Newsletter: Policies curb Indigenous right to OK resource projects


Policies hamper the Indigenous right to say ‘yes’ to projects

Ken Coates, professor, commentator, senior fellow of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, and friend of our Alliance, supports the right of Indigenous peoples to approve resource projects, and to be prime players in them.

But, he argues, government policies aimed at reinforcing Indigenous rights to consultation “are now substantial impediments to the development of Indigenous-led projects.”

He writes: “Government regulations and processes reinforced the ability of Indigenous communities to say ‘no’ or to shape projects to address Indigenous objections. Government policy did not, however, anticipate the next stage in Indigenous entrepreneurship – the shift to Indigenous leadership on major infrastructure projects. Policies designed to reinforce the right to say ‘no,’ it turns out, threatened to impede the right to say ‘yes.’

He concludes: “In the coming months, the federal government will be presented with several opportunities to demonstrate its confidence in Indigenous governments and communities. If reconciliation means anything, it must mean that Indigenous peoples can say ‘yes’ to projects on their traditional territories.

  • Read more:
  • Also from Ken Coates: Canada must recognize how its colonial history hangs as an unjust millstone upon Indigenous societies:
  • Coates’ views are supported by a recent Federal Court decision that required the federal government to consult a First Nation in Alberta about the effects a project delay would have on their Impact Benefit Agreement:

New date for online Outreach session

 Our next Outreach session now has moved to Wednesday Nov. 3, from noon to 1:15pm PDT.

The topic: Women in the trades. Are women getting the opportunity to enter and build careers in LNG, natural gas, pipelines and other areas? And the help they need?

We’ll post details about the speakers on our social media channels as we have them. You can pre-register here:

In the meantime, check out the content of earlier sessions here:

Messages that move an audience

Some of our best read, and best shared, posts on social media are simple graphic messages like the one above  from Helen Michelle. It got extra-strong readership and traffic this week on our popular LinkedIn page.

Also widely read and spread, our occasional postings of facts and figures from the Haisla Nation’s Cedar LNG project, and the Nisga’s Nation’s Ksi Lisims LNG project.

See our postings, seven days a week, on LinkedIn, and Twitter.

But while hereditary chief Helen Michelle was out there supporting the Coastal GasLink project, three other Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, in their latest effort to obstruct it, asked banks and financial institutions to divest from the project.

And a fourth hereditary chief went on video to disable an excavator used on the pipeline route, and demand that Coastal Gaslink immediately remove all equipment from Lihkts’amisyu clan territory.

These new political actions — and a continuing blockade on the pipeline route at the Morice River crossing site — came as the BC and federal governments continued secret negotiations on rights and title with the hereditary chiefs.

A spokesperson for BC’s Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, Meghan McRae, said the BC Environmental Assessment Office has continued ‘consultations’ with hereditary chiefs.

But she noted: “The company has project agreements with all 20 elected chiefs and councils of the Indigenous nations along the pipeline route.”

  • Meanwhile, TC Energy reported to the Peace River Regional District that nearly 1,000 workers in the Peace Region are employed on the pipeline. There were 4,758 workers on the 670-km project at the end of August.

Our guide to resource agreements

Have you checked out our Wayfinding Guide to Benefit Agreements? It’s designed to help First Nations sort through 16 critical issues. Explore the guide here:

All set for next May 26-27

‘Possibilities to Partnerships.’ That’s the theme of IPSS 2022, the Indigenous Partnerships Success Showcase to be presented and hosted by Resource Works next May 26-27. The Alliance supports the event, and is an advisor to Resource Works.

Learn more:


  • The Indigenous Opportunities Forum 2021 will explore the role Indigenous businesses and communities play in BC’s economic recovery and growth, Nov. 2 and 4. Info: Register here:
  • The First Nations Energy Summit Nov. 22-23 now is going to be an online virtual event. You can register here: The Generate Clean Energy Industry Conference is postponed until early 2022; dates TBA.


 Hopes for a rosy future for LNG in BC. Read our blog:

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(Posted here 27 October 2021)

First Nations LNG Alliance Newsletter