Tag Archives: LNG

Wet’suwet’en Chiefs Challenge Recent Unist’ot’en Camp Media Coverage

Wet’suwet’en First Nation Chief Karen Ogen.

Wet’suwet’en First Nation Chief Karen Ogen.

Wet’suwet’en Chiefs Say Unist’ot’en Do Not Speak For Their Nations

BURNS LAKE, BC, Aug. 31, 2015 /CNW/ – Wet’suwet’en First Nation Chief Karen Ogen, Nee Tahi Buhn Chief Ray Morris, Burns Lake Band Chief Dan George, and Skin Tyee Nation Chief Rene Skin, say they are disappointed at recent media coverage that represents the Unist’ot’en as speaking for their Nations, and that fails to represent the complexity of the issues.

“We have long believed it is short sighted to turn down projects such as the Coastal GasLink project before understanding the true risks and benefits; that is just an easy way to avoid dealing with complex issues,” says Chief Ogen, spokesperson for the four Chiefs and for the First Nations LNG Alliance, a group of First Nations that support LNG development in British Columbia. Chief Dan George states, “Our Nations support responsible resource development as a way to bring First Nations out of poverty and bring opportunities for our young people.”

The Chiefs say they are also concerned with the number of individuals and groups, some Aboriginal, some political, some environmental and others, who have signed the We Stand with the Unistoten petition. “The definition of sustainability for some of the groups who signed the petition and live in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, elsewhere in Canada and outside the country, is very different from what it means for Nations in northern British Columbia that are anxious to climb out of poverty and find meaningful opportunity. This issue needs to be resolved by the Wet’suwet’en people, and not by others who hold no interest in our land,” says Chief Skin.

After careful study and consideration of the dedicated natural gas pipeline, a number of First Nations entered into benefits agreements with Coastal GasLink once they were satisfied that economic and social benefits would be balanced with the protection of the environment.

The Chiefs also point out that should the Coastal GasLink project proceed, the Unist’ot’en Camp that has been established at the Morice River Bridge, could continue to operate, as a proposed route option, requested by some of the Hereditary Chiefs for Coastal GasLink to consider, if selected, would not conflict with the continuance of the Camp.

“It is in times of crisis where we have the greatest opportunity to come together as Wet’suwet’en leaders,” says Chief Ogen. “There is a way to work together to find a path forward and keep everyone safe.” “We are urging all Wet’suwet’en leaders – First Nation and Hereditary Chiefs – to meet as soon as possible to discuss a path forward. We as leaders are responsible for the collective well being of Wet’suwet’en people. We have an obligation to work together in our collective interest to represent our people,” states Chief Morris.

By participating in these processes with industry, and by collaborating among First Nations, the Chiefs believe that First Nations have the opportunity to raise the bar on environmental protection. “Environmentalism must mean more than just saying no,” Chief Ogen said. “There is no doubt sustainability means protecting our environment. But sustainability also means ensuring our people have access to real opportunities and a decent standard of living. Sustainability means standing on our own two feet, providing our young people with good paying jobs, and reducing the 40 to 60% unemployment we now experience. Already, many of our members have been working on this project, which brings tangible benefits to our communities.”

The four Chiefs are confident the path forward for First Nations is to collaborate and find ways to balance environmental protection with economic opportunity, and in the process, create a more sustainable future for all.

Wet’suwet’en First Nation Chief Karen Ogen
Nee Tahi Buhn Chief Ray Morris
Burns Lake Band Chief Dan George
Skin Tyee Nation Chief Rene Skin

SOURCE: Wet’suwet’en First Nation


Confrontation Escalates As LNG Battles First Nations For Land Access

ACCESS DENIED: A still from video footage shows Houston RCMP officers requesting Unist’ot’en Camp spokesperson Freda Huson for access on July 15. When that failed, Chevron American officials tried on July 23 and got the same response.

