Indigenous community partnerships

We have designated hundreds of millions of dollars for Indigenous employment and economic opportunities in the pipeline construction and continue to pursue equity ownership opportunities with Indigenous communities in the U.S. and Canada to provide for a meaningful long-term ownership stake and annual financial benefit from the project.

We recently signed a definitive agreement with Canada's Natural Law Energy, comprised of five First Nations.

“This partnership will facilitate important input and guidance from NLE on the project as we make this the most sustainable and safest pipeline ever developed. It will also enable the realization of long-term, meaningful economic benefits derived from an attractive return of and on NLE’s investment,” said Richard Prior, President, Keystone XL.

“This is a historical moment for First Nations and TC Energy. It’s going to benefit many generations to come. Thirty to forty years from now, Nekaneet First Nation members will see the opportunities through this definitive agreement by creating inter-generational wealth for many generations to come,” said Chief Alvin Francis, President of Natural Law Energy and Chief of Nekaneet First Nation. 

Community outreach

Working with Indigenous communities

TC Energy is more than an energy infrastructure business. We strive to build cooperative, mutually beneficial and lasting relationships with Indigenous groups (First Nations, Métis, and Tribal Nations).

It is critical for us to establish trust and respect through considerate engagement with these Indigenous groups on whose traditional lands we work. Acknowledgement and respect of Indigenous rights and culture frame TC Energy’s approach. We begin by acknowledging Indigenous peoples as rightsholders, as they have a distinct relationship to the land and collective rights.

TC Energy operates in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, and complies with the laws of each of these three countries, including their guidance on engagement with Indigenous groups.

We understand that TC Energy’s business activities have the potential to affect Indigenous groups in tangible ways. We seek to engage early with potentially affected Indigenous groups to understand their interests, respond to concerns, assist needs through our community legacy and education and training programs, and facilitate project participation through the Indigenous business engagement program. Through open communication and by working together with Indigenous groups, we aim to form positive long-term relationships.

TC Energy works to continuously improve our Indigenous engagement practices and opportunities through proactive outreach and a collaborative approach.

As the project progresses, TC Energy will continue to work closely with Indigenous groups to ensure open and ongoing dialogue, address questions, and identify platforms of common interest on which to work with Indigenous groups. We will continue to progress our community legacy, education and training initiatives. Through our business engagement program we will continue to work with Indigenous businesses to identify opportunities to participate in economic opportunities.

Our Indigenous Relations policy, strategy and guiding principles inform our work with Indigenous groups.


TC Energy and Natural Law Energy sign a definitive agreement which allows NLE to make an equity investment of up to $1 billion in the Keystone XL pipeline project.

TC Energy and Natural Law Energy sign definitive agreement

TC Energy Corporation and Natural Law Energy (NLE) today announced they have signed a definitive agreement which allows NLE to make an equity investment of up to $1 billion in the Keystone XL pipeline project. 

Watch the video of the Memorandum of Understanding signing.

Read more


Celebrating Indigenous culture together

The City of Cushing, Oklahoma, has earned the nickname, “The Pipeline Crossroads of the World.” It is also home to many Native American Tribes – as well as a fall festival that brings together the pipeline community and the Tribes. We were an inaugural sponsor of Native Fest, an annual festival held in September, and we have proudly supported the festival ever since.

Working today to build a better tomorrow!

Keystone XL - Investing in America's future infographic. LOCAL SPEND: $42.5 million direct and $42 million indirect. NATIVE AMERICAN SPEND: $1.6 million direct and $16.6 million indirect.

Keystone XL - Investing in Canada's future infographic. LOCAL SPEND: $207.3 million direct and $41.1 million indirect. INDIGENOUS SPEND: $15.5 million direct and $21.7 million indirect.


Indigenous engagement

We have engaged continuously with nine Indigenous communities in Canada and 25 in the U.S. and have productive relationships with many of them. Some have questions and we continue to work closely with those communities to provide honest and open answers to their questions. We have maintained on-the-ground relationships for years, and for those communities in the U.S. who aren’t familiar with us or with liquids pipelines operations, we’ve offered Pipeline 101, Elders’ workshops and pump station and work camp tours.

Through regular conversations and meetings, Indigenous groups share their concerns and interests with us, which in turn helps us to create proactive project plans including business opportunities, community legacy or investment and education and training opportunities. Some communities have said they were impressed by our continued outreach and found it to be unprecedented.

Regardless of what region we operate in, we strive to reach consent on our projects among Indigenous groups through early and ongoing engagement. We also work hard to avoid and mitigate project-related effects on the exercise of Indigenous rights through environmental assessment and project planning. For instance, we adjusted the route for Keystone XL to avoid Ponca lands seeded for sacred corn.