Poll of Indigenous Peoples Finds Strong Support for Natural Resource Development

CALGARY, ABJune 16, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - A new poll suggests Indigenous Peoples within Canada are generally more supportive of natural resource development than many might have assumed, said Canada Action founder and spokesperson Cody Battershill.

Two Thirds of Respondents Said They Support Resource Development, and Fully Half Said Development Can Occur in a Way that Respects Environment

"These latest polling results are another important reminder that Indigenous people in rural and reserve communities, rather than holding deeply polarized views on the importance of a natural resource economy, are in fact generally supportive of new projects and the community prosperity they bring," Battershill said.

"It's a reality that so many anti-development groups fail to acknowledge – that Indigenous people frequently view natural resource projects as a way to address systemic poverty and move toward self-determination and a more prosperous future," Battershill said.

The poll, conducted between March 25 and April 16 by Environics Research on behalf of the Indigenous Resource Network, a partner of Canada Action, found that 65% of the 549 Indigenous respondents in rural areas or on reserves across Canada who self-identified as First Nations, Métis and Inuit said they support natural resource development.

Only 23 percent of respondents said they were opposed. Asked whether respondents would support a new project if it were to be proposed near their own communities, supporters outweighed opponents two to one (54 percent to 26 percent).

And among the 30 percent of respondents who said they were "very" or "extremely" well informed on resource issues, support for natural resource development was consistently stronger than among those who said they were less well informed.

Half of respondents (49%) believed resource development can occur in a way that respects the land and the environment, while just one in ten (11%) believed such an outcome was not possible.

"These are strong results that highlight the importance of strengthening, not severing, the  relationship among Indigenous communities and the natural resources sector. The majority of Indigenous peoples are not opposed to development. They are opposed to being left out," stated JP Gladu, Acting Executive Director of the Indigenous Resource Network.

The margin of sampling error for a sample of 549 is +/- 4.2 percentage points, 19 times in 20.

The Indigenous Resource Network is a non-partisan platform for Indigenous workers and business owners involved in resource development. CanadaAction.ca is a volunteer-built organization that supports Canadian natural resources development and the environmental, social and economic benefits that come with it.         

SOURCE Canada Action Coalition

For further information: JP Gladu - [email protected], Cody Battershill - [email protected] or visit our website: CanadaAction.ca

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