First Nations relations a hurdle to $650B in oil and gas development for West -

First Nations relations a hurdle to $650B in oil and gas development for West


VANCOUVER – There are more than 600 major resource projects worth $650 billion planned in Western Canada over the next decade but relations with First Nations may be a major hurdle for those developments, says a new report by the Fraser Institute.

Every one of those projects will affect at least one First Nations Community, said the report released Thursday by the right-leaning think tank based in Vancouver.

“There is not a single oil or gas project under proposal in Western Canada that does not affect at least one First Nations community, and the willingness of these communities to participate in energy development can be the factor that determines the success of a project,” said the report.

In British Columbia, there are currently seven major oil and gas projects proposed, affecting an estimated 56 of the 198 First Nations in the province, it said.

In Alberta, five proposed oil projects touch 44 per cent of aboriginal communities and though only two projects are in the works in Saskatchewan, those two projects impact 23 per cent of all First Nations in the province, the report said.

The aboriginal community is among the fastest growing in the country, expanding 45 per cent from 1996 to 2006. The non-native population during that same time frame grew by eight per cent.

But these communities, largely located in remote and rural areas, have a staggering unemployment rate of approximately 23 per cent, compared to 7.1 per cent for the nation as a whole, said the report written by the institute’s Ravina Bains and Kenneth P. Green.

“If you look at the actual geographic location of where these communities are located, in many cases there aren’t any other economic development opportunities around them,” Bains said.

It’s a potential labour force with an investment in the project’s success, she said — if they are willing partners, that is.

“Yes there are obstacles in place, but we’re at a unique point right now in terms of the demographics of these communities, in terms of the young population, that we can really tap into and make sure that we cultivate,” Bains said.

Those obstacles include education. Fewer than half of First Nations’ youth successfully complete high school, compared to approximately 80 per cent of non-native youth.

Willingness is another.

“Despite the potential for economic prosperity, there are many First Nations’ communities that are opposed to resource development,” the report said.

Among the seven projects proposed in B.C. are Enbridge’s Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain oil pipelines — two projects facing potential failure because of First Nations opposition.

Bains said there is hope for reconciling First Nations and the resource industry.

She cites the Haisla Nation’s participation in the Douglas Channel Energy Partnership and the Kitimat liquefied natural gas project with Chevron and Apache. The band is also involved in the BC LNG proposal and the Shell Kitimat LNG Terminal, but opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline.

The report makes five recommendations for fixing the relationship between business and First Nations, including better communication and transparency from the outset, and developing an understanding of the communities involved.

Bains said government also has a role to play in clarifying the duty to consult, and addressing the education gap.

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First Nations relations a hurdle to $650B in oil and gas development for West

  1. No sympathy…..the govt could have resolved these issues years ago, but nooooo

    • No, the government is not in a position to resolve most of these issues.

      Many remain insoluble due to the intransigence of native leadership dominating these ‘first nations’ and the rise of the native isolationist ideology.

      • I’m not interested in your racism, so don’t even go there.

        • The racism is inherent in the isolationist ideology, typified by the likes of Palmater and others, but it’s not MY racism.

          And the issues posed by such ideological intransigence are not soluble by either the provincial or federal governments.

          • They have their own nations, learn to deal with that.

          • Exactly the isolationist philosophy to which I referred.

            And which has not helped the people who remain on isolated reserves under the dubious tutelage of their all-too-often venal and corrupt chiefs.

          • LOL They’ve always been separate nations…just like the US and the UK and Germany and Spain…..

            I doubt you’d call THEM isolationist.

            Face it….you’re a racist.

          • The US, UK, Germany, Spain, etc are countries, not races.

            And the European ones are moving to make it easier to move, operate, work, trade, and mingle between the political units of the EU.

            They are not established on racist lines, unlike the ‘first nations’, the Indian Act, and the various racist laws, judicial decisions, and other circumstances that surround them.

          • Really? First nations are as different from one another as the Danes are from the Italians. But none of them are races. There are no races… However, King George and Queen Victoria signed treaties with their nations.

          • Either there’s racism there, or not.

            If you’re to accuse me of being racist for wanting not to have discriminatory laws and status, then there must be races by your own definition.

