Grieg Seafood BC is welcoming a new team member.

In efforts to recognize the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the Campbell River-based salmon farming company has created a Director of Reconciliation position.

Orland “OD” Hansen joins the team with over 20 years of experience.

“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,” says Rocky Boschman, managing director of Grieg Seafood BC.

In his new role, Hansen will work with coastal Indigenous communities.

He’ll also help the company move towards a better understanding of the importance of reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous peoples and UNDRIP.

“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,” Boschman adds.

Hansen is “really excited” about his new role.

“This is dear to me, and something I’d really like to do,” Hansen says. “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.” 

He feels it’s going to be an educational tool so everyone acknowledges where they are and why they’re 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.”

Now celebrating its 20th-year of salmon farming in B.C., 12 of Grieg BC’s farms operate in partnership with First Nations and ten per cent of its employees are Indigenous persons.