The answer is yes! All 20 First Nations along the Coastal GasLink pipeline route have signed benefit agreements with TransCanada. Furthermore, a majority of First Nations in northern British Columbia support both the Coastal GasLink and LNG Canada projects.
Most of the involved BC First Nations not only have experienced meaningful and bilateral consultations with Coastal GasLink, but see the project as a way out of widespread poverty within their communities. But don’t take our word for it.
Here’s several quotes from First Nations leaders, community members and representatives on their support for Coastal GasLink and LNG Canada. Also see:
- 3 Reasons why Canada Needs BC LNG
- 3 Reasons Why BC LNG Matters to First Nations
- First Nations Chiefs Show Support for Trans Mountain Expansion
15+ Quotes from First Nations in Support of Coastal GasLink & LNG Canada
“We urge you to think strongly about how your opposition to LNG developments is causing harm to our people and our well-being. Opposition does nothing towards empowering our Nation, but rather dismisses our Rights and Title and works towards separating our people from real benefits.”
”We have had industry in our territory for the last 50 to 60 years. The difference with this project [BC LNG] is that we have had a meaningful partnership within it. That means an equal level of playing field in terms of how our involvement of how this project is built, the standard in which it is built, and terms of that environmental aspect, what is suitable and what is acceptable for our Nation in terms of our cultural existence in this territory.”
“Am I a sell out for wanting a better life for my people? To say that we would sell our environment short for a dollar sign is completely untrue. I value this, I value our territory, I value our land. Most importantly I value this water, this is our dinner plate, this environment is my culture, this environment is Haisla.”
“This land has been our home for thousands of years. The relationship between our nation and industry has never been this healthy and open. Industry has come and gone from our Territory and not until now have we had this much influence in seeing it happen responsibly, and sustainably.”
Crystal Smith – Chief Councillor of Haisla Nation
“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.”
Rene Skin – Chief of the Skin Tyee Nation
From the Haisla Nation Council: 'The Nation needs an economy to survive . . . Only after careful review was natural gas acceptable.' Full story on our Facebook page: https://t.co/wFUBn0B3eV #LNGinBC #BCpoli pic.twitter.com/5ev9K7uwal— FN LNG Alliance (@FNLNGAlliance) January 15, 2019
“The economic picture goes like this: In order for Huu-ay-aht First Nations to close the existing economic and social gap, we estimate that we would need — at the very least — $250 million over the next 10 years. And I say to myself, ‘Where am I going to get $250 million?’ I know the feds aren’t going to say, ‘Well, Huu-ay-aht, here’s $250 million; go do what you want.’ And also I know the province isn’t going to come to the Nation and say, ‘Here. Huu-ay-aht, here’s the money you need.’ I’m sure as I’m sitting here that’s not going to happen. We have to find some way to do this. And this (Kwispaa LNG) is one of the ways that provides economic opportunity and will help us close that economic and social gap.”
Robert J. Dennis Sr. – Chief Councillor of Huu-ay-aht Nation
“Yes, the development of LNG in B.C. and the LNG Canada project will mean jobs, careers, business opportunities and revenue for First Nations, for First Nations people, and for First Nations communities… To me, it means a chance to take a small step toward narrowing that gap between their standard of living and that of non-Indigenous Canadians…”
“Part of the opposition’s argument is that it’s short-term jobs, short-term employment – but we want to ensure that we’re creating long-term, sustainable careers for our people… This is a historical moment not only for Indigenous people but for B.C. and Canada,” she said. “It’s about time, I think, that these projects are benefiting everyone. It’s a win-win all the way around.”
Karen Ogen-Toews – Former elected Chief of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, CEO of First Nations LNG Alliance
.@susannah_pierce: In various #FirstNations on the @CoastalGasLink #pipeline route, elected and hereditary chiefs 'are working together very well.' Interview with @MikeSmythNews on @CKNW: https://t.co/SCnUDJ3JE5 #LNGinBC #bcpoli pic.twitter.com/mTWZc7kosT— FN LNG Alliance (@FNLNGAlliance) January 14, 2019
“TransCanada and Coastal GasLink have been exceptional in the way they deal with First Nations people. They really listen and I think they care, and they’re willing to incorporate the needs and concerns of local Aboriginal people into their project planning and strategy.”
Layne Boucher, local Aboriginal contractor
“In the chief’s view, this whole process [Bill C-48] is kind of a sham that’s being rammed down the local First Nations throats by a government who is bowing to the green movement rather than a touted reconciliation agenda.”
Calvin Helin – President & Chairman of Eagle Spirit Energy Holding Ltd., Member of Tsimshian Nation
Edmund Grant of Kitimaat Village is grateful for opportunities offered by #LNG development. 'I am very happy I got a job. It’s good hours, good pay. (And) once we get a project this big coming to town it brings in more businesses.' https://t.co/4M2iJIQZFa #LNGinBC #bcpoloi pic.twitter.com/9hA3d2xyMk— FN LNG Alliance (@FNLNGAlliance) January 7, 2019
“It was difficult for us, but we supported Coastal GasLink. We discussed it thoroughly and we struggled with it. We agreed upon it for our future generations. No other chiefs speak for us or our territory. We speak for ourselves. We speak for our territory.”
Helen Michelle – Skin Tyee Band Councillor
“Being directly involved in expanding LNG in British Columbia presents our community with an opportunity to benefit from this new industry. The land that we have depended on for generations will continue to provide for our members and contribute to the LNG industry and the provincial economy.”
Raymond Morris – Chief of the Nee Tahi Buhn Indian Band
“There are very few opportunities that come along in northern B.C… We have very small communities, we don’t have prime real estate, so our economic development is very limited. These are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for us.”
“Helen Michelle and Skin Tyee are not alone. Other First Nations such as the Haisla and Kitselas have declared their support for LNG.”
Dan George – Chief of Ts’il Kaz Koh Nation
RT @Resource_Works: Homeland Journey video: Derek Orr on how #FirstNations need to be involved in resource decisions and the resulting benefits. Watch it here: https://t.co/ZqcgpPc6lW #bcpoli pic.twitter.com/VVMrvSE2pn— FN LNG Alliance (@FNLNGAlliance) January 1, 2019
“That’s what I see out of LNG and pipelines, on the plus side. A lot of people think of the jobs being short-term jobs, but when you look at it, you get trades training and qualifications under your belt. And that’s not short-term, that’s long-term, that’s lifetime. You can take that ability that you have and go anywhere, and adapt, to any city or place where the job goes. Once you get the trade, you get your Red Seal ticket, and you could even go international if there are big jobs on the other side of the world.”
“The pipelines came to all the Nations seeking approval and working towards agreements. In the past, though, big resource companies never did that; they just built, with no accommodations or benefits or anything. If a Final Investment Decision goes through [it has], there will be annual payments coming to the Nation, and that will greatly improve the way of life on the reserve—everything from housing to education.”
Erwin Tom – Councillor of Wet’suwet’en Nation
“I’m a First Nation born and raised on reserve and like many across Canada, we were left out of the wealth generation in Canada. The results were poverty and the many social ills that come with it… I too opposed economic development but at the urging of fellow councillors…. I agreed to look into employment as a solution. [Today]… without a doubt, I can say, economic development, specifically major projects has turned my peoples lives around, especially the younger generation.”
“LNG Canada is not guaranteed to be built regardless of [the] final investment decision. What’s needed is the B.C. government to defend its approval against the upcoming challenges.
Ellis Ross – MLA, Skeena, British Columbia, Former Chief Councillor of the Haisla Nation
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