            Or I cannot be racist if there are no races involved.

            It can’t be both.

          • Which is why racism is stupid….however you apparently need a reason to hate other people and you’ve picked colour.

          • Somebody else decided to create discrimination here.

            I just oppose it.

            And at least I wish the indians well, hoping that they can break free of their situation and find prosperity and fulfillment.

            Those who promote the ‘first nations’ irrespective of the effects on the indians who live on them do those people no good.

          • The crown entered into a joint agreement with other nations…..what ‘race’ you think they are is irrelevant.

            We haven’t been upholding the crown side, and legally and morally we should be.

          • Nah, the crown has been lavishly overpaying its obligations to the subjects of the crown, including the indians. A comparison with the actual terms makes that quite clear:

            The Supreme Court keeps inventing new obligations, for reasons obscure, and ignoring the very clear language of the treaties. But that’s a different issue.

            And in any case none of that is going to do anything to rescue the actual indians from those dysfunctional and isolated reserves that are holding them back.

          • Yer back to the racism I see.

            It is pointless talking to you. So I won’t.


          • Nope, no racism anywhere there.

            Just your fevered (and racist) imagination.

          • I thought you weren’t going to talk to me anymore.

            Though just to employ an Italian word for goodbye seems little enough of a conversation.

          • Em, homophobia is just as stupid. Yet every second post is something nasty about gay men. Why can you see so clearly the idiocy of racism, and yet you yourself are a bigot toward gay men?

          • Palmater is just one leader, not even the principle one. And while her tone is confrontational her issues are not out in left field. Many of them resonate in FNs communities…it’s their shared history. I suggest you become acquainted with some of it.
            The racism is in your head and your problem buddy.[ i say that after reading far too many of your odious comments on FNs issues]

      • “…the rise of native isolationist ideology”.

        What utter bull. Evidence please? FNs have been asking for prior and informed consent on many of these projects forever.
        Anyone with the merest inkling of what actually has transpired between FNs and govt negotiators over the years would know that our intransigence on their chief concerns [ land-claims, treaty implementations and self governance] has led us to this pass. Just blaming them is simply pathetic.

        • You confess the circumstance in your own post.

          The leadership spends far too much of its time on ‘self governance’ and the other issues that aggrandize their personal power, authority, and status while ignoring the plight of the people they’re supposedly leading.

          The neologism ‘first nation’ was conceived of in part to try to obscure the distinction between the power hierarchies dominated by the chiefs on the one hand and the people on the other hand.

          So your use of “FN” can mean either indians (as defined by the eponymous Indian Act), or it can mean reserves (bands, communities, etc), or it can refer just to the chiefs and councils.

          And it deliberately confuses people into thinking that policies supporting the chiefs are also going to help the indians under their tutelage.

          • You do realize there is a distinction between chief in council [ which is an elected model imposed on them] and traditional chiefs right?
            You’re talking utter bolshie tosh. The whole traditional demands meme come right from the people, no matter how corrupt the local governance may be. It’s a constant across all FNs right the way across this country, and has been so for many a day.
            Furthermore our courts have in almost every case supported their arguments.
            Forget it will you. Not even the likes of Harper himself will take your side of what is a settled debate. Your view is that of a dinosaur that doesn’t have the decency to stay extinct.

          • Either way, it’s the same dismal fate for the people, the indians themselves.

            It’s no good complaining about unemployment and poverty when it’s the reserve system that keeps them in ignorance and holds them in thrall.

            The racism is something that everyone should be working to reduce, if not eliminate, but instead there are powerful forces working to further sclerotize the evil into our society.

            And you’re on that evil side.

          • If you’d ever lived on a reserve you’d know what a crock that is. They’ve had to put up with 200years or more of our racist hegemony and later patrnalism, and now you want to accuse them of what? Wanting to be respected as equal partners and not being treated as second class citizens? Yu have a bizarre and twisted idea of where the evil really lies here.

          • Quite the opposite, kcm.

            It is the reserve leadership that contrives to keep the actual indians from even trying to become equal partners for anything, and from wanting to become citizens equal to anyone else.

            Some indians do manage that, in fact many of them do. But they’re not the ones one finds festering on the dysfunctional reserves.

