June 21, 2023
June is National Indigenous History Month, with June 21 recognized as National Indigenous Peoples Day – a time to recognize and celebrate the history, heritage, resilience and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis across Canada.
At Seaspan, we recognize the importance of Indigenous Peoples’ long history and connections with the lands and waters where we live and work.
We are grateful to operate within the traditional territories of the Coast Salish Peoples and are committed to developing respectful relationships and engaging in constructive consultation with our neighbouring First Nations, including the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, Haisla, Tsawwassen, Snuneymuxw, Esquimalt and Songhees Nations.
We are continuously working towards creating meaningful partnerships including job opportunities and long-term economic benefits for local Indigenous communities connected to our projects and business activities. Initiatives conducted in support of or in partnership with local Indigenous Peoples and organizations over the last year include:
- Three-year investment (2021-2023) with Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS) for education and employment training for the urban Indigenous community
- Supported Songhees Nation in its inaugural South Island Powwow in September 2022
- Supported Tsleil-Waututh Nation in 2022 Whey-ah-wichen Canoe Festival
- Indigenous and Fraser River Education Programs provided by the Fraser River Discovery Centre Society were enhanced by grant from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation in conjunction with Seaspan and Southern Railway of British Columbia Limited
In addition to our HaiSea partnership with Haisla Nation, Seaspan Marine signed several new partnerships in 2022:
- Partnered with Gitxaala Nation to expand its services along the North Coast of BC through the launch of their Port Rupert ship escort and docking service
- Seaspan Ferries signed long-term collaborative agreements with Snuneymuxw First Nation to guide how they work together – this stemmed from years of discussions and negotiations as Seaspan has been operating its Duke Point Ferry Terminal on Snuneymuxw territory for more than two decades
As we look to the future, we continue to work with Indigenous communities in the development of Indigenous Engagement Action Plans based the strategic pillars of Relationships, Education, Investment, Procurement and Employment.