Partnering with Indigenous Communities 

The development of the LNG industry in B.C. is benefiting Indigenous communities and peoples, and is well positioned to advance reconciliation in Canada. To date, the LNG sector in B.C. has created employment, business and economic opportunities, and supported Indigenous community interests. Sharing in the opportunities that arise from further LNG development will increase Indigenous economic prosperity and continue to close the gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada.

A Conference Board of Canada report, A Tide of Opportunity: Liquified Natural Gas Development in B.C. and Indigenous Communities shows that B.C.’s LNG sector is forging meaningful relationships, agreements and partnerships with Indigenous groups that open doors to sustainable economic development and improvements in well-being.

The report shows that opportunities for Indigenous communities stemming from the growth of the B.C. LNG sector include:

  • job creation;
  • training and capacity building;
  • closing the wage gap;
  • ownership and equity positions in projects and related infrastructure;
  • capacity for Indigenous entrepreneurs to establish new businesses to serve the sector; and
  • long-term revenue streams for Indigenous communities to fund the revitalization of language and culture, and to maintain and expand community services.

The report provides examples of Indigenous communities and LNG proponents establishing meaningful, respectful and mutually beneficial relationships and providing tailored opportunities that address community interests, including preserving traditional languages and promoting cultural heritage.

The report goes on to note that training and capacity building within Indigenous communities from developing the LNG industry can play a role in closing the prosperity gap between Canada’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous workforce. The report notes that career employment fosters greater community self-determination.

The Conference Board of Canada report also outlines other significant examples of Indigenous participation in the industry to date, including:

  • TC Energy awarded Indigenous and local companies across Northern B.C. $870 million worth of contracting and employment funding.
  • Coastal GasLink negotiated procurement with every Indigenous partner along the pipeline’s route.
  • Through the Woodfibre LNG project, the Squamish First Nation received over $4 million in procurement opportunities with BC Hydro.
  • The First Nations Limited Partnership is a $500-million commercial partnership by and for First Nations who, together, negotiated and concluded a commercial benefits agreement regarding the PTP.
  • Kitimat LNG has awarded Haisla Nation businesses about 85 per cent of construction spending.
  • HaiSea Marine, a joint venture between the Haisla Nation and Seaspan ULC, was awarded a $500-million contract to provide tug services to LNG carriers. HaiSea Marine will train and employ approximately 70 Indigenous people as mariners and onshore roles.

The findings were developed through an extensive review of academic and grey literature, in consultation with the Conference Board of Canada’s Indigenous and Northern Communities and Sustainability teams. The report has been peer reviewed and reflects input from Indigenous leaders, industry and government.

The report is a follow up to an earlier Conference Board of Canada report: A Rising Tide: The Economic Impact of B.C.’s Liquefied Natural Gas Industry, that estimated growing the LNG industry in B.C. could create 96,550 new jobs, boost total wages in Canada by over $6 billion and increase Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $11 billion every year.