A2A Rail has worked tirelessly from the very outset of this proposed Project to build not only strong, respectful relationships, but to build partnerships. Partnerships that provide Indigenous equity and economic opportunities; co-create sustainable, long-term prosperity for northern communities; and honour the knowledge, connection to the land, and proud cultures of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada’s Northwest Region and Alaska’s Native Peoples.
This proposed Project offers an unprecedented opportunity for Indigenous governments as equity partners to own at least 49% of the Project – and to benefit from the dividends that will follow. It is our goal that through close collaboration, mutual respect and ongoing engagement, we will have signed project agreements in place with all elected Indigenous governments along the route.
A2A Rail respects the cultural diversity and traditions of Indigenous Peoples and their deep, rich, historical connections to the land. A2A Rail honours the knowledge, traditions and cultures of Indigenous Peoples whose history runs throughout their lives, values and governance systems, and we respect their legal and constitutional rights.
We respect Indigenous Peoples’ right to express their thoughts, opinions and insight with A2A Rail and will work with each Indigenous government to co-create an engagement and feedback process that works best for them. At all project stages, A2A has, and will continue, to respect Indigenous knowledge and collaborate to incorporate traditional knowledge and local understanding throughout the proposed project lifecycle.
We know we are stronger together. We will foster reconciliation while building respectful, meaningful partnerships with Indigenous governments and northern communities. Our approach is based, first and foremost, on developing relationships with Indigenous Peoples as economic and environmental partners, potential equity holders, suppliers and customers. Relationship agreements with Indigenous governments along the proposed corridor will offer the option for equity involvement. Together, with private funding, these funds will be used to construct and operate the A2A Railway.
Indigenous Peoples have lived on this land since time immemorial, each with their own distinct cultures, identities, traditions, languages and ceremonies. This knowledge and respectful management of the natural environment will be honoured at all project stages—from the initial project development phase, to railway construction, operation and beyond. A2A commits to open, honest and meaningful engagement with Indigenous governments to understand their culture, views and aspirations, while respecting protocols and traditional ways of being.
Some Indigenous governments have historic and modern treaties in areas of the proposed rail corridor. Other governments have not signed land claim agreements and have unresolved title rights in their traditional territories. A2A Rail respects and honours Treaties 8 and 11 and the modern accords signed in the last few decades. Integrating Indigenous and treaty rights into A2A Rail operations will signal the fundamental importance and respect that A2A Rail holds for the authority of Indigenous governments.
LIVING WITH THE LAND
Protecting and enhancing the environment is central to A2A Rail’s commitment of achieving the highest standards of environmental protection and mitigating environmental impacts. We will work closely with communities to incorporate local and traditional knowledge, and routing will avoid environmentally sensitive and protected areas and sites of cultural or traditional importance. By working together, we can reduce and mitigate potential project impacts.
The Environmental Impact Assessment process also provides opportunities for meaningful participation by Indigenous Peoples, the public, local governments, and federal, provincial and territorial departments and agencies. It includes the thorough, timely and integrated assessment of the potential environmental, economic, social, heritage and health effects that may occur during the lifecycle of the project and ways to mitigate those impacts.