A Spotlight on Hemmera’s Human Environment Team

Hemmera’s Human Environment team has earned a reputation as an industry leader providing exceptional First Nation consultation and negotiation, public and umen, and socio-economic services and expertise to municipal, regional, provincial, territorial, and national governments, as well as major corporations and independent project proponents.

Our primary strength is the inter-disciplinary capacity that we bring to a project as one of the only teams in Canada to deliver Human Environment expertise within a broader company of environmental scientists and technical specialists. Our unique approach incorporates a wide range of Human Environment offerings that complement our environmental site assessment and remediation teams.

Highlighted Projects

Sustainability for 7 Generations: A Toolkit for Evaluating Net Benefits in KFN Traditional Territory, Kluane First Nation



Hemmera and Kluane First Nation (KFN) worked together through a community-based approach to document KFN’s current sustainability-related values and develop a Sustainability Toolkit to help evaluate and monitor the net benefits of proposed natural resource management projects on KFN’s Traditional Territory. The project’s community-based approach was critical to its success, and included conducting community meetings, one-on-one interviews and meetings with Elders, youth, and Chief and Council. Information shared by KFN citizens was used to develop the local-level Criteria and Indicator framework, as well as a set of tools that can be used to measure and monitor KFN’s progress in achieving sustainable natural resource development on its Traditional Territory.

Casino Mining Corporation, West-central Yukon



Hemmera has recently assisted Casino Mining Corporation (CMC) with an intensive consultation program with the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation (LSCFN). In this role, Hemmera led community consultation related to all aspects of the proposed project. Key responsibilities included the development and design of consultation materials, coordination and facilitation of community meetings, and gathering of community information related to interests and concerns on the proposed project. Hemmera served as a liaison between CMC and LSCFN to ensure effective communication and transparency in the consultation process. This included all logistical aspects of the community work, preparing meeting summaries and an overall summary of the consultation process for submission to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB). Furthermore, Hemmera worked closely with Casino’s legal team to satisfy the requirements of the consultation agreement between both parties.

In addition to the consultation and engagement services noted above, Hemmera has also undertaken socio-economic and traditional use services, provided negotiation advice, and has served as an advisor to CMC in their navigation of the YESAA process.

LNG Canada (Shell), Kitimat, BC



Hemmera provided advice and support to Shell with respect to their Public and First Nations consultation program for the LNG Canada Project, located in Kitimat, BC. The LNG Canada Project received its Environmental Assessment Certificate in 2015. Leading up to this milestone, Hemmera provided a range of services including leading and supporting regulatory consultation activities with First Nations and the public, and providing strategic advice and regulatory guidance to the project team. In coordination with Shell and the broader environmental assessment team, our staff helped build relationships within local communities, and supported discussions regarding the project as well as its potential effects and opportunities for local communities.

TransCanada Pipelines – Coastal Gaslink and Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Projects



These two projects, both of which have received their Environmental Assessment approvals, are proposed to transport and deliver gas to LNG proponents in the Kitimat and Prince Rupert areas. Hemmera staff have supported TransCanada in a variety of ways, primarily in relation to their ongoing work associated with engaging the many First Nations in the planning and approval processes associated with each of the projects. For both projects, George Meadows was retained in the capacity of Chief Negotiator to represent TransCanada in project-based negotiations with a number of First Nation communities along each of the proposed pipeline corridors. Several additional Hemmera staff played a variety of engagement and consultation related roles for TransCanada in support of their efforts to engage and establish support for the respective projects.

Our Team

George Meadows, Vice President of Hemmera’s Human Environment team, is a recognized leader in the field of Aboriginal relations and negotiation. He acted as Chief Negotiator for TransCanada Pipeline’s Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Line project as well as the Coastal GasLink Pipeline project. George is backed by Vancouver-based Business Leader Chris Heard, as well as an impressive team of experienced engagement, consultation, and socio-economic specialists working out of our Vancouver, Victoria, and Whitehorse offices.

Canadian Mining and Energy: Exploring eDNA

BC Innovation Council awards Dr. Helbing of University of Victoria and industry partners Maxxam Analytics and Hemmera funding to explore environmental monitoring through eDNA.

Hemmera’s premium brand and expertise unites with Ausenco’s global scale and reputation

Burnaby, BC – November 15, 2017 – Hemmera Envirochem Inc. (Hemmera) is pleased to announce that they have been acquired by Ausenco Engineering Canada (Ausenco). This partnership supports Hemmera’s vision to continue to expand their environmental services more broadly across Canada and internationally. Ausenco is recognized globally for their technical expertise, making this an incredible opportunity for both Hemmera and Ausenco.

