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Indigenous Canadians and the future of the natural resource economy: Gale and Coates for Inside Policy – MLI

by ahnationtalk on October 15, 2018245 Views

October 15, 2018

It is important to recall all the stories attributing the delays in the Trans Mountain Pipeline, the collapse of the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, and the general malaise in the natural resource economy to Indigenous resistance. The symbolism of Indigenous protest has been too powerful for most commentators to pass up. It suited urban assumptions about Indigenous attitudes to development.

But it was not uniformly true in the past. And it is far from true now.

Witness the recent announcement that the consortium LNG Canada will proceed with construction of its $40 billion pipeline and processing facility in northern British Columbia. The loud rumbling from out West is the sound of an embattled energy sector celebrating the first bold sign in a few years that the country is willing to further unlock its natural resource wealth.

LNG Canada is not going it alone. They have been working, with little fanfare, to bring Indigenous communities on board. And they are there. All of the Indigenous communities along the pipeline route have agreed to the project, with the now-standard assurances of employment, business and other opportunities in return for their support and collaboration. The Haisla, in whose homeland the Kitimat terminal will be built, have long advocated for the natural gas pipeline and refinery project, and stand to benefit substantially from the economic activity.

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