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

Northern B.C. First Nation communities hold “Rally for the river” in Prince George

Saik’uz and Stellat’en First Nation have taken Rio Tinto BC Works to court over their operation and construction of the Kenney Dam

Want better internet? Complete an online survey by the RDBN

The regional district is doing a survey to understand internet requirements that… Continue reading

Vikings played well this season, says coach

The double-A varsity football team from NVSS received ten northern conference All-Stars

Salvation Army aims to raise $25,000 through the Christmas Kettle program

Last year the organization raised $20,000 for various social needs in the community

William Griffin arrested in Houston homicide

RCMP have now arrested William Griffin, the man wanted in connection to… Continue reading

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Nineteen boats carrying invasive mussels stopped at B.C. borders

Waters of Columbia-Shuswap still test mussel-free

Woman ‘horrified’ after being told to trek 200 kilometres home from Kamloops hospital

‘I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused… no shoes, no clothes whatsoever’

Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

UBC said 11 of its 32 students completing programs in Hong Kong have already left

Midget no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

Duncan man gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty trial

Joe also gets lifetime ban on owning animals

B.C. pushes for greater industry ‘transparency’ in gasoline pricing

Legislation responds to fuel price gap of up to 13 cents

B.C. woman ordered to return dog to ex-boyfriend for $2,000

After the two broke up, documents state, they agree to share custody of the dog, named Harlen

Most Read