VANCOUVER – The chief councillor of a First Nation on British Columbia’s North Coast says participating in three liquefied natural gas projects will help his band buy back its traditional territory and improve the lives of its members.
The Haisla First Nation is located near the community of Kitimat, B.C., and at the head of Douglas Channel, a strategic site for tankers that will move LNG to Asia and the United States.
It is currently involved directly or indirectly in three LNG proposals, and on Tuesday the First Nation gave federal Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver a tour of the proposed sites.
Chief Coun. Ellis Ross says social benefits derived from the projects, like education, health, money, and welfare, are just window dressings.
He says the main issue for the band is land because he believes that will help solve the other issues that confront the First Nation.
The band has been working on a treaty with the federal and provincial governments, and according to the BC Treaty Commission it is at the fourth of six stages in the process.