Canadian Indigenous Relations

Bluestem Utilities acknowledges that the Columbia Ridge utility system lies on the unceded Traditional Territory of the Stoney Nation.

Bluestem Utilities recognizes the distinct rights and title of Indigenous Peoples under Canadian law, specifically in the areas where we conduct business.

We acknowledge the history and treatment of Indigenous People in Canada, which has had a destructive impact on the social and economic wellbeing of Indigenous communities, families, and people.

Bluestem Utilities is committed to embracing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as a framework for reconciliation in accordance with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action #92.

We are committed to applying the UNDRIP principles, norms, and standards to our corporate policies and core operational activities when Indigenous Peoples, their lands, and resources are impacted. Our Canadian Indigenous Peoples Policy ensures Bluestem Utilities’ Canadian business activities respect Indigenous rights and show our commitment to reconciliation.


Our Commitment to Call to Action #92

Bluestem Utilities has signed Memorandums of Understanding with numerous First Nation Communities in Canada, with the objective of pursuing mutually beneficial economic partnerships. We see this as a tremendous opportunity to commit to First Nations economic inclusion, while at the same time supporting communities with water, wastewater, and district energy needs.


Culture at the Core of Meaningful Change

Our commitment towards Reconciliation is a shared responsibility by all Bluestem Utilities employees — at work and in their communities — and aligns with our vision for a vibrant future for the next generation. 


Partnering with Indigenous Communities

Economic development is Reconciliation in action, and we're proud to be partnering with Indigenous communities on a variety of projects, in various stages of development. We believe these projects bring long-term benefits to all Canadians.


Tangible Steps

Guided by our Canadian Indigenous Peoples Policy, Bluestem Utilities is putting Reconciliation in action.

Our Employees and Employment

Bluestem Utilities has implemented several internal, people-focused initiatives.

We have reviewed our hiring practices to ensure they are inclusive of Indigenous Peoples, specifically where Bluestem Utilities operations are in or near First Nations communities.

Canadian Indigenous Peoples Policy training is in place for existing employees (annually) and when new employees are on-boarded. Additionally, we have implemented a Canadian Indigenous Peoples employee education platform, which consists of regular information sessions, coffee chats, and town halls. We inform employees of our acknowledgement of, and encourage participation in, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Orange Shirt Day, and National Indigenous Peoples Day, as well as locally-led community events.

We are revamping our vendor and procurement protocols to ensure local Indigenous inclusion and ease of access.

And we are continually learning from local Indigenous communities how to show the proper respect when referring to, and working with and on First Nations Traditional Territories.

Community Entrepreneurship


We believe supporting and doing business with Indigenous-owned and -led businesses of all types creates vibrant and sustainable communities.

Bluestem Utilities has been a sponsor of the TV series The Bears’ Lair — a fully Indigenous-owned and -led production that showcases and amplifies the incredible and diverse voices of Indigenous entrepreneurs. The 2022 season aired on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) and highlighted 18 emerging and established Indigenous business owners from across Canada.



Bluestem Utilities is committed to supporting Indigenous Youth in the pursuit of their chosen career. We currently offer student financial awards and program support in cooperation with the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT).

NVIT is British Columbia’s only Indigenous public post-secondary institute. It provides innovative and relevant credentials for future leaders in the fields of wellness, technology, governance, and land and economic development.