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Working with local communities
The Arctic is home to some four million inhabitants, about 10% of whom are indigenous peoples.
One of our primary goals is to bring economic expansion and new opportunities to people and communities where we work in the Arctic. We do this by training and hiring local people, using local suppliers and contractors, supporting social and educational projects for the indigenous communities, and in some cases by forging partnerships to support future production.
We do our utmost to keep any impacts to a minimum while making opportunities available that will help indigenous people preserve their way of life. As we have found in our operations worldwide, communicating and working with people as partners and supporting their pursuit of what matters most to them is the most welcome and valuable role Shell can take.
In Alaska we have held more than 600 community meetings since 2006, along with education and briefing forums. We have held one-on-one meetings with stakeholders to keep them updated on our progress and plans. During our discussions, we also gather historical and traditional knowledge from residents. And we use indigenous expertise on, for example, migratory patterns, ice movement and weather to help us protect wildlife and to operate safely, making sure that we do our best not to disturb the livelihood of the native peoples.
An economic analysis conducted in 2009 by Northern Economics and the University of Alaska found that oil and gas development in Alaska could generate an annual average rate of more than 35,000 jobs over the next half century. This, in addition to billions of dollars in taxes to state and local governments, contracts for suppliers, and more business for local enterprises.
Inuit hunters watch their huskies crossing new tidal ice in north-west Greenland.
In 2014, the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC) and six North Slope village corporations joined together to create a new company known as the Arctic Inupiat Offshore, LLC (AIO). The AIO and Shell entered into a binding agreement that allows the AIO the option to acquire an interest in Shell’s acreage and activities on its Chukchi Sea leases. This interest will be managed by AIO.