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  • Colleen Sweet

Inspiring Trust for a Natural Resource Sector that Benefits all British Columbians

Updated: Mar 2

With a Natural Resource Trust Index (NRTI) score of 5.9 out of 10, British Columbia's natural resource sector stands at a crucial juncture, reflecting a moderate level of trust amidst significant transformation.  


The inaugural NRTI, a joint effort by the BC Natural Resources Forum and iTOTEM Analytics, and aligned with the OECD's trust measurement standards, aims to gauge, and benchmark trust within British Columbia's natural resource sector for 2024. NRTI is intended to support strategic discussions on leadership, shared value creation, Indigenous participation, collaborative governance, and resilience to climate change. 

For the purposes of NRTI, the natural resource sector is broadly defined as individuals and groups, including those interested in the industry's future, regulatory authorities, proponents and operators, suppliers, educators, non-governmental organizations, elected officials, Indigenous peoples, and all citizens of the province of British Columbia. Each of these groups plays a distinct role in the stewardship and development of natural resources, as well as the consumption of products and services enabled by its industries.   


The NRTI's five key insights reveal a tangible link between British Columbia's economic vitality and the trust its citizens place in fostering a responsible, prosperous, and inclusive natural resource sector. 

NRTI Five Key Insights 


1. The Power of Transparency: The sector's moderate trust level, buoyed by perceptions of transparent and reliable communications, highlights the importance of clarity and consistency in all dealings. 

2. Value in Creating Common Goals: Areas of more experience and shared goals, such as safety practices and economic reconciliation, have higher degrees of trust compared to emerging issues or areas of less experience.

3. Indigenous Perspectives on Economic Reconciliation: Indigenous respondents rated questions about trust in economic reconciliation positively.  Yet, the average trust levels reported by Indigenous respondents across all questions were 21% lower compared to the collective feedback. We see an opportunity to integrate the unique cultural and traditional knowledge perspectives of Indigenous communities within the natural resource sector’s trust building initiatives. 

4. Diverse Trust Landscapes: The variance in trust and cohesiveness across different respondent groups calls for tailored strategies to address specific perceptions and concerns.  

5. Challenges in Collaborative Governance and Perceived Readiness to Address Climate Change and AI: Concerns flagged by respondents regarding the efficacy of policymaking collaboration and our collective readiness to address climate change and integrate AI responsibly, point to critical areas for strategic action and trust enhancement. 


iTOTEM is grateful to all respondents to the inaugural Natural Resource Trust Index.  


NRTI paints a picture of the trust dynamics within an industry that is transforming; this underscores the crucial role dialogue and action play in securing the trust necessary to navigate through this period of change.   The insights derived from the NRTI lay the groundwork for an inclusive, prosperous, and responsible natural resource industry benefiting all British Columbians. 

We encourage you to examine the results in greater detail. Download the report here.

If you would like more information about the report, please answer a few short questions and submit your inquiry by clicking here.



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