This October, Karen Ogen-Toews was invited to attend the fall meeting of The American Bar Association in Tokyo, Japan in order to communicate the perspective of many First Nations in B.C. who support LNG development. The theme of this year’s conference was The Pacific Century: Progress and Predictions and consisted of over 60 panel discussions.
Karen participated on the panel: The Prospects of a Canadian LNG Export Industry: Progress and Predictions – bringing a message that many First Nations in Canada support resource development, including LNG, in their territories. The 90-minute panel discussion included information regarding meaningful and effective Aboriginal engagement; the strengths of the Canadian LNG market, including the low cost resource base and stable fiscal/regulatory regime; and, the challenges in the Canadian industry, including pipeline infrastructure and capital costs of greenfield facilities.
While in Tokyo, Karen also met with representatives from the B.C. Trade and Investment Office, the Canadian Embassy and the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC). JOGMEC seeks to find stable supplies of natural resources for Japan and Karen met with its representatives to share the purposes and mandate of the FNLNGA, discuss the current Canadian LNG market, as well as suggestions on how to engage in working relationships with First Nations. As JOGMEC is invested in all the major projects in which there is Japanese interest, it was an excellent opportunity for the FNLNGA to present a First Nations perspective on the Canadian natural resource industry.
Officials at the Canadian Embassy and JOGMEC have invited BC First Nations Chiefs to return with Karen in the Spring to tour the JAPEX plant and see first hand what happens to the exported LNG once it reaches its destination in Asia (if you are interested in this opportunity, please reach out to us, here).
Karen was honoured and delighted to represent the First Nations LNG Alliance in Japan, and was able to provide great insight into proper engagement and how to effectively build working relationships with B.C. First Nations.