Our blog: Canadian LNG is Indigenous LNG

We’ve been spreading the message in that headline above for a long time online — and now it’s becoming even more clear.

For example, the Nisga’a Nation now has announced, with Western LNG, the planned purchase from TC Energy of the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline project (PRGT).

It would be used to feed natural gas to the Ksi Lisims LNG project, proposed in far northwest B.C. by the Nisga’a and partners Western LNG and Rockies LNG.

Meanwhile, the Cedar LNG project, majority owned by the Haisla Nation, now is working on sales agreements, third-party consents, and project financing.

While a final investment decision with partner Pembina Pipeline Corporation is expected in the middle of this year, Cedar LNG could begin tree clearing and rough grading work on its Kitimat B.C. site as early as May.

And Woodfibre LNG will begin producing LNG in B.C. in 2027, at the world’s first net-zero LNG plant on Howe Sound, with the Squamish Nation as a partner and as an official regulator.

  • Ksi Lisims would produce 12 million tonnes of LNG a year. That compares with 14 million tonnes a year from LNG Canada, which will start production at Kitimat Bin mid-2025 — or perhaps at the end of this year.
  • Cedar LNG’s floating plant would turn out three million tonnes of LNG a year.
  • And Woodfibre will produce 2.1 million tonnes a year — with 70% of it already sold to overseas buyers.

The sale of the PRGT pipeline project to the Nisga’a-led Ksi Lisims project was hailed by Eva Clayton, Nisga’a Lisims government president, as an historic step towards independence and prosperity for her people:

“This is a watershed moment for Indigenous reconciliation.

“For far too long, First Nations could only watch as others built generational wealth from the resources of our traditional lands. But times are changing.

“This year marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark Calder Decision. The late Dr. Frank  Calder was a Nisga’a Chief, whose Supreme Court case compelled Canada to finally acknowledge Aboriginal rights and title.

“The Calder case was about First Nations tacking back control of what happens on our land, a struggle all Indigenous people have shared and fought for, to ensure we have our opportunity to build prosperity from the resources of our land.

“And that’s exactly what we are doing today.

“Our ownership role in this pipeline signals a new era for Indigenous participation in Canada’s economy.”

And she finished her statement with this:

“In the spirit of sayt-k’ilim goot, the Nisga’a common-bowl philosophy, we invite all other nations along the pipeline corridor to work together with us to show how Indigenous ownership can benefit and strengthen all our communities.

“ I look forward to many more conversations about what this could mean for you and your family. T’ooyaksi’y n’sim. Thank you.”

(In the Calder Decision, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Aboriginal title existed outside of, and was not simply derived from, colonial law.)

The Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline project was originally designed, in 2013, as a 900-km pipeline to feed natural gas from B.C. and Alberta to the Pacific NorthWest LNG plant, proposed by Malaysia’s Petronas near Prince Rupert B.C.

Petronas pulled the plug in 2017, citing “changes in market conditions.”

Petronas went on to become a 25% partner in the LNG Canada project in B.C., but the PRGT project’s approvals by governments (by B.C. in 2014 and Ottawa in 2016) are still in effect, and held by TC Energy. So now the plan is for the Nisga’a Nation and Western LNG to take it all over and revive it.

The plan was applauded by Karen Ogen, CEO of our First Nations LNG Alliance:

“Simply put, this is a historic announcement for the Nisga’a Nation, and for all Indigenous people in British Columbia.

“Since the time of colonization, we have been denied access to capital and economic opportunity. Once on the sidelines of opportunity – even as major projects crossed our own territories – we are now getting into the game. . . .

“Canadian LNG is Indigenous LNG and today’s news is another example of that. Projects like this are economic reconciliation at work, allowing Nations to stand on their own, protecting language and culture, and creating opportunities for generations. . . .

“The opportunities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities alike will be significant.”

Driving home the message that Canadian LNG is Indigenous LNG, the Haisla Nation also celebrated the naming and blessing of its floating operations facility, HaiSea Zewén, which will be home base for the world’s greenest tugboat fleet, to serve the LNG Canada project. HaiSea Marine is a partnership of the Haisla and Seaspan.

Photo: Eva Clayton of Nisga'a Nation

(Posted here 20 March 2024)

First Nations LNG Alliance Newsletter