Business units

Our Business Units provide a range of services to assist First Nations and industry, with detailed descriptions below:

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Audit, Compliance and Enforcement

The Audit, Compliance, and Enforcement Business Unit manages compliance activities across IOGC and uses a risk-based approach to decision-making. Risk and compliance information is gathered by our operational Business Units and centralized within the Audit, Compliance and Enforcement Business Unit for a holistic approach to regulatory compliance within IOGC. Contract holders are subject to the Indian Oil and Gas Act, RSC 1985, c I-7 and the Indian Oil and Gas Regulations, SOR/2019-196 (IOGR) including obligations to pay rentals, royalties, other moneys, and to protect the environment of First Nation lands.

Audit, Compliance and Enforcement Framework

The objective of the Audit, Compliance, and Enforcement Framework (Framework) is to ensure IOGC uses all available tools to promote regulatory compliance.

The Framework is based on principles of:

  • transparency
  • procedural fairness
  • effective communication
  • timely, consistent, coordinated, integrated, and appropriate responses

The Framework includes:

  • clear and enforceable regulatory requirements
  • education and outreach
  • compliance verification activities
  • appropriate review and enforcement actions

The Framework details processes and procedures for:

  • prevention/avoidance of non-compliance instances
  • determination if a situation of potential noncompliance exists
  • adopting a measured approach to respond appropriately to address any instances of non-compliance

Risk-based approach

IOGC refers to risk as a measure of the impact of uncertainty in its ability to meet its fiduciary and statutory obligations to First Nations. The primary risks related to IOGC's fiduciary and statutory obligations are:

  • royalties not collected for production on First Nations lands resulting in loss of royalty revenue for First Nations
  • lease rentals not collected on a timely basis resulting in a loss of rental income for First Nations
  • environmental impacts of projects on First Nations lands are not carefully considered, resulting in environmental liabilities and damage to the land

IOGC's Audit, Compliance, and Enforcement Business Unit reviews risk and compliance information from all IOGC Business Units and manages potential and actual non-compliance issues. When this information suggests continued, prolonged, or multiple instances of non-compliance, or a significant single non-compliance, timely action is taken. The Indian Oil and Gas Regulations, SOR/2019-196 (IOGR) provide for timely escalation of the enforcement process once the Compliance and Enforcement process is initiated, including stipulation of timeframes for action, and consequences of non-compliance. All available avenues are used to promote compliance or to respond appropriately to address instances of non-compliance.

Communications and Executive Services

IOGC's Communication and Executive Services business unit provides internal and external communication support to IOGC leadership and directorates in accordance with the Government of Canada Policy on Communications and Federal Identity. This includes:


The Environment Business Unit is responsible for the management of environmental matters relating to surface agreements and surface access. Specific duties include:

Lease Administration

The Lease Administration Business Unit is responsible for managing the lifecycle of oil and gas surface tenure (surface leases, rights of way, exploration licences and other surface rights), processing certain subsurface tenure transactions, and the verification and maintenance of corporate information. Specific duties include:

Negotiations, Contracts, and Research

The Negotiations, Contracts and Research Business Unit comprises three sub-units.


Negotiations is involved in the negotiation and management of subsurface dispositions. Specific duties include:

  • identifying, developing and promoting disposition options with First Nations to promote and increase exploration and development of First Nations oil and gas resources
  • assessing proposals by interested companies against IOGC's disposition policy
  • assisting First Nations in reaching agreements with companies by providing negotiation and facilitation expertise to support the negotiation process
  • providing information concerning subsurface leasing trends, sales prices and related policies to all interest stakeholders
  • providing advice to Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) First Nations, and working together with various federal and provincial government departments and industry to facilitate the implementation of the TLE process


Specific duties of Research include:

  • responding to queries regarding the legal title of First Nation lands as it pertains to oil and gas
  • verification of the chain of title for First Nation lands both present and extinct, mineral and surface, status within the boundaries of the Reserve and its adjacent lands
  • quantifying areas of potential business interest, reporting on chain of title evidence and confirming the options for the disposition of designated and federal lands
  • verification of First Nation interests in support of land claim activity and litigation

Subsurface Contracts

The Subsurface Contracts Business Unit is responsible for managing the lifecycle of subsurface contracts and the issuance of all replacement contracts in support of the Treaty Land Entitlement process (TLE). Specific duties include:

  • drafting and issuing subsurface contracts (subsurface leases, permits, disposal and injection leases) and amendments in accordance with negotiated terms and conditions and with federal government regulations
  • verifying provincial and freehold mineral and surface dispositions and drafting and issuing all replacement contracts (subsurface leases, surface leases and right of ways) in support of the TLE process
  • administration of subsurface contracts, monitoring regulatory and contractual compliance, monitoring and releasing moneys from First Nation Trust Suspense Accounts and coordinating remedial enforcement action for non-compliance issues on subsurface contracts
  • providing advice and information to First Nations and Industry

Resource Analysis and Conservation

Specific duties of Resource Analysis and Conservation Business Unit include:


The Royalty Business Unit is responsible for managing the administration of First Nation oil and gas royalties. Specific duties include:

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