VICTORIA, B.C. – The B.C. Government has announced that it has reached a deal with the Saulteau First Nations on the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline project.
The Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline is proposed to run from the Montney region to LNG Canada’s proposed export facility near Kitimat.
As part of the agreement, the Saulteau First Nations will receive approximately $3.9 million in funding as construction milestones on the pipeline are reached. In addition, Saulteau and other First Nations along the pipeline route will share $10 million per year in ongoing benefits once the pipeline is in service.
“This agreement is part of a growing recognition of our long-held treaty rights,” said Saulteau First Nations Chief Nathan Parenteau. “It has the potential to help our community achieve its goals, and it represents another step towards a more balanced and respectful relationship between the Province and our Nation. Everyone must respect our treaty rights and work with us to find solutions.”
The Saulteau First Nations is located near Chetwynd, and is the largest Treaty 8 First Nation, with approximately 1,000 members.
With the signing of the agreement, B.C. has reached 62 pipeline benefits agreements with 29 First Nations for four proposed natural gas pipelines: Prince Rupert Gas Transmission, Coastal GasLink, Pacific Trail Pipeline, and the Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission natural gas pipeline project.
The provincial government and the Saulteau First Nation previously signed the New Relationship and Reconciliation Agreement in 2015 to help to protect areas of traditional importance and guide natural resource development in the province’s Northeast.