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B.C.’S Minister of Aboriginal Relations, in Fort St. John to talk about progress at First Nations LNG Summit

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Compiled by Debora Steel







John Rustad, B.C.’S Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, was in Fort
St. John to talk about the progress made at the First Nations LNG Summit. He
said liquefied natural gas provides a big opportunity to the province and there
is a chance for First Nations to participate in the industry.  “There’s been a series of summits to
discuss what liquefied natural gas is and to answer some basic questions, get
into details, and create networking opportunities,” Rustad said. The minister
said government wants to hear from First Nations about their concerns and to
encourage sensitivity to issues regarding heritage and the environment. “We are
very interested in engaging with First Nations. We have been now for quite some
time. It’s about building that respect and finding out the issues that need to
be taken into consideration and trying to encourage the proponents to be
sensitive to cultural heritage and environmental concerns that are brought
forward,” Rustad said. “In British Columbia we are probably the envy of many
jurisdictions in the world. We have some of the highest standards anywhere with
regards to natural gas extraction and our environmental standards and we’re
very proud of that.” Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo spoke
to the summit on the final day. He said he supports First Nations leaders
however they decide to proceed on LNG. “For far too long, industry and
government have been ignoring our rights and exploiting the resources in our
traditional territories,” said Atleo. “Our nation and our rights are a reality.
They present unlimited opportunities, if we get this right.”