Blog: ‘Canadian LNG is Indigenous’

We’re most happy to have posted this week, during the world LNG2023 conference in Vancouver, a special look at LNG: “Canadian LNG is Indigenous. Indigenous values are powering Canada’s low-carbon LNG opportunity.”

A new page at pointed out how Indigenous-supported LNG from Canada offers clear solutions for the world’s energy trilemma, how it means a strong commitment to the environment, and how it’s also economic reconciliation at work.

Another message: “The path to low-carbon LNG is through strong Indigenous participation in projects such as Cedar (Haisla Nation), Ksi Lisims LNG (Nisga’a Nation), the Coastal Gaslink pipeline and LNG Canada,  Tilbury LNG (FortisBC) and Woodfibre LNG.

The messages also appeared as a full-page national ad in The Globe and Mail.

As it said: “Make no mistake, Canadian LNG is Indigenous LNG, a premium product that will provide benefits locally, provincially, nationally and internationally, well into the future.”

And we had an electronic billboard sign (pictured below) at Canada Place in Vancouver.  All the channels drew strong online audiences.

Our thanks to those supporters who helped make the special page and the national ad and billboard happen: Coastal GasLink, TC Energy, Ksi Lisims LNG, LNG Canada, FortisBC, and Seaspan.

Others who understand the need for LNG, the overseas and domestic benefits of Canadian LNG, and Indigenous partnerships, were also heard at and around the four-day international conference, which ran Monday through Thursday at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

  • Our Alliance CEO, Karen Ogen: “LNG development has provided immediate and medium-term opportunities to lift thousands of Indigenous people out of intergenerational poverty. We are already seeing benefits from employment, training, contracting, procurement, and benefits agreements.”
  • Our Alliance chair, Chief Councillor Crystal Smith of the Haisla nation: “My nation is the proponent of an LNG project on BC’s west coast: Cedar LNG. The largest majority First Nation-owned infrastructure project in Canadian history, and the first Indigenous-owned LNG export terminal in the world. . . . I’ve watched our nation essentially sitting on the sidelines to watch everybody else prosper off development in our territories and now I see how we are sitting around tables as partners within a project.”

Woodfibre LNG’s president, Christine Kennedy, said Indigenous participation in major projects is absolutely essential. “It’s one of the building blocks to be able to build a project in the first place. It’s critical all the way through from the early planning and design stages right through the regulatory cycle and into construction.”

(There was also news that Woodfibre LNG is close to signing offtake agreements for the remaining 30% of its capacity. It had long ago pre-sold 70%.)

And while news media noted the absence of senior federal ministers such as Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, Randy Boissonnault, Canada’s tourism minister and associate minister of finance, told the conference that Canada needs an “at-scale” LNG economy to keep up in the global fight against climate change.

“The world’s major economies are moving at an unprecedented rate and pace to fight climate change, retool their economies and build the net-zero industries of tomorrow,” he said. “Canada must keep pace because we cannot afford to fall behind – that is why the development of an at-scale LNG economy is a strategic priority for Canada.

“The fact is, we are facing a changing climate, and to use a very Canadian statement, we must skate to where the puck is going.”

For Alliance board member Clifford White, a highlight of LNG2023 was a sidebar meeting of First Nations leaders with Enbridge, a “conference within a conference” on climate change and environmental issues. “That was good.”

He added: “Throughout the overall conference itself there were major Indigenous events, and Indigenous issues and LNG were pretty well covered.” And he found much support for the Haisla Nation’s Cedar LNG project, and the Nisga’a Nation’s Ksi Lisims LNG plan.

Among attendees were delegates from New Brunswick pushing for LNG development, in a province where fracking (hydraulic fracturing) for natural gas was banned in 2013. (Premier Blaine Higgs says it now should be permitted, so gas can replace coal for power generation, and be used to produce LNG and hydrogen.)

“There were people looking to the First Nations LNG Alliance, people seeking support, if we could support that,” said Chief White.

He said the event also drew a federal assistant deputy minister of natural resources, Erin O’Brien. “He was interested in seeing if the Alliance could help support the Eastern provinces on LNG, and potentially seeing if the First Nations LNG Alliance could . . . give them a visit to help support them.”

Fellow board member Jackie Thomas: “It was a wonderful conference, and exciting. I caught some of the closing remarks, and one guy said, ‘The mood in the air is confidence.’ And that’s why it was wonderful.”

She was with a group that met with Alberta Premier Danielle Smith. “Honestly, I didn’t expect us to be meeting with her, and ambassadors from five other countries. We were all in there problem solving  . . . for Canada.

“I think it worked out well for us First Nations. It was so good to see us starting to take our place on the stage, and telling our story. . . .It’s so good to see the seeds of our labour bear fruit.”

And: “I think we’re going to get there, to sustainable development with our consent and involvement.”

(Posted here 14 July 2023)

First Nations LNG Alliance Newsletter