Grieg Seafood's British Columbia division has hired Orland "OD" Hansen to serve in the new role as director of reconciliation.

The salmon giant said the new role is part of an effort to recognize the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the province of BC’s Bill 41 and Canada’s steps towards reconciliation with indigenous residents.

Hansen, who is of Inuit-Danish descent, will work with coastal indigenous communities. He will then liaise with Grieg BC’s employees to help the company move towards a better understanding of the importance and purpose of reconciliation with Canada’s indigenous peoples, as well as UNDRIP, according to the company.

“We are very excited to welcome Orland Hansen to the Grieg team,” said Rocky Boschman, managing director of Grieg Seafood BC. “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.”

Hansen previously worked in Calgary's oil and gas industry for 30 years. He grew up as part of a hunting and trapping family in Aklavik in the Northwest Territories in Canada. He previously served as a councilor and the mayor for the Hamlet of Aklavik.

Hansen received his applied degree in Petroleum Engineering Technology from the The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT ).

Prior to joining Grieg, he worked in Indigenous relations with oil and gas company Schlumberger as the aboriginal affairs advisor, according to Grieg. He also previously served as the aboriginal and community relations advisor for Husky Energy.

“I thought that it was very interesting and forward thinking for a company to appreciate that the climate is changing across the country in every industry,” Hansen said. “To me, it’s progressive for a company like this to realize, ‘Let’s be in front of the curve and lead by example, let’s become engaged now rather than because you have to, and take the lead.’”

One of Hansen’s first tasks at Grieg is to help the company's Indigenous & Community Relations department host five members from three partner First Nations in Norway from March 1 – 6 to tour farm operations, a hatchery and processing plant.