NEWS RELEASE, FEB 25, 2020
CAMPBELL RIVER, BC – In its ongoing efforts to recognize the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the Province of BC’s Bill 41 and Canada’s steps towards reconciliation, Grieg Seafood BC has created a new position – the Director of Reconciliation.
Orland “OD” Hansen, who is of Inuit-Danish descent, recently accepted the position and joins the Grieg BC family with over 20 years of experience in Indigenous relations in the oil and gas industry.
“We are very excited to welcome Orland Hansen to the Grieg team,” said Rocky Boschman, Managing Director of Grieg Seafood BC. “His professional and personal experience in Indigenous relations and reconciliation will help us grow, not only as a company, but as people and partners going forward.”
“We appreciate the value and importance of our Indigenous partners in the territories where our farms are operating, but I think there are a lot more opportunities to learn from them, listen to them and grow with them. Having our employees recognize UNDRIP and our commitment to reconciliation will be a part of that, and this will be supported by the insight Orland has developed over several decades.”
As the Director of Reconciliation, Hansen will work with coastal Indigenous communities. He will then liaise with Grieg BC’s employees to help the company move towards better understanding of the importance and purpose of reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous peoples, as well as UNDRIP.
“I thought that it was very interesting and forward-thinking for a company to appreciate that the climate is changing across the country in every industry,” Hansen said. “To me, it’s progressive for a company like this to realize, ‘Let’s be in front of the curve and lead by example, let’s become engaged now rather than because you have to, and take the lead.’”
“I think it’s going to be an educational tool so that everyone has an appreciation of where they are, why they’re here and that we should appreciate that we are allowed to be here. It’s important to have that appreciation because then they can build relationships and partnerships that work for everyone, as opposed to a process where you check off consultation and have no regard for the desires of the Indigenous peoples.”
Hansen “grew up in the bush” with his hunting and trapping family in Aklavik, Northwest Territories but eventually relocated to his current home of Calgary with his family to be closer to better health and education services.
He received his applied degree in Petroleum Engineering Technology from SAIT in 1997 and began travelling back and forth between Alberta and NWT. As the lead on many projects in NWT, Hansen became more involved with Indigenous engagement and consultation, which he eventually focused on full time with companies like Schlumberger and Husky Energy prior to joining Grieg Seafood.
“I’m really excited,” Hansen said about his new role. “This is dear to me, and something I’d really like to do. It shows respect. It shows that the company and their ideals are such that they have an appreciation of where they are and of the people that are indigenous to that area. It’s in my job title, but I would have to gain appreciation from the communities here and what they think reconciliation means to them and what they think we as a company should be working towards.”
“The onus is now on industry as well as government to keep [reconciliation] going, to keep showing that you’re serious about working with Indigenous communities, about listening to them and following up on it – taking their advice and requests and actually doing something about it.”
Quick facts on Grieg Seafood BC:
- 12 of Grieg BC’s farms operate in partnership with First Nations.
- Grieg’s workforce includes 10% Indigenous persons.
- Grieg BC’s farms are located in Nootka Sound and Esperanza Inlet on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Clio and Okisollo Channels on the east coast, as well as Jervis, Salmon and Sechelt Inlets on the Sunshine Coast of BC, north of Vancouver.
- Grieg Seafood BC is currently celebrating its 20th year salmon farming in BC.