Working closely with Indigenous communities

Many of Shell Canada’s sites and operations are located near Indigenous communities or on traditional lands of Indigenous Peoples. What we do impacts the land, Indigenous communities and their ways of life and traditions.

Shell Canada is committed to working closely with Indigenous Peoples and communities to build and maintain effective, long-term and mutually beneficial relationships. This is accomplished through transparency, mutual respect and trust.

Sarnia Indigenous Art Installation

Meet John Williams

If you are lucky enough to encounter one of his paintings and can almost hear the heartbeat of a drum or smell the smoke from a smudging, then John has achieved his goal – that you feel something.

John’s impressive talent, coupled with his focus on Indigenous culture and people, is part of the reason Shell Canada commissioned him to design and paint a mural for a storage tank at the Sarnia refinery to commemorate the site’s 70th anniversary.

John is a member of the Ojibway tribe and Aamjiwnaang First Nation in Ontario. A graduate from Ontario College of Art & Design, he has been painting for more than 16 years and had his first solo show in 2008.

Watch the video to learn about John’s story and his collaboration with Shell.

Our commitment guides us to

  • Strive to increase understanding of Indigenous cultures and traditions by delivering awareness programs to Shell personnel and participating in Indigenous celebrations.
  • Work in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples and communities in Canada to provide sustainable employment, business and educational opportunities from exploration, through operations and into closure.
  • Continue and seek ways to improve Shell Canada Human Resources strategies and resources specific to the attraction and hiring, retention and inclusion of Indigenous people within the Shell workforce.

Elements of our strategy

Shell Canada Commitment to Aboriginal Infographic

Community Engagement

The goal is to demonstrate our commitment to Indigenous Peoples and communities by engaging and consulting meaningfully in a respectful and inclusive manner; and, to provide progressive benefits by developing and fostering trust, credibility and to meet the intent of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The actions focus on: Engagement & Consultation, Advocacy and Emerging Issues, Indigenous Agreements and Actions for Reconciliation.

Business Development

The goal is to provide sustainable local economic benefits to impacted Indigenous communities through healthy, market-competitive direct and indirect commercial relationships. The actions focus on: Local Contracting, Local Enterprise Development and Local Workforce Development.

Community Investment

The goal is to establish mutually beneficial relationships between Shell and Indigenous Peoples and communities. Shell’s community investment will contribute to long-term improvements in the quality of life and help create an environment conducive to sustainability. Shell will engage in community investment efforts across Canada as a way to promote sustainable development, build local capability and foster healthy communities. The actions focus on: Education, Community Development and Health, Safety and Environment.


The goal is to invest in the Indigenous Peoples future employable workforce, hire employment-ready Indigenous people, and create an inclusive and supportive work environment to retain and promote the Indigenous people Shell employs within their workforce. The actions focus on: Attraction & Recruitment, Inclusion/Retention/Development/Advancement, Aboriginal Employee Network, and a Future Employable Workforce.



Shell is proud to be a long-time supporter of Indspire. For over thirty years we have been investing in post-secondary scholarships and programming. “Photo provided courtesy of Indspire”

The Banff Centre

Shell is proud to support Banff Centre’s Indigenous Leadership and Management Programs for Indigenous leaders.