New First Nations Governance Trends Complicate Resource Agreements: Joseph Quesnel for Inside Policy – MLI

by ahnationtalk on January 14, 2019232 Views

January 11, 2019

Internal governance disputes within a First Nation can complicate relations with resource companies, particularly in the current politically loaded atmosphere.

Take for example the situation on the Wet’suwet’en First Nation in the northwestern central interior of British Columbia. A group of hereditary elders erected a blockade on a remote forestry road at the Unist’ot’en camp to block the proposed Coastal Gaslink gas pipeline to Kitimat, B.C. This week they reached a tentative agreement with the RCMP to comply with a B.C. Supreme Court ruling that they must allow gas workers into the site.

Wet’suwet’en First Nation is one of 20 First Nations that has signed project agreements with Coastal GasLink. In 2014, the elected First Nation leadership of Wet’suwet’en signed an LNG pipeline benefits agreement with the Province of British Columbia. The deal involves approximately $2.8 million from the province at three different stages in the project: $464,000 upon signing the agreement, $1.16 million when pipeline construction begins, and $1.16 million when the pipeline is in service.

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