“We are an ambitious team and I am confident we are partnering with a company that aligns with our dedication to our people, to technical excellence, and to quality work,” said Paul Hemsley, Hemmera’s President and founder. “I believe that the choice of Ausenco provides an enhanced platform for Hemmera to achieve its vision and offers us new opportunities for our staff and clients.”

This acquisition also supports Ausenco’s goal to augment and expand its consulting offerings and deliver a broader range of solutions to clients. “The acquisition of Hemmera significantly strengthens our existing suite of consulting offerings and will enable us to offer value-added environmental solutions to our clients throughout the Americas,” said Zimi Meka, CEO, Ausenco. “We are thrilled to welcome Hemmera and the tremendous talent they bring to the team.”

Paul Hemsley will remain on as President of Hemmera.

About Hemmera
Hemmera is a boutique environmental consultancy that has been making a difference across Canada since 1994. The firm’s highly respected multi-disciplinary professionals are leaders in environmental and social sciences and engineering; they know the regulatory environment and understand the related business implications. Hemmera provides quality services to industry, First Nations, and government. The firm has primary office locations in Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Whitehorse, and Toronto. Visit www.hemmera.com to learn more.

About Ausenco
Ausenco is a global diversified company providing consulting, project delivery and asset management solutions to the minerals & metals, oil & gas and industrial sectors. We add value to our clients’ projects and deliver results, even in the most challenging environments. Our global team is based across 21 offices in 14 countries and many project locations. Ausenco.com  


For more information contact:

Rhoni Whyard
Vice President, Marketing and Communications
T: 604-408-4019
C: 604-865-1612

eDNA Technology Successful in Detecting Chinook Salmon

Whitehorse, YT – Scientists have determined that eDNA technology is both accurate and effective in detecting presence of Chinook salmon in Yukon waterways. Technology Innovation of the Yukon Research Centre, and Hemmera, a local environmental consulting company have completed the first environmental DNA (eDNA) research of its kind to detect a species that is both culturally and economically significant to Yukoners.

Scientists filtered DNA from Yukon waterways to map Chinook salmon habitat use. Water samples were collected from streams in the Upper Teslin, Nisutlin and Kusuwa Lake drainages. Results have shown a 94.9% accuracy in detecting the presence of Chinook salmon. This new technology is a great benefit to management agencies, industry, environmental assessors, and the overall health of the species.

“This eDNA technology could be used throughout the Territory with the potential of applying this technology to other key fish species in Yukon, and throughout the North,” said Kirstin Damude, Project Coordinator, Technology Innovation. “This technology can now be used to develop eDNA-based maps of Chinook salmon for groups that require this information for conservation and resource extraction purposes.”

Environmental DNA from salmon is genetic material (feces, urine, mucus, skin cells) that is left in the river system as they migrate. eDNA is unique in that the salmon do not need to be present at the time of sampling; a water sample within 21 days of salmon presence is enough to indicate if Chinook were present in the river upstream from the sample site.

The research included natural exclusion experiments where water was sampled above and below barriers where salmon cannot pass. These results demonstrated the accuracy of this technology as there was 100% detection where salmon could pass and 0% where there were barriers to their movement.

“This program demonstrated the effectiveness of eDNA in the North, and showed that we are only beginning to explore its full utility as a tool for renewable and non-renewable resource managers,” said Michael Muller, Project Director, Hemmera. “Hemmera is pleased to continue to advance the application of this exciting technology throughout the North.”

This technology has been applied successfully to amphibian, fish, and aquatic mammal species-at-risk throughout British Columbia, and Yukon. The results from the eDNA technology were compared to previous salmon spawning studies and proved that eDNA-based maps of Chinook salmon habitat use could be valuable for groups that require this information for conservation and resource extraction purposes.

Results will be shared at a public event on Thursday, March 17th. The event will take place from 2:00 to 3:00pm in room A2206 at Yukon College Ayamdigut (Whitehorse) campus. Results will be made available to the public on our website this spring.

This research has been funded by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and Government of Yukon’s Economic Development.

Technology Innovation is one of a number of thematic areas at the Yukon Research Centre. The others include biodiversity monitoring, climate change, cold climate innovation, environmental remediation, and social science.