Taking a Traditional Approach to Reclamation with Indigenous Businesses
Jun. 14, 2019
Twin Sisters Native Plant Nursery, BC. Shell’s native plant provider since 2014.
Revegetation and Land Reclamation at Groundbirch
Before we break ground on any new natural gas project, we put plans in place for how to return the land back to its previous state.
A key way we have been able to undertake final reclamation activities is by working with Twin Sisters Nursery; a successful Indigenous-owned business that is a partnership between the Saulteau and West Moberly First Nations in Northeast British Columbia. Including this year, we will have planted more than 200,000 native plant plugs since we started working with Twin Sisters in 2014, revegetating nearly 150 acres of land.
Twin Sisters Nursery supports the improvement of restoration and reclamation work in Northeast B.C. through seed propagation and native plant distribution. Their primary focus is on ecological restoration and the remediation of impacts on traditional lands from mining and other industrial projects.
Shell helped the nursery expand with a second greenhouse a few years ago, further supporting reclamation activities for our operations and other companies in the area. Over 30 sites of our sites have had interim reclamation completed since 2015 using plants from the nursery.
The growth of Twin Sisters Nursery’s second greenhouse has allowed us to reclaim natural landscapes at Groundbirch using both local traditional knowledge and native plant species while helping employ community members. Developing local businesses in collaboration with Treaty 8 communities contributes to the long-term ecological and social health of British Columbia and Shell’s reconciliation journey with Indigenous Peoples.
Native plant re-vegetation is used to re-establish disturbed area with ecologically and culturally important plants. Historical re-vegetation practices used non-native seeds, but switching to native plant re-vegetation is important for restoring a habitat biodiversity best suited for maintaining local wildlife populations.
In 2014, we started what’s called interim reclamation at our Groundbirch natural gas operations in Northeast British Columbia. Interim reclamation – which goes beyond regulatory requirements and is considered best practice – re-establishes some of the land around our well pads in the years they are producing natural gas. It also reduces the amount of surface land that is disturbed and minimizes soil erosion. Once a well pad stops producing, interim reclamation is replaced with final reclamation which recontours the land back to its original state using native plants.
Watch: Twin Sisters Nursery
Title: Twin Sisters
Duration: 1:00 minute
[Background music plays]
Soft drums playing in the background along with an upbeat melody
Aerial view of Moberly Lake, British Columbia, snow covered land and rows of trees. A single vehicle driving on the road. The sky is white over the frosty landscape.
Moberly Lake, British Columbia
“In first nations culture the elders of the community teach the children our way of life.”
Elder driving a car with child sitting in the passenger seat, elder and child look at each other intently while the elder speaks
[Background music plays]
Music begins to pick up
[Chief Roland Willson]
“As the transfer of knowledge from elders to youth are, the transfer of knowledge from our culture to industry’s culture is there as well.”
Music is upbeat and cheery
Children wearing snowsuits walk through the snow towards the forest with elder and a dog in the background. Frame changes to one of the children looking up and slowly blinks at the elder.
[B-roll with yellow Text on screen]
Image of snow-covered land and forest with a foggy patch covering the top of the screen. Moose slowly walking in a tight group at the bottom right of the screen
“The Saulteau and West Moberly First Nations formed the Twin Sisters Native Plant Nursery.”
“They have partnered with Shell to reclaim the land at industrial sites.”
The moose begin running through the white snow towards the tall snow-covered bushes.
[Chief Ken Cameron]
“Twin Sisters is bringing in the Natural Plants back to where they were growing before.”
Aerial view of greenhouse surrounded by trees and covered by snow. Cars parked on the drive way are also covered with snow.
“We are doing ecological restoration which no one in this area really does.”
The greenhouse sliding doors covered with frost are opened by two women in winter clothes. They walk in and proceed ahead.
[Background music plays]
Music continues to be upbeat with a softer melody.
[Chief Roland Wilson]
“We’re healing the land, not all industries are open to that. Shell’s one of the ones that came to us and, you know, they engaged with us. We didn’t have to go chase them down.”
Two women working inside the greenhouse move large orange bags ofplant matter.
Woman sifting through seeds with her hand and inspects the content. She places a single seed on her finger in the shape of a heart and the camera zooms to capture the shape.
Chief Roland Willson appears on the screen with the forest in the background.
[Cree translation as text on screen in yellow font]
“We must work together to leave mother earth clean and healthy for our youth, future generations and those not born yet.”
[B-Roll Video Footage as woman speaks in Cree]
Low angle shot of the top of the trees in the forest with the camera slightly rotating. Tall trees closing in under the grey sky.
Elder woman standing in the forest speaking Cree to the camera. The scene changes to the young children who are walking through the snow with an elder towards a tree in the forest. The elder breaks off a piece of bark from the tree and lights it on fire. He holds the bark in his hand while the child in the green is also holding one between her gloves. All three look down at the piece of bark on fire held by the elder.
[Shell Logo Emerges Against White Background]
[Short and Uplifting Piece of Music Accompanies Emergence of Shell Logo]
[Fade to Black]
History of Twin Sisters Nursery
In 2012, Saulteau and West Moberly First Nations started a native plants nursery together at Moberly Lake in British Columbia with support of an industry partner. This nursery and its joint venture owners are key partners for the continued operation and growth of Shell’s Groundbirch asset.
Through income, training and employment opportunities, Twin Sisters provides support to nearby Indigenous communities through its operations. Traditional Indigenous knowledge is shared between Elders and youth on traditional uses for plants and their significance to traditional ways of life.