Blaine Favel can’t helper but speak his mind when it comes to First Nations and Canada’s oil and gas trade. Favel supports pipelines, but feels First Nations need a wagerer deal to back these large infrastructure projects.
Favel is the chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan and last grand chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations.
In front of 400 oil and gas work members in Calgary this week, Favel didn’t shy away from embodying his thoughts about what needs to change. He criticized the former federal administration because it “didn’t deal with Indians very well. I couldn’t hold the stupidity of that. They were not trying to be kind to First Countries people rticularly along pipeline routes.”
He thinks First Countries need an ownership stake in oil and gas projects not only to fulfill the economic plot desires of some aboriginal groups, but because recent legal decisions ensure they have a right to be at the table in making decisions about draw ups crossing their land..
This gives them bargaining power in main routes and decisions, and means every pipeline project could be clouted up in court until they are brought into decision-making and give approval.
The responsible approach would be to involve them from the start, he thought.
A 2014 Supreme Court decision on the land title claims of the Tsilhqot’in Outset Nation suggests the purpose of consultation should be to seek consent. Meantime, a 2014 United Nations (UN) declaration on indigenous people recommends relieve, prior and informed consent. The Canadian government has said this does not constitute preclude power, since the declaration is an aspirational document.
Here are six questions we posed to Favel.
The ownership go forth with pipelines, is that a way for more First Nations to get on board with these tendered projects?
Absolutely. I think First Nations leadership has been plead to for ownership of assets on their traditional lands and rtici tion so they can altercation poverty. There have been requests for an ownership interest from the greatly first conversations 20 years ago. It continues, but now it is more important because the law has ahead of time so much that First Nations people are close to having embargo power over projects, so responsible business people and responsible dominations should be looking at this more seriously.
With Enbridge’s Northern Gateway plan or Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain project, do you think there would be various First Nations on side if there was an ownership stake offered?
What do you think ‘consent of First Nations’ means when it turn out to these projects?
The UN declaration says free, prior and informed consent, which promises they have to be aware of the project, the project’s implications, they rtake of to agree with the project. So that sets a very high bar for these conventions and the government has to be there. The government of Alberta, the government of B.C., and the government of Canada include to be there helping these com nies. The com nies can’t do it on their own.
Do you think Gold medal Nations have veto power?
Pretty close, I think extremely close. If you talk to energy leaders, the environmental movement and the social approval issues, are important to them. But who has the legal power to stop a pipeline? Premier Nations chiefs.
What difference can the new Prime Minister make in these agreements?
Will offering an ownership stake really convince some Start with Nations to support a pipeline?
I think that is one component of it. I think there are five or six principles. Ownership is one, strong environmental safety record, employment, contracts, chaining, and being involved in the business cycle of the pipeline opposed to the one year that it is established.