11 Quotes by First Nations Leaders in Support of Canadian Liquefied Natural Gas Projects

LNG First Nation Quotes March 2023 v3

Did you know many First Nations support liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in Canada? 

Several Indigenous communities are looking to new LNG projects as a means of economic reconciliation. Apart from the economic benefits these projects will bring their people, they are also fully aware of the energy security and positive environmental implications of supporting a healthy LNG sector in British Columbia.

Here are several quotes showing widespread support from First Nations for LNG projects on Canada’s western shores, and why we should all support such developments. Also see:

LNG First Nation Quotes March 2023 v1

“Nations have the inherent economic right as sovereign nations for economic inclusion and reconciliation in developing the Indigenous economy. Sustainable Indigenous energy and LNG play an essential role in supporting communities with meaningful development.

Nation-to-industry and nation-to-nation policy, development, and shared beneficial outcomes make for a better quality of life and environment for all. Exclusionary politics should not be restrictive and discriminatory tools against Indigenous self-determinism and continuous improvement.”

-        Chief Annette Lonechild, White Bear First Nations [1]

“LNG projects in Canada are necessary to address the very real economic needs of British Columbians, especially indigenous peoples and communities. Realistically, indigenous governments must help create and share value in a globalized economy to change the heavily damaged destinies of their peoples and communities.

The difficult economic situation of indigenous communities and people must be considered on balance with overarching but impersonal climate-related goals. Like many inconvenient industries, LNG is essential for true economic reconciliation between indigenous communities and British Columbia and Canada.”

-        John Jack, Member of Council for Huu-ay-aht First Nations [1]

“While the world seeks better ways to improve climate change, Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), handled in an environmentally sustainable way, helps our developing countries reduce greenhouse gases from the use of coal, diesel, and wood burning.

Liquid Natural Gas provides our Indigenous communities with a cleaner fuel for generating electricity, heating homes, and cooking. Among many opportunities, LNG provides our Indigenous peoples and communities with training, higher education, skills, employment, higher paying jobs, local First Nation Government agreements, and environmental monitoring to protect Mother Earth and our communities.”

-        Clifford White, Gitxaala Nation Hereditary Chief [1]

“Focused only on a fractional reduction in Canada’s overall emissions, the stark demand of the climate activists remains oblivious to other basic considerations. Already economically vulnerable, most First Nations are heavily exposed to the consequences of adding energy poverty to domestic poverty. 

Unaffordable energy costs would compound cost of living increases in the rural, remote and northern locations where most First Nations communities are located and where travel distances are greater, public transit is non-existent, home heating requirements are greater and supply chains are longer…

If left to climate activists, Indigenous people would be the last to benefit, the last to participate, and the last to be connected to new infrastructure.”

-        Chief Crystal Smith, Elected Chief Councillor, Haisla Nation [2]

 “We’re seeing with the European energy crisis that Canada is well situated geographically to be able to ship our LNG to the European countries. . . .  It will not only help our economy but also help the Indigenous economy as well.

I understand they’re still working with Germany (and) the European countries yet. There’s a demand for it. Canada should be the one to say Yes to these projects. It’s not only going to help those countries but Indigenous communities as well.

When we think about climate change, we’re just thinking about our own countries in silos, like, ‘This is Canada and these are our emissions and this is how we need to get our emissions down to a certain level. But when we think about other countries that are higher emitters, like Asian countries that are continuing to use coal . . . we need to be able to help those countries get their coal emissions down.

And how do we that? We can do that by...  LNG, and so I think we can hit bigger targets globally rather than just thinking about our own country. That’s where Canada needs to be thinking globally and acting locally.

How we act locally is by looking at new projects on the East Coast and West Coast of Canada... and collaborate and partner with Indigenous people.”

-        Karen Ogen-Toews, CEO, First Nations LNG Alliance [3]

LNG First Nation Quotes March 2023 - V4

“In recent years, there have been rising concerns about our climate here on Earth and the role Liquified Natural Gas plays in it.  This low cost, reliable energy, in partnership with the Indigenous population, has a very significant benefit to billions of people around the world.  Because of fossil fueled developments, climate related deaths are at an all-time low.  This energy is behind literally every industry in North America. It even runs the machinery that is needed to clean the air in the goal of attaining net zero.  With technology, strides are being achieved and will continue.”

LNG, working with Indigenous partners, can build better projects and bring economic reconciliation to the people.  With the Coastal Gas Link project, there have been benefits in education, employment and contracting, bringing communities out of poverty. The cost of living is rapidly rising and putting wholesome lifestyles out of reach of the average person in North America. Without LNG, life would be a great deal more costly than it is currently.”

-         Councillor Ellen Lorentz, Ts’il Kaz Koh First Nation [1]

“In the larger context of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, natural gas seem safer than coal burning or nuclear power to me, and First Nations should have the power of choice. Our ancestors always respected this concept.”

