Ontario Power Generation responded
We invited Ontario Power Generation to comment on the allegations regarding the displacement of indigenous peoples. The company provided the following response:
"OPG’s Commitment to Reconciliation • Hydroelectric power has been a stalwart, serving Ontario’s electricity needs for well over a century, and continuing to this day. It helped a growing province expand its industrial base and shaped local economies across the province.
- However, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) also acknowledges and understands that hydroelectric development over the better part of the 20th century had significant adverse impacts on many Indigenous nations and communities in Ontario. • OPG’s commitment to reconciliation is based on the understanding that all of our operating assets are situated on treaty lands and traditional territories of Indigenous peoples in Ontario. In 1992, our company developed a formal framework to assess and resolve historic grievances, largely related to the flooding of First Nation reserve lands.
- Since then, OPG has reached final settlement agreements and delivered formal apologies to 21 First Nation communities through a respectful, non-adversarial and community-based process. This involved many challenging conversations; but more than anything, it required us to listen, to learn and to understand the truth about our history. OPG and Lac Seul First Nation
- Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and Lac Seul First Nation (LSFN) entered into a formal past grievance settlement agreement in 2006. The settlement addressed the impacts related to the construction and operation of hydroelectric facilities (i.e., Ear Falls GS) that were built on traditional lands of LSFN on the English River system between 1930 and 1948.
- Following the 2006 settlement agreement, OPG and the LSFN formed the Lac Seul GS Limited Partnership in 2008, which served as a commercial vehicle to own and operate the Lac Seul Generating Station.
- Under the partnership, LSFC owns 25% of the commercial operations for the 12 MW hydro facility which produces enough electricity to meet the annual needs of 5,000 homes.
- The Lac Seul Generating Station has dual names, one Ojibway, the other English. The Ojibway name is Obishikokaang Waasiganikewigamig. The first part means White Pine Narrows – the original Ojibway name of the area – and the second part means electricity-generating building.
- In 2019, OPG and LSFN proudly celebrated the 10th anniversary of the commercial partnership, which was the first Indigenous equity partnership for our company. https://www.opg.com/releases/opg-and-lac-seul-celebrate-10-years-of-historic-partnership/ Response to inquiry from Business and Human Rights Resource Centre Sept. 13, 2023 2
- Since then, OPG has completed equity partnerships with five First Nation communities on four new generation projects, including a solar facility built on the former grounds of one of North America’s largest coal stations. These partnerships reflect OPG’s commitment to building respectful and mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous communities over the long term.
- While OPG is proud of the progress we have made in advancing reconciliation with Indigenous nations and communities, we also acknowledge that there is still much more work to be done.
- In 2021, OPG released the company’s inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) that will serve as a road map to meaningfully advance reconciliation with Indigenous Nations and communities, businesses, and organizations. Key commitments in OPG’s RAP include growing our company’s economic impact for Indigenous communities and businesses to $1 billion by 2031 and to increase the representation of Indigenous employees at all levels of our company. We invite you to learn more about our commitment to advancing reconciliation by reading OPG’s reconciliation Action Plan (Our Reconciliation Action Plan - OPG)”