LNG an opportunity for First Nations, says Chief

The proposed Woodfibre LNG site near Squamish, B.C.

More than half a dozen Northwest BC First Nations, who support LNG projects, and are frustrated by their subsequent generalized negative portrayal, are coming together to try and form an alliance.

They’re located northwest of Prince George, and in an area that runs from Burns Lake, to the Kitimat-Terrace region.

Wet’suwet’en Chief Karen Ogen believes a First Nation LNG Alliance would go a long way in countering what she calls “ the backlash” for native governments who have signed agreements looking for social and economic benefits from LNG projects.

“From my perspective, our community has done our due diligence,” Ogen said.

“We’ve informed our members, we’ve had monthly meetings, we did our best to communicate through our website and social media, but we still ended up getting the backlash.

“I still think we can take it a step further and support those nations that haven’t signed on yet. As far as I’m concerned, there needs to be a balance. I don’t want this to be perceived as that we’re just pro-LNG.

“For our nation, we see this as an opportunity,” Ogen continued.

“Do we just let an opportunity go by because of people’s fears about the environment? No. As far as I’m concerned we need to weigh all of the pros and cons of this and make a decision.

“That’s where a lot of nations are at,” she said.

Chief Ogen says the group intends to meet again later this month as it looks for areas of common interest to maximize First Nation’s opportunities associated with LNG development.