-        Jackie Thomas, FNLNGA Board Member [1]

“Attracting an economic base to the Nass Valley has long been a priority for the Nisga’a Nation. This is why, for close to a decade, our Nation has worked to attract a world-leading LNG project to our treaty lands, and why we are proud to commence the formal regulatory process for our project, Ksi Lisims LNG.”

-        Eva Clayton, Elected President, Nisga’a Nation [4]

“First and foremost, as leaders, we need to decide what is in the best interest of our communities. We believe that the LNG industry is one of the paths to prosperity for our members and all British Columbians through good-paying jobs, economic growth and collaboration on long-term environmental stewardship.”

-        Chief Rene Skin – Director of the Skin Tyee Nation [5]

“Other First Nations such as the Haisla and Kitsumkalum have declared their support for LNG. At least 20 First Nations have signed project benefit agreements and a First Nations LNG Alliance has been formed to share information about the potential impacts and benefits of LNG development in our province.

It is time for First Nations governing authorities to work together for the benefit of the members. “No” is no longer the only answer. Economic reconciliation is the better way to protect and grow our communities into the future.”

-        Chief Dan George – Elected Chief of Ts’il Kaz Koh Nation [6]

“There’s an energy crisis on one hand and a race against time to reduce emissions on the other. British Columbia’s LNG projects can be an answer to solve both these problems in the future…

If we want to be part of the global solution, we in British Columbia have a duty to get our act together and make that global supply readily available…

Eighteen LNG projects were proposed; we’re left with one. The ones that hung around were fully endorsed by First Nations – Woodfibre (Squamish Nation), Cedar LNG (Haisla Nation), KSI LNG (Nisga’a Nation).”

-        Ellis Ross, MLA, Skeena, British Columbia [7]

LNG First Nation Quotes March 2023 v2

First Nations Support Responsible LNG Development in B.C.

Cedar LNG, an Indigenous-led project 50% owned by Haisla Nation, has been recently approved by both provincial and federal governments. The British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office issued a certificate for the project before its approval by governmental authorities, stating that despite an increase in local emissions, it would significantly reduce net global emissions by displacing coal power plants abroad.

Nisga’a Nation’s Ksi Lisims LNG project is yet another Indigenous-led facility in B.C. with the potential to displace dirtier forms of energy generation overseas. In the pre-construction phase, the project has been given the go-ahead to undergo its environmental review by government.

These Indigenous-led projects will not only help reduce emissions abroad by displacing coal-fired power and heat generation, but are also a big step towards economic reconciliation for many First Nations in remote areas of the country.

In the vast wilderness of Canada, economic opportunities such as developing a flourishing LNG export sector are few and far between. As many Chiefs have said before, these energy projects are a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

Indigenous leaders have made it clear that LNG is in their people's best interests while committing to develop these facilities with world-class emission profiles. Let’s get to expediting the approval of all other Canadian LNG projects underway for the benefit of Indigenous communities, local families, global energy security and climate action.

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1 - First Nations LNG Alliance – News: Open letter to BC premier on LNG, Date Accessed: February 2023 (https://www.fnlngalliance.com/2023/02/22/news-open-letter-to-bc-premier-on-lng/)

2 - Vancouver Is Awesome - Chief Crystal Smith: First Nations want an energy future, not eco-colonialism, Date Accessed: February 2023 (https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/opinion/chief-crystal-smith-first-nations-want-an-energy-future-not-eco-colonialism-6394031)

3 - First Nations LNG Alliance - Our LNG should go to Europe, too - Date Accessed: May 2023 (https://www.fnlngalliance.com/2023/05/18/blog-our-lng-should-go-to-europe-too/)

4 - Ksi Lisims LNG - Nisga'a Nation, Rockies LNG and Western LNG propose new LNG project, Date Accessed: February 2023 (https://www.ksilisimslng.com/news/nisgaa-nation-rockies-lng-and-western-lng-propose-new-lng-project)

5 - LNG Industry - More First Nations to benefit from LNG, Date Accessed: February 2023 (https://www.lngindustry.com/liquid-natural-gas/04122014/first-nations-to-benefit-from-bc-lng-pipelines-1911/)

6 - Coastal GasLink - Dan George: Some chiefs support B.C. gas pipeline, Date Accessed: February 2023 (https://www.coastalgaslink.com/whats-new/news-stories/2018/2018-12-17dan-george-some-chiefs-support-b.c.-gas-pipeline/)

7 - Terrance Standard - Northwest B.C. MLA Ellis Ross holds LNG talks with federal conservative leader, German envoy in Ottawa, Date Accessed: February 2023 (https://www.terracestandard.com/news/northwest-b-c-mla-ellis-ross-holds-lng-talks-with-federal-conservative-leader-german-envoy-in-ottawa/)


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