TC Energy Corp. has announced the signing of option agreements with 16 First Nations along the Coastal GasLink pipeline’s path in northern British Columbia to sell a 10% stake in the project, which would carry natural gas to the LNG Canada export terminal in Kitimat.
The agreements were announced on Wednesday by Chief Corrina Leween of the Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Chief Justin Napoleon of the Saulteau First Nations. The equity agreement includes 16 of the 20 Indigenous communities along the pipeline route that have already formed business partnerships with the project.
“For years we have watched industry and governments generate revenues from the operations of their projects, while we live with the impacts,” Napoleon said in a joint statement with the company March. 9. “This investment in Coastal GasLink will finally start to shift the landscape, aligning industry and Indigenous peoples’ interests over the entire life cycle of a project.”
According to Leween, who is a member of the CGL First Nations Limited Partnership management committee, the agreement is a “historic milestone” for the region’s Indigenous communities because it is the first time they have been included as owners in any natural resource project in their territories.
Earlier this month, Coastal Gaslink announced that the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation, in a joint venture with Macro Pipelines, was awarded the prime construction contract for section five of the pipeline. A similar contract was awarded to Ledcor-Haisla Limited Partnership in May 2021.
“We recognize that enduring relationships need to include long-term economic opportunities that support the resiliency of Indigenous communities,” said Bevin Wirzba, president of Coastal GasLink.