Indigenous Leaders Call On G7 Nations to Support LNG Development in Canada: VIDEO

Indigenous Leaders Call On G7 Nations to Support LNG Development in Canada: VIDEO

Indigenous leaders call on G7 to support LNG development in Canada

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 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 it attempts 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.

“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... 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.

The First Nations LNG Alliance is a collective of First Nations participating in and are supportive of 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.

“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 who 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 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... and economic reconciliation,” explained Desjarlais.

A Majority of Indigenous People Support Responsible Resource Development

According to polling by the IRN, 65% of Indigenous peoples in Canada support the 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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