Stakeholders Discuss the Emerging North American Natural Gas (LNG) Market

There’s no arguing that the North American Market for natural gas and LNG is heating up and with it grows the need for community input, public consultation, and opinions from various groups and stakeholders. The renewed level of interest and intense need for public input is obvious… North America’s natural gas boom is now so big that the industry and its supporters believe it should not be contained to just one continent. Proposals are now moving forward to make the Chesapeake Bay waterfront community of Cove Point, Maryland, into a global gateway for Pennsylvania shale gas, and to turn the remote B.C coastal village of Kitimat into an international energy hub.

the big energy question

As part of the consultation process, National Geographic hosted an event/round table discussion and invited a number of stakeholders –  Natural Gas: A Bridge to a Sustainable Energy Future? The event took place March 25, 2014 in Vancouver, B.C.  Chief Karen Ogen was asked to elevate the Big Energy dialogue by sharing the Wet’suwet’en First Nation story. Chief Ogen represented the Wet’suwet’en First Nation and participated in round table discussions regarding the proposed expansion of LNG in B.C as well as proposed expansion into the Wet’suwet’en First Nation traditional territory. Continue reading

Membership Engagement Letter February 4th, 2014

Wet’suwet’en First NationGreetings Wet’suwet’en First Nation members,

Wet’suwet’en First Nation (WFN) has entered into a Comprehensive Community Planning process. A 4 person team has been established to conduct the planning process. The team consists of Don Sabo; Comprehensive Community Planning Facilitator, Jacob Tom; CCP Assistant, Janine Luggi; Governance Facilitator, Chenera Tom; Governance Assistant. Continue reading

Media Release: WET’SUWET’EN FIRST NATION CALLS ON PREMIER TO ESTABLISH INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO DEADLY SAWMILL EXPLOSION

WET’SUWET’EN FIRST NATION CALLS ON PREMIER CLARK TO ESTABLISH INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO BABINE FOREST PRODUCTS MILL EXPLOSION

BURNS LAKE, BC, Jan. 30, 2014 /CNW/ -

Via Electronic Mail to premier@gov.bc.ca

The Honourable Christy Clark, MLA
Premier of British Columbia
Box 9041
Station PROV GOVT
Victoria, BC
V8W 9E1

Dear Premier Clark:

RE:  CALL FOR INDEPENDENT INQUIRY – BABINE FOREST PRODUCTS INVESTIGATION

The Wet’suwet’en First Nation is deeply disappointed with the recent decision of the Ministry of Justice, Criminal Justice Branch of British Columbia not to pursue charges against Babine Forest Products (BFP) for the sawmill explosion which took the lives of Carl Rodney Charlie and Robert F.Luggi Jr. of Burns Lake, BC as well as injuring 20 other workers on January 20, 2012.

The Wet’suwet’en First Nation supports the call for a Public Independent Inquiry into the failed management of the WorksafeBC investigation into the BFP mill explosion.
Continue reading

Media Release: PREMIER CLARK PROMISES MEANINGFUL CONSULTATION WITH FIRST NATIONS, INCLUDING WET’SUWET’EN FIRST NATION, ON NEW LNG INDUSTRY

PREMIER CLARK PROMISES MEANINGFUL CONSULTATION WITH FIRST NATIONS, INCLUDING WET’SUWET’EN FIRST NATION, ON NEW LNG INDUSTRY

WET’SUWET’EN TERRITORY, BROMAN LAKE, BC, Jan. 24, 2014

Wet’suwet’en First Nation welcomed Premier Christy Clark’s remarks on January 22nd at the Premier’s BC Natural Resource Forum and her stated plan to meet with individual First Nations leaders, including Chief Karen Ogen.

Wet’suwet’en also appreciates Premier Clark’s acknowledgement that more work with Wet’suwet’en First Nation remains and thanks the Premier and her Minister John Rustad for acting on the request to immediately begin consultation with Wet’suwet’en on the establishment of a new LNG export industry.

“We hope that this is the first step to meaningful consultation and accommodation,” said Chief Ogen, “ as well as the development of long term reconciliation, fair revenue sharing, the rebuilding of the four pillars of our community and full respect for our aboriginal title, rights and interests. Time will soon tell whether the province intends to build trust and win/win relationships with BC First Nations.”

