The past decade has seen a transformation in indigenous engagement in the natural resource economy. Most recently, two Indigenous-led groups have emerged as prime bidders for the TransMountain Pipeline, creating the unprecedented scenario of Indigenous communities being major stake-holders.
But this development is far from unexpected. For years, Indigenous communities have benefited from royalty payments, business opportunities and employment prospects. While some Indigenous groups are opposed to the sector, many other Indigenous communities have made formidable commitments to the industry. Indeed, for many First Nations and Metis people, participation in the oil and gas sector is seen as foundational to plans for medium and long-term economic renewal and prosperity.
However, with the oil and gas industry at a global crossroads, so too is the future of Indigenous economic empowerment through the sector. Whether it is high profile environmental challenges obstructing pipeline construction or an ever changing and punitive regulatory environment, the risks to natural resource development are threatening productive Indigenous engagement with industry.
To make sense of these issues, MLI is hosting a webinar discussion that will bring together three leading experts in Indigenous economic involvement in the oil and gas industry.