ACCESS DENIED: A still from video footage shows Houston RCMP officers requesting Unist’ot’en Camp spokesperson Freda Huson for access on July 15. When that failed, Chevron American officials tried on July 23 and got the same response.

Vancouver Observer, Posted Jul 27th, 2015

‘We’re blocking pipelines; we’re not blocking everyone’, Unist’ot’en Camp spokesperson Freda Huson tells RCMP

A month after the B.C. government conditionally approved a liquefied natural gas project led by Royal Dutch Shell in Kitimat, the Unist’ot’en Camp has reported escalating confrontations as RCMP and the LNG industry seek access to its unceded territory.

In recent days supporters of the Unist’ot’en Camp have uploaded three videos showing clashes with RCMP and pipeline officials.

The latest recording, posted on July 26, shows TransCanada employees for the Shell project arriving in the area by helicopter. They were soon grounded by supporters who stood in the path of the rotor blades:

A July 15 video posted on YouTube shows attempts by the Mounties to pass a “checkpoint” set up by the First Nations camp, and on July 23, another video shows Chevron officials requesting access. Both were denied.

“It is becoming clear that the situation here is moving toward an escalation point,” states a July 18 letter from Unist’ot’en Camp. ”Today at one o’clock a low flying helicopter flew over the ridge line and crossed the river a couple kilometers south of the bridge,” according to the “call out” letter. “They flew low enough to take photos of activity happening at (the) bridge and our camp.”

Chevron American executives request permission to pass First Nations checkpoint

A still from a video posted on the Unist’ot’en Camp’s facebook page on July 23 documenting Chevron American officials, each wearing cameras, requesting road access.

“Camp supporters blocked the RCMP from entering,” reads the text in the uploaded video. “The following day, the RCMP threatened to arrest supporters at another checkpoint, but supporters built a gate.”

Gate constructed on the bridge in the Unist’ot’en Camp

Above, a still from a video posted on YouTube.

While police at the Houston detachment have maintained that they intend to “ensure the work crews can do their work safely” and have the lawful right to arrest anyone blocking a public road, the Camp letter states, “We have made it clear to the police and industry that we are not blockading the road. We are establishing check-points on the boundaries of our unceded Unist’ot’en territories. People and companies who gain our consent are allowed to enter.”

The Unist’ot’en Camp has requested “physical support from allies” as the situation escalates. This raises the spectre of another Kinder Morgan-style conflict.

(Developing story)


Protesters crash Science World LNG career forum in Kamloops (VIDEO)


By Black Powder | Red Power Media

What started as a forum teaching about potential careers in LNG was turned into a protest by about a dozen demonstrators from the Secwepemc Women Warrior Society and The Caretakers on Tuesday, in Kamloops, B.C.

CBC News reported about a dozen anti-fracking demonstrators waving signs reading “Fracking endangers humanity” burst into the auditorium, where the forum was being hosted by the province, WorkBC and Science World.

“We went to intervene and let the children know that they have choices,” said Kanahus Manuel, one of protesters.

“Whether it is clean water or indigenous land rights, they have choices on where their position is going to be as the future.”

The protesters were eventually forced from the conference by RCMP officers.

The demonstrators tried to disrupt the conference again on Wednesday, but were stopped by RCMP and taken into custody.

About 750 students have attended the forum so far.

Wet’suwet’en First Nation Signs $13 Million Pipeline Energy Deal

The Wet’suwet’en First Nation, formerly known as the Broman Lake Band, stands to receive $2.8 million dollars from the province for the proposed Coastal GasLink project.

The Wet’suwet’en First Nation, formerly known as the Broman Lake Band, stands to receive $2.8 million dollars from the province for the proposed Coastal GasLink project.

By James Murray | NNL

WET’SUWET’EN FIRST NATION, PALLING, BC – ENERGY – The Wet’suwet’en First Nation (WFN) Chief and Council are pleased to confirm the signing of the LNG pipeline benefits agreement with the Province of British Columbia.

