RICHMOND, B.C. – Chiefs and Métis leaders from across Canada have come together to ask the federal government to halt proposed legislation and stop Bill C-48 and Bill C-69.
Leaders with the National Coalition of Chiefs have signed two resolutions opposing the Bills, describing the devastating effects for the First Nations to grow economic and developmental opportunities in their traditional territories.
“The world needs oil and gas from Canada, but now the federal government is blocking Indigenous communities from building sustainable opportunities to supply it – like we don’t control our traditional territories,” says former Chief of the Nadleh Whut’en, Martin Louie.
At the gathering in Richmond, B.C. November 5-6th it was agreed that Indigenous people are tired of being misrepresented as being anti-developmental by special interest groups when Indigenous people view responsible resource development such as oil and gas as a vital part to sustainability and economics within the First Nation communities.
“As a past president of Métis Nation of B.C. we fully support responsible resource development and pipelines,” says NCC Executive Committee member and regional director of the Métis Nation of B.C., Bruce Dumont. “The Indigenous people here today look at resource development in a positive way. We need to think of the environment, but the people also need to be a business partner.”
First Nations people have been benefiting from the relationships they are forming with the Canadian oil and gas industry and want the Government of Canada to stop getting in the way by appearing to have the best interest of Indigenous people.
In coming weeks the Leaders will deliver a letter directly to Ottawa demanding Bill C-48 be stopped and allow tankers to the north coast and changes are made to Bill C-69 the assessment to major development projects.