Activist Claim: Amnesty International makes claim that CGL is violating Indigenous rights.
The Facts:The Coastal GasLink project is helping local First Nations take control of their lands and resources including through equity agreements in the pipeline.
Canada: Construction of pipeline on Indigenous territory endangers land defenders
Here are some facts and sources to have a reasonable conversation about Coastal GasLink:
- 16 First Nations, including some along Coastal GasLink’s route, just signed an option to take a 10% equity stake in the pipeline project.
- 100% of elected First Nation councils along the pipeline route support Coastal GasLink and have signed benefits agreements for their communities. It is not the place of activist groups to determine what an Indigenous community can or can’t do.
- Over 13,900 Indigenous workers are directly employed in the oil and gas industry with 350 working on the Coastal GasLink project including Wet’suwet’en members.
- Indigenous leaders fear that activism from environmental organizations and celebrities has become a form of “Eco-Colonialism” where many non-Indigenous groups claim to represent Indigenous voices.
Stories that get it right
Indigenous involvement in Canadian energy projects has evolved from consultation and accommodation to partnership, as Indigenous groups are increasingly taking equity stakes and steering projects as proponents. Courts also demand that governments consider First Nation’s economic interests when deciding whether to approve or deny projects in their territory.