Indigenous Peoples and LNG
A sustainably developed LNG industry in B.C. represents new opportunities for Indigenous people to access to skills training, environmental stewardship programs, and to partner in economic development in the province.
The provincial government is committed to true, lasting reconciliation with Indigenous people in British Columbia through adopting and implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As part of those commitments, B.C. works in partnership with First Nations and the LNG industry to reach agreements that ensure that those communities most impacted by the LNG industry receive benefits.
To date, more than 90 percent of First Nations along B.C.’s proposed northern pipeline routes have signed agreements. That’s 64 agreements with 29 First Nations, for four proposed natural gas pipeline projects: Prince Rupert Gas Transmission, Coastal GasLink, Pacific Trail Pipeline and the Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission project.
Three Economic Benefit Agreements have also been completed with Treaty 8 First Nations, with negotiations still underway with other members.
For LNG facilities and marine shipping terminals, B.C. has completed a benefit agreement with Haisla Nation for Kitimat LNG. Discussions are underway with other First Nations related to other proposed LNG projects.
In addition to benefits from the Provincial Government, LNG proponents are also reaching their own agreements with First Nations, with contracting opportunities and employment commitments detailed in each.
B.C. is committed to increasing the Indigenous workforce in the province. Essential for participation in the economy is access to education and skills training. B.C. continues to invest in new Indigenous skills training projects and partnerships, providing $30 million through the Indigenous Skills Training Fund for training programs delivered in Indigenous communities primarily in northern B.C. This fund is one of the key investments aimed at closing the socio-economic gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in B.C. Since the fund was launched in 2015, more than 2,700 Indigenous people were trained from 2015-16 to 2016-17 and another 1,000 people were projected to access training in 2017-2018.
The LNG Environmental Stewardship Initiative (ESI), co-designed with First Nations and industry, will provide a long-term environmental legacy from LNG that focuses on research, monitoring and education.
The B.C. Government has allocated up to $30 million over three years, and so far the partnership has identified research projects in the Northeast, Omineca and Skeena regions of British Columbia. The LNG ESI includes active participation from 29 First Nations across the north area.