal representatives to provide advice to regulators and to monitor the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) Project and existing pipeline. Members have a shared goal of safety and protection of environmental and Indigenous interests in the lands and water. Participation by an Indigenous community does not mean that it supports or opposes the project, nor does it change the government's duty to consult.
How the IAMC Came To Be
The work to create the IAMC for the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) project and existing pipeline began with a letter, in June 2016, from Chiefs Ernie Crey (Cheam) and Chief Aaron Sumexheltza (Lower Nicola) to Prime Minister Trudeau and the Premiers of BC and Alberta. In response, the federal government asked Indigenous communities for their input on this idea. When the Prime Minister approved the TMX project, he announced his support for the co-development of a monitoring committee.
Nation to Nation Building
The Committee was co-developed over six months by a Working Group made up of representatives from the federal government (including the National Energy Board) and Indigenous communities.
During the co-development process, two line-wide workshops and eight regional meetings were held, along with other meetings and teleconferences, to seek input from Indigenous representatives along the route on the Terms of Reference (TOR) and to enable communities to select members for the Committee.
Participation Without Prejudice
All partners participate in the Committee on a “Without Prejudice” basis. Participation in the Committee does not indicate that a community supports or opposes the TMX Project; nor does it replace or diminish the federal government’s duty to consult or accommodate individual Indigenous communities, or diminish its obligations to comply with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements.
Our Strategic Directions
Right from the start, IAMC identified ten guiding principles [IAMC Guiding Principles Document]. In its work, the Committee is guided by section 35 of the Constitutional Act 1982, recognizing and affirming Aboriginal treaty rights, principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. The Committee strives to honour the Treaties and support nation-to-nation relationships.
On November 5-6, 2018, the IAMC’s Indigenous Caucus invited all 117 communities along the route for a gathering. Nearly 90 participants from Indigenous communities attended along with representatives from the British Columbia Coast Pilots Ltd., National Energy Board (NEB) and other federal government representatives. Community members put forth five key priorities to guide us in our work.
In May 2018, the TMX project, existing pipeline and terminal were purchased by the federal government. Trans Mountain Corporation is (TMC) is the crown corporation that will build the expansion, if the project proceeds. The Committee regularly meets with TMC on subjects important to Indigenous communities along the pipeline corridor and associated shipping lanes. These issues include safety, protecting Indigenous and environmental interests, and potential economic opportunities for community members.