            Unfortunately they tend to be accused of being ‘apples’ by those left behind.

          • So your a assimilationist then? Try expressing those views on the APTN boards and see how you do?
            Of course the indian act has to go and FNs enter into full citizenship – but on their terms not yours. As I said it’s clear you have not spend any amount of terms on reserve. And I never claimed that native folks don’t hold any racist views themselves, even toward their own people.
            Just where do you get your info? Let me guess, T. Flanagan for one?

          • I’m not sure what the criteria are for this or that “ism”, and I do not particularly care. But there is a pattern of those who isolate themselves (or are forced to be isolated by various social or other circumstances) that do not prosper as well as those who reject isolationism.

            I really don’t care what your attitude is toward the racism emanating from ‘first nations’, but it is most unfortunate that its virulence stands in the way of people being able to lead their own lives and be the best that they can be.

            The info comes from people I know who have left their rural reserves and prosper now in Calgary.

            I have no idea who the particular Flanigan is to which you refer. I follow no guru in these matters.

          • So, you have his hearsay even if it does come FNs who have left the reserve. You have no first hand experience of FN’s issues and you read nothing…well, doesn’t that just figure!
            Ignorance is no substitute for either larnin’ or experience there Glyn. Try seeking out a different perspective and see what that does for ya.

          • Heh heh heh… I’ve read enough to confirm the personal testimony of the victims of racism on ‘first nations’ I’ve talked to, and I’ve read enough of your ‘perspective’ to know that it leads nowhere and helps no one except perhaps the leadership elites.

            If what you do with your life makes no difference to the result, you’re not going to bother to do much of anything. When your employment prospects, housing, and other conditions depend almost solely on whether you’re kin or crony to the chief, and nothing you can learn or do is going to make a difference to your life, it’s far easier to remain dependent on the system than it is to try to free yourself.

          • Self govt is working out for the Jame’s Bay Cree in QC, and may for the Nisga in BC. In any cse they’re going to go their way [ not necessarily the same way]not yours. So, do yourself a favour and do a little more research. No more back of the bus for natives in Canada anymore GM.

    • They resolved all the issues years ago when they negotiated the Treatys. Most of the problems we see now are because the goofy Liberals have been wandering around since wacky Lethter Pearson stuck his oar in and started a process of “interpretation.”

      There was no such thing needed because those Treaties all followed a similar format of a per capita annual payment to the Indians of $4 or $5 plus the supply of school teachers but not school buildings. They were allocated reserves over which the crown had essentially no authority and they were allocated hunting rights.on certain specified land where title passed to the crown.

      If it was up to me that would be it, 5 bucks a year and a school teacher. No welfare, no health insurance, no helicopters, no arenas, no zambonis, no Indian chief boy friends at $800 bucks a day, no nothing. A deal is a deal and fie on any goofiness precipitated by wacky Lethter B Pearson who was nothing but one more confused government free loader.

  2. “The report makes five recommendations for fixing the relationship
    between business and First Nations, including better communication and
    transparency from the outset, and developing an understanding of the
    communities involved.”

    Wow! These guys are just figuring this out now. What a bunch of clueless incompetents the Harper clan are at bottom!

  3. I love how conservatives always talk about all these employment opportunities for natives that resource projects would supposedly bring. These projects rely on skilled labour. The kind of skills that you attend post secondary schools for years to attain. How are the natives supposed to get all these jobs when most don’t graduate from high school? We all know the workers would come from China since there is a skilled labour shortage in Canada. Canada and especially its citizens stand to gain very little from these projects. Foreign corporations and China will be the big winners.

    • They don’t educate themselves because they see no future in education… which is the case if they drink the kool-aid and decide to live on the reserve (first nation) for the rest of their life.

      Without some sort of clear path off the reserve, out from under the chiefs and councils, out from under the Indian Act, they’re not going to bother.

  4. just curious… why does macleans always refer to fraser institute as a ‘right leaning’ think tank… are our thoughts about what it presents supposed to be ‘skewed’ with that reference? If so, why doesnt macleans refer to articles written by ‘left leaning’ think tanks? Now that i think of it, ARE there any left leaning think tanks? There certainly are millions of left leaning THINKERS…. isnt there?