We are committed to co-creating a shared future built on rights, equity and well-being for Indigenous peoples.

The NWMO is on a continuous learning pathway towards Reconciliation. As part of our commitment to Reconciliation, we recognize both the historic and current injustices Indigenous communities have endured. We continue to learn as an organization remaining involved in collaboration and discussion with Indigenous communities on the work of Reconciliation.


We know that working with Indigenous peoples, learning from Indigenous Knowledge and applying learnings to our work are critical to successfully implementing Canada's plan for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel.


An icon of a tree
An individual handing a blanket to an Indigenous Elder.


Indigenous engagement

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Water protection

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Land acknowledgement

The NWMO acknowledges that we have worked in many different Indigenous territories since the inception of the organization. We are grateful to the many Indigenous and municipal communities that have worked with us over the past 20 years.

Our Reconciliation journey

Our Reconciliation journey 

The NWMO is committed to contribute to Reconciliation in all our work by co-creating a shared future built on rights, equity and well-being. Our Reconciliation journey highlights our approach.


  • Continued leveraging the Reconciliation assessment tool to review NWMO policies
  • Rolled out Reconciliation tool kit to complement existing learning sessions
  • Held the sixth annual Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science workshop
  • Released Water Statement


  • Enhanced Reconciliation Training Program to include learning specific to treaties and Métis peoples
  • Publicly released the first annual Reconciliation Report
  • Applied the Reconciliation assessment tool to governance as part of our Integrated Management System transformation
  • Expanded Reconciliation Training Program to communities and external partners


  • Continued to enhance Reconciliation Training Program to include unconscious bias training
  • Included Indigenous Knowledge in water protection plans
  • Applied the Reconciliation assessment tool to regional engagement strategies
  • Embedded Reconciliation within corporate culture


  • Enhanced policies and procedures to address Reconciliation
  • Enhanced procurement program to include an Indigenous strategy
  • Assessed corporate Reconciliation baseline and developed a Reconciliation measurement matrix


  • Published Reconciliation Policy
  • Developed and delivered Reconciliation Training Program
  • Developed a corporate Reconciliation baseline assessment tool
  • Enhanced sponsorships and donations program to include a focus on Reconciliation
  • Continued to communicate the NWMO's Reconciliation program with communities involved in the site selection process
  • Began assessment of NWMO policies and procedures against Reconciliation assessment tool


  • Provided cultural awareness training to 85 per cent of NWMO staff
  • Finalized Reconciliation Statement through Indigenous ceremony


  • Successfully concluded consultation with six First Nation and Métis communities on drilling the NWMO’s first borehole


  • Appointed Indigenous representation to the NWMO Executive Committee
  • Canada officially removed its objector status to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
  • Became one of the first organizations in North America to establish an Indigenous Knowledge Policy
  • Council of Elders and Youth issued the Declaration of the Keepers of the Land


  • Federal government made promise to adopt the UNDRIP
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its final report, including 92 calls to action


  • Mandated cultural awareness training for contractors working on the NWMO’s behalf


  • Council of Elders decided to add youth perspective to Council
  • Stated that the project will only proceed with the involvement of the interested community, First Nation and Métis communities in the area, and surrounding communities


  • Elders Forum restructured and renamed as Council of Elders


  • Launched Aboriginal Policy to guide meaningful collaboration with Indigenous peoples


  • Appointed Indigenous representation to the NWMO Board of Directors


  • Established the Elders Forum, an independent advisory body made up of Indigenous Elders, to advise on aligning our work with Indigenous Knowledge and establishing meaningful relationships with Indigenous communities


  • Held first workshop on traditional knowledge in Saskatoon, Sask.


  • Engaged in dialogue with Indigenous groups that revealed the importance of aligning our work with traditional knowledge and receiving advice from Indigenous Elders


  • Was created in accordance with the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act
  • Appointed Indigenous representation to the NWMO Advisory Council

Reconciliation report

La politique a été officialisée et bénie au cours d’une cérémonie autochtone de l’aube célébrée à King City, en Ont. Ont participé à cette cérémonie les membres de l’équipe de direction, du Conseil d’administration et du Conseil des aînés et des jeunes de la SGDN.

We reached an important milestone in our journey toward Reconciliation in 2022 when we published our first Reconciliation report. It provides an evaluation of our Reconciliation Policy’s impacts since its formalization in 2019. Activities tracked included mandatory staff Reconciliation training and continuous learning opportunities, informal training opportunities, staff support systems and community-driven work plans.

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Reconciliation Policy

The NWMO’s Jessica Perritt, Section Manager for Indigenous Knowledge and Reconciliation, and Bob Watts, Vice-President of Indigenous Relations, gather the sacred bundle at the ceremony formalizing the NWMO’s Reconciliation Policy.

On Oct. 17, 2019, through ceremony, the NWMO issued a Reconciliation Policy that sets out how the organization will contribute to Reconciliation. Under the policy, the NWMO commits to respectful and meaningful engagement with Indigenous peoples and communities, providing cultural awareness and Reconciliation training to staff and contractors, and annually publishing a Reconciliation implementation plan.

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Reconciliation Statement

Image shows six people participating in an Indigenous drum ceremony.

On July 18, 2018, the NWMO issued a Reconciliation Statement which reads as follows:

In the context of Reconciliation, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) recognizes historical wrongs in Canada’s past and the need to create a better future by addressing the challenges of today. The Council of Elders and Youth speaks of this journey as a new era for humanity — a time of Reconciliation with First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples. 

The NWMO is committed to contribute to Reconciliation in all our work by co-creating a shared future built on rights, equity and well-being. In addition, the NWMO will establish a Reconciliation policy with an implementation strategy that will be measured annually and publicly reported to contribute to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action.

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Aligning with Indigenous Knowledge

Each year the NWMO holds an Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science Workshop with Indigenous Knowledge Holders, Elders, youth, scientists and industry professionals. The annual workshops are an opportunity to explore the intersections between Indigenous Knowledge and western science, including with respect to water, and how these two knowledge systems can be interwoven effectively and meaningfully in the NWMO’s work.
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NWMO hosts Indigenous Cultural Awareness Training

Indigenous engagement

The interests, concerns and counsel of Indigenous peoples have been an integral part of the NWMO's work from the start. Through our work with First Nation and Métis communities, we seek to understand how Canada's plan might benefit each region under consideration while being respectful of Indigenous treaty rights. We also seek to apply Indigenous Knowledge to both technical safety and community well-being aspects of the site selection process.
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