Photo of Chief Karen Ogen

Wet’suwet’en First Nation Chief Karen Ogen

Selection from Premier Christy Clark’s press conference at Premier’s BC Natural Resources Forum – Prince George, BC Wednesday, January 22, 2014

REPORTER: Yes… you talked about the importance of engaging with aboriginal communities and ensuring they get their fair share on resource development projects and just this week there was a letter from Chief Karen Ogen from the Wet’suwet’en saying that meaningful consultation has not begun for them with respect to LNG projects. So, where are you at in terms of consultation with aboriginal communities about LNG?

PREMIER CLARK: We have been deeply engaged with aboriginal communities across the province – there’s a lot of them, but we are… So, different communities have seen different levels of consultation, but affected communities have all been…you know, we have been working with all of them. John Rustad, the minister, met with the Wet’suwet’en… and has been in regular communication with them. We still have more work to do though; I think that’s reflected in her letter, because, as I said in my comments today: First Nations have waited far too long to be a part of our economy, and we want to make sure they are included and benefitting from economic development. So, that’s part of what we are trying to do in the engagement across the North, but we still have more to do.

REPORTER: Many of them have called to meet with you directly. Is that something that you intend to do?

PREMIER CLARK: Well, I hope I can; I hope I can meet with as many First Nations leaders as possible…you know… I regularly meet, for example, with, the folks up in the Kitimat area – the Haisla. Ellis Ross is the Chief Councillor there – and other First Nations leaders. So, it’s always a part of my agenda when I visit communities.

 

MEDIA COVERAGE

Vancouver Sun Article
B.C. First Nations warns Premier Clark to consult aboriginals on LNG development

The Province Article
Band chief claims Victoria taking First Nations for granted on LNG development

Map: Natural Gas Projects in Northern BC


Source: First Nations LNG Strategy

CBC News
B.C. First Nation warns LNG plans require ‘meaningful’ talks – Wet’suwet’un First Nation warn Premier Christy Clark consultation is overdue

Canada Newswire
Wet’suwet’en First Nation warns Premier Christy Clark to begin Crown Consultation on new LNG industry immediately

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MORE INFORMATION:
Chief Karen Ogen:  1-250-698-7307 or 1-250-251-2240

http://wetsuwetenfirstnation.ca

Background Materials on Website:

 

Chief Karen Ogen Speaks Truth to Power

WET’SUWET’EN TERRITORY, BROMAN LAKE, BC, Jan. 21, 2014 – On January 20, 2014 The Wet’suwet’en First Nation issued a media release respectfully warning Premier Clark to begin Crown Consultation immediately with the Wet’suwet’en on establishment of the new LNG export industry.

The announcement was well received by the public and resulted in a tremendous amount of activity on social media and popular social media channels.

Reports by the CBC and 2 of the Province’s leading media publications: The Vancouver Sun and The Province, are attached.

Vancouver Sun Article
B.C. First Nations warns Premier Clark to consult aboriginals on LNG development

The Province Article
Band chief claims Victoria taking First Nations for granted on LNG development

Map: Natural Gas Projects in Northern BC


Source: First Nations LNG Strategy

CBC News
B.C. First Nation warns LNG plans require ‘meaningful’ talks – Wet’suwet’un First Nation warn Premier Christy Clark consultation is overdue

Canada Newswire
Wet’suwet’en First Nation warns Premier Christy Clark to begin Crown Consultation on new LNG industry immediately

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MORE INFORMATION:
Chief Karen Ogen:  1-250-698-7307 or 1-250-251-2240

http://wetsuwetenfirstnation.ca

Background Materials on Website:

Chief Karen Ogen and Wet’suwet’en First Nation offer support to Saik’uz First Nation and their call for LNG Industry Level Consultation

Chief Karen Ogen and Wet’suwet’en First Nation offer support to the  Saik’uz First Nation in their call for LNG Industry Level Consultation.

Read the letter from Chief Stan Thomas of the  Saik’uz First Nation to the Honourable Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia as a PDF.

Coverage: B.C. First Nations warns Premier Clark to consult aboriginals on LNG development – The Vancouver Sun

January 20, 2014 – The Vancouver Sun provided coverage of the Wet’suwet’un First Nation’s Monday January 20th letter to Premier Christy Clark, and media release, stating that consultations must begin immediately in regards to proposed liquefied-natural-gas developments. The Vancouver Sun noted that Wet’suwet’un Chief Karen Ogen said her First Nation sent Clark in August 2013 urging her to start consultations, but there’s been no reply even though the government is meeting with the industry as it develops regulatory and taxation policies.

