Looking at our social-media pages, it’s easy to tell who has big numbers of friends, fans, and followers:
Chief Councillor Crystal Smith of the Haisla Nation (above); that’s who.
There were flurries of congratulations and approval when we announced her selection as chair of our First Nations LNG Alliance:
• “Congratulations to this strong Haisla woman.”
• “Congrats!! You have more than proven your commitment and honesty!”
• “Keep up the great job you are doing. Love it!”
• “You da best!”
• “Rock star!”
And this one:
• “As they say in Mexico do you want to talk to the man in charge or the woman who knows everything!”
Chief Crystal, who has long been a member of the Alliance board (and remains on it) succeeds our founding chair, Chief Dan George.
Did you know, by the way, that Chief Crystal’s Haisla Nation is proposing to build an LNG processing and export facility? The project now is in the new federal environmental-assessment process.
Meanwhile, Chief Dan (at centre in the photo above) was making news on his own. He was prominent at the First Nations Energy Summit in Calgary, and was quoted there by CTV News:
“There’s 20 of us (Nations) that have signed onto Coastal Gaslink natural-gas line. . . . I believe every First Nation has the right to develop their own lands for their own people to get them out of poverty.”
At the same time, Dale Swampy, president of the National Coalition of Chiefs, which hosted the event, gave his own message to news media: “For most First Nations, the only solution to on-reserve poverty is participation in natural resource development. Do not deny us our opportunity for well-being and prosperity.”
Coastal GasLink wrapped up a series of 19 open houses and job fairs for 2019, with the last events being held at Prince George (Nov. 12) and Vanderhoof (Nov. 13). The Alliance was there, again hosting a table and talking about First Nations and the benefits that come to Indigenous people from LNG development.
We also gave job-seekers tips on finding work, and pointed many to our special webpage on looking for jobs (and business opportunities) in LNG in BC.
Our visitors at the Prince George event included Mike Gouchie (above) of the Lheidli T’enneh Nation. He works with five First Nations, in a Coastal Gas Link construction community liaison program.
That’s our CEO, Karen Ogen-Toews, who’ll soon be off to London, England, as a key speaker at a conference on Canada’s LNG, being held at Canada House on Nov. 27: Canadian LNG: Major Projects, Investments & Market Analysis.
She will also speak at a followup conference that is being set up for Dec. 11 in Calgary: Canadian LNG – Lessons learned from Tokyo and London.
Karen also spoke on Sept. 27 at a Tokyo briefing event, a special half-day event at the Canadian embassy for more than 170 Japanese business people, investors, market-watchers, and government representatives.
Among other things, she told them: “We First Nations now are becoming investors and partners in gas and LNG development.”
After the Calgary event she’ll be speaking at the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s big Energy Forum in Vancouver on Dec. 13.
Then in January the Alliance will be a partner in presenting in Vancouver a day-long conference on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). More on this when the final details are set.
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