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Jeff Lehrmann, president, Chevron Canada Limited, said, "We look forward to working with . . . First Nations . . . to . . . open new markets for Canadian natural gas."
The Unist’ot’en Camp is an indigenous re-occupation of Wet’suwet’en land in northern BC, Canada. The camp stands serves a checkpoint to keep out industry that has not been given consent to come onto the territory (e.g., workers for the Pacific Trail and Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines).
According to spokesperson Freda Huson, the first thing you need to know about the Unist'ot'en Camp is that it isn't really a camp at all.
“It’s a community," she told Vancouver Observer. "We have permanent structures, it’s not just a bunch of little tents set up here and there.”
Engagement – it’s not just talk!
To date, the Coastal GasLink team has had over 15,000 interactions and engagements with Aboriginal communities along the proposed pipeline route, and over a third of the 362,000+ hours of field work on the project have been conducted by Aboriginal people. The 13 project agreements signed to date reflect that many First Nations support responsible development, and growth that translates into real opportunities.
To date, Coastal GasLink has signed project agreements with Skin Tyee First Nation, Nee Tahi Buhn Indian Band, Yekooche First Nation, Wet’suwet’en First Nation, Doig River First Nation, Halfway River First Nation, Blueberry River First Nations, Burns Lake Indian Band, Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, Nadleh Whut’en First Nation, West Moberly First Nations, Kitselas First Nation and McLeod Lake Indian Band.
Our collaborative approach with First Nations communities has resulted in us investigating alternate routes to address some of the input we received. These productive, two-way conversations with all Aboriginal groups have resulted in many changes to the project.
We’ve invested in a variety of training programs to support Aboriginal and local trainees and students. These include the Pathway to Pipeline Readiness Program and Education Legacy program. Examples include Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association, Tribal Resources Investment Corporation, Northwest Community College, and Northern Lights College.
What About Jobs?
Dirty energy industries use the promise of “jobs” as their main argument to force people, who need money, into accepting their destructive plans. But these promises are usually broken. Even for such a massive project as the Keystone XL pipeline (875 miles of pipeline), there are only 3500 temporary jobs and 35 permanent jobs. For smaller projects like the ones proposed here, there are far less, both temporary and permanent jobs. And… there are no jobs on a dead planet! 96% of profits go to the company – $178.2 billion. The Moricetown Band agreement states that the Band would receive $20.4 million over 35 years – which amounts to approximately $364,000 when divided between 16 partners.
Should we settle for crumbs from the industry’s feasting table?