Coverage: Band chief claims Victoria taking First Nations for granted on LNG development – The Province

January 20th, 2014 – The Province newspaper provided coverage of Wet’suwet’en Chief Karen Ogen is January 20th letter to Premier Christy Clark, requesting the Premier to immediately start talks over the developments and promotion of LNG revenues.

The full story can be read here on the Province Website.

Media Release: WET’SUWET’EN FIRST NATION WARNS PREMIER CHRISTY CLARK TO BEGIN CROWN CONSULTATION ON NEW LNG INDUSTRY IMMEDIATELY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JANUARY 20, 2014

WET’SUWET’EN FIRST NATION WARNS PREMIER CHRISTY CLARK TO BEGIN CROWN CONSULTATION ON NEW LNG INDUSTRY IMMEDIATELY

WET’SUWET’EN TERRITORY, BROMAN LAKE, BRITISH COLUMBIA – The Wet’suwet’en First Nation respectfully warns Premier Clark to begin Crown Consultation immediately with the Wet’suwet’en on establishment of the new LNG export industry.

“Time is running out,” said Chief Karen Ogen, “If Wet’suwet’en is to participate meaningfully in the LNG industry choices and plans for our aboriginal title lands, the BC government must provide us with the necessary information to begin Crown Consultation on the new LNG industry. Taking First Nations support for granted and treating consultation with Wet’suwet’en First Nation as an inconvenient after thought is not consultation in good faith.”

In August 2013, the Wet’suwet’en First Nation wrote to Premier Clark requesting a meeting to begin Crown Consultation on the new LNG export industry. To date, the BC government has not responded to the Wet’suwet’en request.

“It is completely unacceptable to wait 5 months for a reply to a letter sent in good faith regarding this important matter,” said Chief Karen Ogen, “While Wet’suwet’en has been forced to wait for Crown Consultation to begin, government and industry have been meeting behind closed doors to finalize high level decisions, fiscal arrangements and strategic plans for the new LNG export industry. It is widely expected that taxation, royalty, and regulatory legislation and initiatives for the new LNG industry will be introduced during the 2014 spring session of the Legislature.”

“Wet’suwet’en people have taken our case to the Supreme Court of Canada in the landmark Delgamuukw case where the Court held that aboriginal title has an “inescapable economic component” and that choices about the use to which our aboriginal title lands will be put are the right of our community to make,” said Chief Karen Ogen, “By proceeding unilaterally to develop a new industry on the backbone of our territory, the Province is running roughshod over those constitutional guarantees.”

“We require meaningful prior consultation and a fair share of the estimated $9 billion in annual LNG revenues to rebuild the four pillars of our community and effectively address the poverty, social conditions and poor housing conditions faced on a daily basis by our members,” said Chief Karen Ogen.

The BC Government has a variety of options to make time available for meaningful Crown Consultation. For example, Premier Clark could introduce LNG industry royalty, taxation and regulatory legislation and initiatives in the form of exposure bills and discussion papers in the Spring 2014 Session and then enact policy and legislation, after full and proper Crown Consultation, in Fall 2014.

“We have to get Crown Consultation right on a new LNG Industry which will impact First Nations lands, including Wet’suwet’en aboriginal title lands, for the next 30+ years”, said Chief Karen Ogen, “ If Premier Clark fails to provide the information we have requested by January 31st and begin meaningful Crown Consultation with Wet’suwet’en on the new LNG industry, then Wet’suwet’en First Nation will pursue the steps necessary to ensure that the Province fulfills its constitutional obligations.”

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Contact Information:
Chief Karen Ogen: 1-250-698-7307 or 1-250-251-2240

Website: http://wetsuwetenfirstnation.ca/

Background Materials on Website:

August 9th, 2013 Letter to Premier
January 10th, 2014 Letter to Premier

Map of Wet’suwet’en First Nation Territory

The Wet’suwet’en First Nation Team

Wet’suwet’en First Nation Video – “Rebuilding the Four Pillars of our Community”

Remarks and Powerpoint of Chief Karen Ogen at 5th Northeast B.C. Natural Gas Summit