BC Hydro recognized with aboriginal relations award

BC Hydro's Chris O'Riley (left) is congratulated by Canadian Council of Aboriginal Businesses co-chair Garry Knox after BC Hydro won a silver designation for Progressive Aboriginal Relations.

March 10, 2009

BC Hydro recognized with aboriginal relations award

BC Hydro has been recognized by the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Businesses (CCAB) for its relations with aboriginal communities in B.C.

The CCAB presented a silver designation to BC Hydro representatives in Toronto last month, noting in particular the utility's “unique communication process” of assigning key account  managers to First Nations communities.

The award comes a year after BC Hydro became the first utility company in Canada to participate in the CCAB's Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program, the first of its kind in the world.
“The silver designation confirms we are on the right track,” said Bob Elton, BC Hydro's president and CEO. “We want to ensure that there are lasting benefits to the aboriginal communities that we work with, which includes maintaining initiatives around aboriginal training, employment and  business opportunities, health and wellness, cultural programs, and other interests that the community may raise.”
Throughout the year, BC Hydro undertook a self-assessment process that was externally verified by the National Quality Institute. High performance in aboriginal relations is in keeping with BC Hydro's excellence in other areas, including safety and engineering.
Chris O’Riley, BC Hydro's senior vice-president for engineering, aboriginal relations and generation (EARG), accepted the award.  Also winning awards were Alberta Pacific Forest Industries, Canada Post, IBM, and Syncrude.

The CCAB banquet was also a big night for Hupacasath Chief Councillor Judith Sayers, who was named to the Aboriginal Business Hall of Fame. The honour came on the heels of a silver medal at the 2008 Canadian Environmental Awards, for the Hupacasath's work on the Upnit Power project.
At the CCAB’s corporate social responsibility forum earlier in the day, Lyle Viereck, BC Hydro's director of aboriginal relations and negotiations, spoke along with Roots of Empathy founder Mary Gordon about the benefits of pursuing strategic partnerships to advance aboriginal relations objectives.

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