Representatives from Energy for a Secure Future and Indigenous leaders were in Ottawa calling on Canada and the rest of the G7 nations to advance collaboration on the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities in British Columbia.
The news conference comes ahead of the next G7 summit, this time in Hiroshima, Japan, a country that has asked Canada for its responsible and reliable natural gas a handful of times since the beginning of the year. Japan, like many other countries abroad, is looking for alternative fuel supply sources as they attempt to wean itself off less reliable suppliers.
These Indigenous leaders believe Canada can and should play a significant role in providing not only Japan, but the rest of the world with the energy it needs.
"If British Columbia is serious about fighting climate change and improving affordability for British Columbians, the best tool in our toolbox is the export of cleaner LNG.”#BCPoli #Indigenous #CGL #ClimateAction #CanadianEnergy pic.twitter.com/ObUp1eB7pC— LNG Action (@LNGAction) April 7, 2023
“Increasingly, we are partners and even owners of major projects,” said Chief Crystal Smith of the Haisla Nation, a community that has recently received approval for its $3 billion floating Cedar LNG export facility.
“It will be the largest majority First-Nations owned infrastructure project in Canadian history and the first Indigenous-owned LNG export terminal in the world. . . . Other nations are asking us for our help, and the Haisla Nation has a solution for them,” Smith continued.
Karen Ogen, Chief Executive Officer of the First Nations LNG Alliance, elaborated on the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that new natural gas projects have provided for First Nations.
“LNG development has provided . . . opportunities to lift thousands of Indigenous people and their communities out of inter-generational poverty. . . . The members of the First Nations LNG Alliance also recognize that many opportunities are being lost to energy and climate policies that are missing the big picture. That’s why we have sent letters to all the members of the G7, including Canada, calling on them to include energy, and LNG, on the agenda of their next meeting,” said Ogen.
“LNG development has provided immediate and medium term opportunities to lift thousands of #Indigenous people and our communities out of intergenerational poverty.”— Canada Action (@CanadaAction) April 15, 2023
Karen Ogen and other Indigenous leaders call on G7 nations to support #CanadianLNG #CdnPoli pic.twitter.com/897olO307K
The First Nations LNG Alliance is a collective of First Nations participating in and are supportive of sustainable and responsible LNG development in B.C. It also supports hydro-electricity, wind, hydrogen, solar, geothermal, nuclear and biomass.
Chief Billy Morin of the Enoch Cree Nation also joined in on calling for G7 nations to support a healthy energy sector in Western Canada.
“I’ve come to Ottawa this week because I want our allies to know that Canadian energy projects are moving forward with Indigenous nations as partners and as owners. We are working to advance big energy projects from production pipelines and terminals to hydrogen and carbon capture,” Morin said.
“I want the G7 to know that #Indigenous peoples are not not a barrier to more energy exports from Canada.— Canada Action (@CanadaAction) April 16, 2023
We are actually the solution.”@billymorinECN on #CanadianLNG and #CanadianEnergy for global #EnergySecurity pic.twitter.com/5v92jAXk6J
“We want to get involved in them even more so now. They provide own-source revenues, jobs and business contracts for our people to help advance our self-determination and reconciliation in this country. I want the G7 to know that Indigenous peoples are not a barrier to more energy exports from Canada. We are actually the solution.”
The Indigenous Resource Network (IRN) was also present, represented by its Executive Director John Desjarlais. The IRN’s vision is to connect with Indigenous people that seek to utilize their resources in their respective areas in a way that benefits their culture and society as a whole, and to manage their land in a way that is sustainable, respectful, and helps them thrive.
“The Indigenous Resource Network has joined FNLNG Alliance and others, sending letters to the G7 nations to advocate for Canadian LNG. We stand with Indigenous people that want to produce and export their natural gas to our allies around the world, while ensuring Indigenous workers and businesses have the opportunities to participate in the sector. For this is a common sense, win-win solution to address energy needs, climate goals, and economic reconciliation,” explained Desjarlais.
A Majority of Indigenous People Support Responsible Resource Development
“In its official communique, the Group of Seven ministers pledged to work toward cleaning emissions from power generation and reducing vehicle emissions by 2035, but it left open the door to new investment in natural gas and ongoing use of fossil fuels.” https://t.co/TDan2gxQyz— Canada Action (@CanadaAction) April 17, 2023
According to polling by the IRN, 65% of Indigenous peoples in Canada support the responsible development of natural resources on their land, versus just 23% in opposition.
New natural resource developments are a step forward towards economic reconciliation with Indigenous communities. With many First Nations found in rural parts of the country, these projects, are one of the few opportunities to find well-paying jobs and long-term careers.
It’s no wonder that most First Nations support resource development. Will you also support Indigenous communities and their goal of self-determination through generating own-source revenues from natural resources?
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"As the world struggles to find the right balance between a carbon-free future and a present that still runs on fossil fuels, Canada could be leveraging its natural-gas riches to help fuel both, a new report suggests."— Canada Action (@CanadaAction) April 6, 2023
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