Indigenous relations

Build respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples to foster mutual understanding.

How CEPA members improve performance

Canada and the world count on pipelines for the safe delivery of the energy they need for life and prosperity. CEPA Integrity First® was created by CEPA members with the primary purpose of continuously improving the performance of Canada’s energy pipeline industry and ensuring the safety of those who live and work around pipelines while protecting the environment.

Through Integrity First, CEPA members work collaboratively to share their knowledge and innovations to drive industry-wide performance improvements in pipeline safety, environmental protection and socio-economic practices. Integrity First enables pipeline companies to work together to make our industry better – focusing on safety, transparency and responsible operations – striving toward our goal of zero incidents.

10 key priorities:

Integrity First cycle
Integrity First ensures that each priority is put through a six-stage process that is supported by CEPA and built on a solid foundation of strategic communications and change management.


Pipelines often cross Indigenous territories, which makes these communities an important part of the safe and responsible delivery of the energy you need. Whenever pipelines go through a reserve or traditional territory, CEPA members and the community engage to ensure impact on the environment and the community is minimized. Members also engage the community to find ways the pipeline can bring long-term benefits, including jobs, training and business opportunities, to help the community grow and thrive. In addition, CEPA members are helping First Nations, Metis and Inuit people to build their capacity to engage in and lead reviews, assessments, hearings and other aspects of the development process.

Priority commitments

All CEPA members have well-developed Indigenous relations programs that will inform development of the CEPA Integrity First® guidance document for Indigenous Relations. Members are committed to CEPA’s Indigenous Relations Guiding Principles:

  • Recognize and respect the diverse culture, values, beliefs and uniqueness of Indigenous communities.
  • Promote direct, honest, ongoing and timely communications with Indigenous communities.
  • Foster and encourage Indigenous-focused employment, education and business development measures.
  • Develop ongoing Indigenous participation strategies in cooperation with Indigenous organizations.
  • Encourage awareness and understanding of Indigenous issues.
Priority stage

Integrity First ensures that each priority is put through a six-stage cycle that is supported by CEPA and built on a solid foundation of strategic communications and change management.

Find out more about the cycle and each stage.

Are pipelines safe?

Yes, they are the safest way to transport the energy Canada and the world need. In fact, Canadian transmission pipelines are among the safest in the world.

In 2018, Canada’s 121,000-kilometre network of transmission pipelines moved 97 per cent of Canada’s natural gas and onshore crude oil production to the people who need it (the other 3 per cent was by rail or truck).

Out of 1.6 billion barrels of oil transported by CEPA members, a total of 11.3 barrels were spilled and couldn’t be recovered. These remaining barrels dissipate through volatilization (similar to evaporation) and other natural processes. While this is only a tiny percentage of oil transported, no amount spilled is acceptable to CEPA members, who work toward a common goal of zero incidents.

CEPA members work together to continuously improve what are already among the highest safety standards, and best safety records, in the world. Over 51,000 kilometres of transmission pipeline were inspected from the inside in 2018, and over 2,600 integrity digs were performed to check any anomalies identified. Hundreds of exercises were performed to ensure CEPA member companies’ emergency response teams are prepared. Over $2 billion was spent on monitoring to ensure that your energy was delivered safely.

Canada and the world will need oil and natural gas long into the future, and you can count on CEPA members to get it to you in the safest, most responsible way.