Editors Note; We also found this one on Facebook and were given permission to publish.
Thanks Brendon for your valuable contribution, your a great neighbor who shares our concerns.
February 17 at 7:10 PM ·
I grew up in the Haisla community near Kitimat, BC. It’s in Northern BC where LNG Canada is being built. I was involved in the LNGC negotiations as the lead financial analyst for the Haisla Nation Council when I was with RA Capital Advisors from 2012-2016.
I’m proudly Haisla. The values my grandparents taught me are respect, hard work and the need to stick together so we can help one another in times of need. The Haisla were stung in the 1900’s like any other First Nation in Canada. We were on the sidelines for business and government decisions that continue to negatively impact our community.
For example, in the 1950’s the Haisla had no political, legal or business say when Alcan’s aluminum smelter was being built near the port of Kitimat, BC or when Eurocan operated in our traditional territory. In the early 2000’s, the Haisla used Aboriginal Rights and Title case law and precedents to negotiate with BC, LNG Canada and every other proponent who needed to consult and accommodate with us.
We hired advisors to represent us at the corporate negotiating table. We negotiated environmental protections, jobs, own source revenues and contracts. These are the same benefits being offered to the other 19 First Nations communities who already support responsible LNG development, including 4 independent Wet’suwet’en communities.
Coming from a Northern BC village, we share a common goal of providing jobs for our people while earning long-term income streams for the community so we can take advantage of programming to support our culture, language, governance, economy and capacity development.
Many protesters do not share our common goals nor do they have long-term actionable solutions to achieve them with us.
Those that fund protests will be the quickest to leave us stranded once their agenda runs its course. At best, recent protests have been successful at dividing First Nations peoples across Canada. While I respect our right to protest as Canadians, it’s disturbing that a large majority of protesters haven’t been in any of the 5 Wet’suwet’en communities or even consulted with the elders about the name they’re representing on the streets and railways across Canada.
It’s ironic that corporations like LNG Canada and Coastal GasLink have done a better job at informing, consulting and engaging First Nation community members, elders and hereditary chiefs to gather their feedback that in turn led to us sharing common goals of economic independence and environmental stewardship that we accomplished through negotiated agreements.
For once we have been included in multiple negotiating tables and we have been responsible to our people in that regard.
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