The WFN will receive approximately $2.8 million from the province at three different stages for the Coastal Gas Link (CGL) gas pipeline project:

  • $464,000 within 90 days after signing the agreement
  • $1,160,000 when pipeline construction starts (scheduled to begin in 2015)
  • $1,160,000 when the pipeline is in service

The WFN will also receive a yet-to-be-determined share of $10 million in ongoing benefits for the life of the pipeline estimated at 25 to 35 years.

Chief and Council will work collaboratively with the province and other neighbouring First Nations on the Environmental Stewardship Initiative (ESI), to which the province has committed $30 million. The development and inclusion of this initiative was the top priority of Chief and Council before moving forward with the agreement.

Our leaders have signed agreements with the province with the explicit understanding that the environmental assessment process has to ensure best practices in the world.  We have agreed to LNG projects – but maintain our opposition to oil projects in our territory.  In our current agreement with Chevron (formerly Pacific Trails Pipeline) and Coastal Gas Link, we have ensured the inclusion of the clause which states at no time will this pipeline agreement, even if sold to another company, be converted to transporting oil or bitumen. The transportation of natural gas in this form ensures that minimal risk to wildlife and the environment occurs. We would remind everyone that there is already an existing line and the proposed LNG line will not be substantially disturbing the lands (a final expansion of approximately 5 metres per side) This will help minimize any disturbance of wildlife and allow for continued traditional use for hunting, trapping, gathering.

“We are fully concerned about maintaining the environment while pursuing economic opportunities that will provide sustainability to our community.  We have taken a leap of faith to sign these agreements because we are aware that these are time sensitive opportunities,” says Chief Karen Ogen.

Proposed ESI programs include:

  • culvert removal/upgrade,
  • beaver dam management,
  • stream and riparian enhancement and restoration,
  • access to traditional sites,
  • riparian livestock/fencing management,
  • moose winter range enhancement, and
  • road access decommissioning and reclamation.

The province has also announced a $30 million education and training fund. Chief and Council will apply to the fund to develop the required employment skills needed for WFN members to work on the pipeline. Reg Ogen has been tasked with overseeing the creation of an Education and Training plan to get WFN members working in the construction phase of the project.

Most of the funds will not be received until after the in-service date of the pipeline. Chief and Council will be calling a special community meeting in early 2015 to consult with members on spending priorities and schedules. In addition, Chief and Council are recommending immediate spending priorities related to infrastructure development and the elimination of past deficits and debts.

In the lead-up to the signing of this agreement we have held numerous community member meetings, consulted with our hereditary chiefs, and consulted with numerous experts to minimize the environmental impacts of the project while maximizing benefits to the community.

“Although we would have loved to have had 100% support for this initiative, there are still those who speak out against it.  Far too often change is opposed simply for the sake of argument; we fully respect those with differing opinions, but this process has been transparent and inclusive from the start,” says Chief Ogen.

Ogen continues:

Our goal is to show everyone that we are taking a proactive approach, taking part in this process and ensuring that these monies benefit our community now and in the future through the Four Pillars: health and wellness programs, education and training, cultural programs, and housing and infrastructure.

In the recent months, we have seen many different positive developments in our community, including a reduction in those on social assistance and increased education and training for many members. We have great plans to address some of the systemic problems which our community  and many other First Nations face when it comes to the issues of government dependency, shaking the ill effects of the Indian Residential Schools, poverty, housing, health, and language and cultural programs.

This signing isn’t just about the money; this is about ensuring a better future for our members one which would not be realized without this opportunity. It’s important to remember that this is an agreement with the province that ensures WFN has a say in, and will benefit from, all future development which may be implemented.

This is NOT an oil pipeline.

We remain opposed to them because of their serious potential environmental impacts on our territories and traditional hunting grounds. This is liquefied natural gas, which has minimal risk during its transportation through these pipelines. We are confident that this opportunity will be beneficial not only to WFN but many other progressive nations as well.


Gitxsan chiefs blockade highway to protest government’s LNG project approvals