We need to sustain our communities economically, said Karen Ogden-Toews, CEO of the First Nations LNG Alliance. (First Nations LNG Alliance photo).

LNG development a historic opportunity for First Nations, group says

The LNG industry represents a unique opportunity for economic development among Indigenous people, said an association of First Nations.

“We have the opportunity to re-instil our economy of our past…and bring it into a modern context,” said Chief Councillor Crystal Smith of the Haisla Nation, in a Dec. 19 press release from the First Nations LNG Alliance.

“It is imperative that we become united, united as Indigenous communities for the benefit of our people.”

Smith, who is also director of the First Nations LNG Alliance, was speaking at a meeting in Prince Rupert attended by several Indigenous groups.

The First Nations LNG Alliance is a organization of First Nations who are participating in and support sustainable LNG development in British Columbia.

Karen Ogen-Toews, CEO of the Alliance also spoke at the event and addressed concerns over differences between elected and hereditary leader in the Wet’suwet’en Nation relating to LNG pipeline construction.

“These two entities serve band members and clan members. The point is, they are the same people. As leadership, it is a tough balancing act,” she said. “We need to find ways and means to sustain our communities economically. We need to balance the environment and economy, for the people.”

The CEO pointed out that the elected and hereditary leadership of the Gitxaala Nation, south of Prince Rupert have worked together for years.

“You have been modelling for us all across BC how hereditary chiefs and elected chiefs can work together for the people, for your people. It is inspiring. Thank you for your wisdom.”

“As a former chief, I attempted to bring our Wet’suwet’en elected chiefs and hereditary chiefs together so we can work together for the benefit of our people. It is sad that within the Wet’suwet’en nation it is broken and we need to fix it.”

First Nations LNG Alliance chair, Chief Dan George of the Ts’il Kaz Koh First Nation (Burns Lake Band) noted that some hereditary chiefs support the planned Coastal GasLink Pipeline, and value the benefits First Nations people can receive from it.

Addressing the opposition of environmentalists to the LNG project, Chief Vivian Tom of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation said, “I don’t mind environmentalists coming into our territory, but when they try to stop everything we have to think no. I am really thankful that we are going to have employment [from LNG development] in our Nation. It’s exciting.”

The natural gas project has reached agreements with the elected councils of all 20 First Nations (whose membership includes hereditary chiefs) along the 670-km pipeline route. It will run from Dawson Creek to Kitimat, feeding natural gas to the LNG Canada facility on Haisla territory at Kitimat.

The project includes direct funding of $620 million to First Nations businesses and contractors for construction work, with an additional $400 million expected for both northern communities in B.C. and Indigenous groups during the construction period, totalling approximately $1billion spent locally in the province.

Just Posted

RedRover talks animal care

Nicole Forsyth, Executive Director of RedRover, spoke in the Burns Lake Public… Continue reading

Alternative arts fest at LDSS

Lakes District Secondary School held its Alternative Arts Festival on May 28.… Continue reading

Smithers man receives two-year sentence for fatal car crash

Over a year after a fatal crash, a Smithers man has been sentenced to two years plus a day in jail.

RDBN opts to join entrepreneur immigration pilot scheme

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) will back a candidate under the… Continue reading

Ultrasound for Burns Lake hospital possible, Northern Health says

Northern Health is considering the possibility of bringing ultrasound services to the… Continue reading

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

B.C. Interior First Nation family ‘heartbroken’ over loss of young mom

RCMP have released no new information since the June 8, 2019 homicide

Most Read