Fostering relations with First Nations at UXO legacy sites

Kris Seiler, with Andrew Onespot, Liaison Officer Tsuut'ina Nation
Kris Seiler, Regional Service Line Leader, Environmental Services (left) is DCC's representative supporting DND's program to reduce safety risks of Unexploded Explosive Ordnance (UXO). Together with Andrew Onespot, Liaison Officer Tsuut'ina Nation, the work includes collaboration with two First Nations: the Okanagan Indian Band, located near Vernon, British Columbia, and the Tsuut’ina Nation, near Calgary, Alberta.

Since 2005, DCC has actively supported DND at former military training areas across Canada, known as legacy sites, to reduce safety risks posed by Unexploded Explosive Ordnance (UXO)—military explosives that were expended but failed to function properly.

This work currently includes two First Nations: the Okanagan Indian Band, located near Vernon, British Columbia, and the Tsuut’ina Nation, near Calgary, Alberta. For both, DCC’s ability to provide a consistent site presence, along with in-depth knowledge and technical expertise in UXO management, has built trust and fostered positive relations.

“DCC is well positioned to bridge it all together on these more complex sites,” says Kristoffer Seiler, Regional Service Line Leader, Environmental Services in Edmonton. “The First Nations representatives can come to us, and we can reach out to our Client-Partners, stakeholders, industry, and consultants, and ensure that collaboration is in place and working well.”

DCC supports DND to manage the UXO program: scoping the problem and contracting with industry to mitigate the UXO risk, through means such as geophysical survey, intrusive investigation, signage and public education, and disposing of UXO in place.

The legacy sites, including those of First Nations, are typically tied to former rather than current military establishments. This comes with its own challenges, and rewards.

“There's a requirement to work remotely, and to be away from home more frequently. It’s different from working on a base,” explains Seiler, who has more than 10 years’ experience on UXO projects. "The remoteness requires more preparation, but the lands are beautiful so returning them to a safer condition is always fulfilling."


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