Jan 15, 2020

Pipeline at centre of B.C. conflict is creating jobs for First Nations: Haisla Chief

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A pipeline at the centre of a conflict between hereditary chiefs and a natural gas company in northern British Columbia is creating jobs for Indigenous people and lifting communities from poverty, says an elected chief of a band that supports the project.

All 20 elected band councils along the Coastal GasLink pipeline route have signed benefits agreements with the company. The Haisla Nation in Kitimat is among them, and Chief Coun. Crystal Smith said the project will help the community become less reliant on meagre federal funding.

“Our governance system has been managing poverty. It’s a similar situation in every First Nation in this province, in this country, of managing limited funds to be able to assist our people. In order to achieve independent nations, we need independent members. The opportunities that are available for today’s generation and future generations of First Nations people that participate in these projects are life changing. They’re nation changing.”

– Crystal Smith, Chief Councillor, Haisla Nation

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