First Nations support Eagle Spirit Energy

First Nations are supporting ESE as an alternative to Enbridge

Eagle Spirit Energy (ESE) has caught the attention of some northern First Nation Chiefs as an alternative to Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.

At a conference in Calgary on Feb. 11, the oil company received declarations of support from three First Nations including Chief Archie Patrick of the Stellat’en First Nation near Fraser Lake, Chief Dan George of the Ts’il Kaz Koh First Nation (Burns Lake Band) and two Gitxsan Hereditary Chief’s: Larry Marsden, Head Chief on behalf of the Gitsegukla Hereditary Chiefs, and Art Mathews, head chief on behalf of the Gitwangak Hereditary Chiefs.

“They’re planning on turning the bitumen (oil) into a synthetic (lighter) crude that is relatively safer to transport in the pipeline because, if there is a spill, it will float on the water and can be cleaned up rather than [Enbridge’s] bitumen, which can sink and is virtually impossible to clean,” Chief Patrick said in a phone interview.

“If push comes to shove we will support Eagle Spirit rather than Enbridge.”

Besides the difference in product, many First Nation chiefs say the reason for backing ESE is because of how they were approached, along with potential equity in the $14 billion to $16 billion project.  First Nations are being promised full partnership in the project, but Chief Patrick still describes his support as conditional.

“We want to make sure the environment is taken care of safely. Enbridge has gone through the environmental assessment and have been given conditions which they are working on and [I expect] will soon go to the government and say they’ve met them. ESE has decided to deal with the native component first and once we’re [fully] on board… then they will have the social licence to go ahead.

 

ESE has also promised us a piece of the action as well as we will own part of the operation as opposed to just giving an ok. Their proposal is that we are partners in any kind of economic venture, they will share information and we will hire our own people [to make sure] the environment is being taken care of. ”

Chief Martin Louie of Nadleh Whuten believes it is key for resource companies and the Crown to respect the fact that Yinka Dene (Nadleh Whut’en, Nak’azdli, Takla Lake, Saik’uz, Wet’suwet’en, and Tl’azt’en First Nations) laws are the laws of the land when it comes to projects in their territory.

“We’re not here to stop everything, we’re here to keep the land, water and animals safe four our kids and our kids’ kids. [First Nations] play a huge part in changing environmental laws in Canada but its up to everyone to stand behind this. I try to be sensible, the economy of the world is gas and oil … but it’s got to be done right,” Chief Louie said.

In 2005 the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council  (Burns Lake Band, Nad’leh Whuten, Saik’uz First Nation, Stellat’en First Nation, Takla Lake First Nation, Tl’azt’en Nation and Wet’suwet’en First Nation) submitted a proposal to Enbridge which outlined the need to follow aboriginal environmental laws. Enbridge declined the proposal and many First Nations have since opposed the project altogether.

Ivan Giesbrecht, Enbridge communications manager, said the company is continuing it’s discussions with First Nations across the proposed route.

“Northern Gateway’s priority is building further trust, establishing respectful dialogues and creating meaningful partnerships with First Nations and Metis peoples. First Nations and Metis communities should not be limited to benefit from just one project. Each First Nation and Aboriginal community will need to decide for themselves if they wish to participate in one or more energy projects.  Northern Gateway is the most advanced proposal for British Columbia. It has already been reviewed – and approved – by the most comprehensive environmental review of it’s kind in Canadian history,” he said.

“No other proposal has reached this stage or begun the multi-year process to get to this point. We believe First Nations and Metis communities should be owners of Northern Gateway, which will result in long-term financial dividends, jobs, economic development opportunities, community development and educational opportunities for Aboriginal Equity Partner communities.”

 

 

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The Binche Fishing Derby at Stuart Lake is fast approaching. (Binche Fishing Derby Facebook photo)
Binche shares excitement for upcoming fishing derby

“It’s more than just fishing,” says Dave Birdi

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Local youth vaccination clinics underway

Pfizer vaccine will be used

Priya Sharma. (Submitted)
Column: Why ultimatums don’t work

By Priya Sharma It is a common misconception that people can choose… Continue reading

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read