Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Text Size

B.C. First Nations warns Premier Clark to consult aboriginals on LNG development

By Dirk Meissner, Canadian Press

VICTORIA - A British Columbia First Nation says the provincial government is dragging its feet when it comes to consulting with aboriginal people about proposed liquefied-natural-gas developments, including revenue sharing.

The Wet'suwet'un First Nation warned Premier Christy Clark Monday in a statement that consultations must begin immediately or the First Nation will ``pursue the steps necessary to ensure that the province fulfills its constitutional obligations.''

Wet'suwet'un Chief Karen Ogen said her First Nation sent Clark a letter last August urging her to start consultations, but there's been no reply even though the government is meeting with the industry as it develops regulatory and taxation policies.

"Time is running out,'' said Ogen in a statement. "Taking First Nations support for granted and treating consultation with Wet'suwet'en First Nation as an inconvenient afterthought is not consultation in good faith.''

But John Rustad, minister of aboriginal relations and reconciliation, said a statement issued Monday evening that he met with the First Nation on Oct. 22.

He said both sides talked about the First Nation's interest in negotiating accommodation-type agreements with government and industry.

Rustad said the parties also talked about the First Nation's correspondence to government, including his ministry's commitment to deliver appropriate and timely responses to questions.

"Let me be clear,'' said Rustad in the statement. "Our government takes consultation and the courts' direction on consultation very seriously. We recognize that it's not just a legal obligation _ it's also good governance.''

Ogen could not be immediately reached for comment; she was attending a memorial service in B.C. for the families and victims of a January 2012 explosion at the Babine Forest Products sawmill that killed two people from Burns Lake and injured at least 20 others.

The Burns Lake area of north-central B.C. is part of the traditional territories of the Wet'suwet'un people.

Ogen said LNG development decisions have the potential to shape and impact aboriginal lands for several decades, and First Nations want to be included in the process. She said governments are legally obligated to consult with First Nations on developments that could impact their territories.

At least three proposed natural-gas pipelines, leading to the proposed LNG terminals in northwest B.C. near Kitimat and Prince Rupert, cross through Wet'suwet'un territory, said the First Nation.

"We have to get Crown consultation right on a new LNG Industry which will impact First Nations lands, including Wet'suwet'en aboriginal title lands, for the next 30-plus years,'' said Ogen.

"If Premier Clark fails to provide the information we have requested by January 31 and begin meaningful Crown consultation with Wet'suwet'en on the new LNG industry, then Wet'suwet'en First Nation will pursue the steps necessary to ensure that the province fulfills its constitutional obligations.''

The statement does not elaborate on what steps the First Nation will take, but the Wet'suwet'un have never been shy from taking their issues to court.

Meantime, Rustad said his ministry has been organizing regional workshops geared specifically to First Nations. He said the workshops have provided information and addressed questions about how the proposed LNG industry will be subject to provincial regulatory review and jurisdiction.

He said his ministry has also created a negotiations team that has met with the First Nation and discussed proposed pipelines in their territory.

The Wet'suwet'un were part of the landmark Delgamuukw Supreme Court of Canada decision in 1997 that said aboriginal title does exist in B.C. The ruling said governments must consult First Nations whose title rights are affected and they may have to compensate them.

Clark has said LNG development in B.C. is a $1-trillion opportunity that could create up to 100,000 jobs.

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

Ovide Mercredi

National Chief – AFN

During a Treaty Roundtable meeting of the Alberta Chiefs, I took note of a federal government document outlining their strategy to define and ultimately impose their own form of self-government. Read more...

Letting go of residential schools

by Gilbert Oskaboose, Nov 1993 First Perspective

There is a lot of "unfinished business" in Indian Country. Garbage that we as a people have never really dealt with. Chief among them is the whole issue of those infamous residential schools and their impact on people. Read more...

OBIDIAH

obidiah picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

JOBS

First Nations Cultural Interpreter PM – 02 Riding Mountain National Park Seasonal Indeterminate

(May to October) From $54,543 to $58,764

Closing Sept. 19, 2014

Read More

ASSISTANT DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL, ABORIGINAL JUSTICE DIVISION (AMENDED)

Organization: Ministry of the Attorney General, Aboriginal Justice

Toronto, Deadline: Aug. 25, 2014 11:50 pm EDT Read more...

Regional Media Officer– Temp (Until Nov 2015) –F/T Position

Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition / NDP Research Office

Location:131 Queen Street, Suite 10-02, Ottawa, ON

Responsibilities

Communicate regularly with regional media outlets (community newspapers, radio stations, student media, ethnic media, etc.) to propose ideas for interviews and opinion content Read more...

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal Workforce Report

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a report that highlights initiatives to improve the workforce participation of Aboriginal peoples. 

Opportunity Found: Improving the Participation of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada’s Workforce (December 2013)  

click image to download report

Wed Jul 23 @ 9:00AM - 05:00PM
Asinabka Film Media Arts Festival
Sun Jul 27 @12:00AM
World Indigenous Business Forum 2014

EVENTS

August 2014
S M T W T F S
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
imageimageimageimageimage
cartoonscartoonscartoonscartoonscartoons

Current Video

RIP Percy Tuesday

 

Thanks to Althea Guiboche for allowing The First Perspective to share her video taken at the Manitowapow book launch at McNally Robinson. 

Percey sings Freddy Fender's "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and people join in to harmonize. 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): The Washington Redskins