InnoTech Alberta with the support of Alberta Economic Development, Trade and Tourism developed three Business Development Training & Engagement sessions for Indigenous companies with a focus on midstream and downstream oil and gas projects. Sessions were held at the Grey Eagle Resort in Calgary on September 23-24, 2019, at the River Cree Resort in Edmonton on November 12-13, 2019, and at the Pomeroy Hotel in Grande Prairie on February 11, 2020. Representatives from 71 Indigenous-owned companies, First Nation and Métis Settlement Economic Development Corporations attended. Fifteen major purchasers, including owner/operators, engineering, procurement, and construction firms (EPCs) were recruited to train and engage with Indigenous companies. This format opened a direct line of communication between Indigenous suppliers and industry buyers.

Most of the Indigenous companies in attendance reported capabilities in project management, reclamation/remediation, environmental services and engineering services. Future growth areas for companies included safety services, road work, hauling (delivery and pickup) and tree fallers. When asked about barriers to business development, most Indigenous companies cited limited access to capital, shortage of skilled labour and marketing and business development opportunities.

We surveyed representatives from midstream and downstream buyer companies/presenters that participated in the Business Development and Training Sessions. All respondents reported that attending the event helped their company identify new potential Indigenous suppliers. Almost all (88%) respondents reported that the event increased their awareness of Indigenous businesses. Almost all (86%) respondents reported that participating in the event resulted in a follow-up meeting with a potential Indigenous supplier company.

We summarized the presentations made by the 15 midstream and downstream buyer companies noting the most frequently mentioned perspectives and expectations. The most common requirement that buyers/presenters spoke about was having a documented safety program and good track record of safety performance. The second most common issue mentioned was the expectation of fair and transparent pricing. Other top issues were sustainability principles, Certificate of Recognition (COR) and Small Employer Certificate of Recognition (SECOR) requirements, and registration with ISNetworld.

A copy of the full report can be found here:The-potential-for-indigenous-involvement-in-the-midstream-and-downstream-energy-sector