We acknowledge and respect Indigenous Peoples, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit, in British Columbia, each with their own culture, language, traditions, and stewardship practices, which the BCUC’s work spans.

We are committed to establishing and developing respectful, meaningful and collaborative relationships with Indigenous Nations, communities, and peoples. We aim to listen, adapt, and respond to ensure Indigenous interests and reconciliation principles are reflected in our work.

Consultation and BCUC Jurisdiction

Applications to the BCUC for approval to construct, own, or operate utility infrastructure may require consultation with First Nations. If an applicant is of the view that consultation with First Nations is not required, reasons supporting its conclusion must be provided to the BCUC.

Unless otherwise justified, the applicant should file the consultation information identified in the BCUC’s Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity Application Guidelines, including:

  1. Identification of the First Nation(s) who are potentially affected by the application, and
  2. Outline the consultation that was conducted.

    This includes identifying the First Nation(s) that were contacted, listing meeting dates, noting specific issues or concerns raised by the First Nation(s), addressing, or accommodating the concerns, documenting that the First Nation(s) is satisfied with the consultation, and evidence to confirm the First Nation(s) was informed on how to raise outstanding concerns with the BCUC.

Note: BC Hydro, as a Crown utility, is required to provide additional consultation information as set out in the most recent version of the BCUC First Nations Information Filing Guidelines for Crown Utilities.

Whenever the Crown’s (federal or provincial government) duty to consult has been triggered in applications before it, the BCUC considers whether adequate consultation has taken place, but it does not have the jurisdiction to engage in consultation in order to discharge the Crown’s duty to consult.

Participate in BCUC Regulatory Activities

The BCUC conducts fair, transparent, and inclusive proceedings to review applications from prospective and existing public utilities. Indigenous peoples can participate in our processes by:

  1. Requesting Intervener status to actively participate in a proceeding, including asking questions of the applicant and providing submissions to the BCUC,
  2. Submitting a Letter of Comment to share views, opinions, and insights about a matter under review, and
  3. Subscribe to a Proceeding to receive email notifications when public information is posted in a proceeding.

Indigenous Intervener Capacity Fund (IICF) Pilot Program

IICF is a BCUC pilot program aimed at reducing financial barriers for Indigenous governments and organizations to participate as interveners in BCUC proceedings.

Under IICF, eligible Indigenous participants in BCUC proceedings can receive up to $5,000 in capacity funding to assist with proceeding costs. Learn more in our IICF Fact Sheet or IICF Program Guidelines.

Our Commitment to UNDRIP/DRIPA

Many First Nations are currently pursuing energy projects in British Columbia. The BCUC works with First Nations to provide assistance in navigating the regulatory framework.

The BCUC is taking steps to implement recommendations from the BCUC Inquiry into the Regulation of Indigenous Utilities. The recommendations to the BCUC include:

  • Develop a strategy to build Indigenous capacity in utility regulation.
  • Modify its regulatory processes to better reflect reconciliation; and
  • Include Indigenous peoples in Staff and Commissioner roles.

In November 2021, the BCUC established its Indigenous Reconciliation Policy, available here.

The BCUC conducted an Indigenous Participation Survey ​in October 2020.

The survey sought input from Indigenous communities and Indigenous community members on how to make BCUC processes more inclusive and accessible to Indigenous peoples and groups in BC. We will be using the feedback to inform our action plan.

Indigenous Training & Awareness

The BCUC has implemented Indigenous awareness training for all Staff and Commissioners. We are also exploring further learning opportunities to enhance our cultural awareness. While much work lies ahead for the advancement of reconciliation, the BCUC remains committed to pursuing this initiative in the hopes of encouraging greater participation by Indigenous peoples in the work of public utility regulation in BC.