Working closely with Indigenous communities

At Shell Canada we believe Indigenous communities are important partners; our projects must be designed and implemented to minimize impacts, provide shared value and enhance relationships with Indigenous Peoples. Building and maintaining trusting relationships, investing in human capacity, and sharing economic benefits, provides opportunity to maintain social license to operate, reduce project risks, and builds a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Shell acknowledges the rights of Indigenous Peoples and recognizes that additional resources, strategies, and actions are required to engage with impacted communities to understand their concerns and issues, to develop and implement mitigation and enhancement measures, as well as develop relationships for the life of our operations.

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.

Shell's commitment to Indigenous Peoples in Canada

Shell Canada will build meaningful relationships with Indigenous Peoples and communities based on honesty, integrity, and respect. Shell will positively contribute to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and communities in Canada by recognizing Aboriginal and treaty rights, the diversity of Indigenous cultures across the country, and by jointly seeking opportunities to work together for mutual benefit.

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.