The Canadian Press – Canada’s First Nations have a stake worth hundreds of millions of dollars in resource industry development and are likely to call more of the industry’s shots in the future, concludes a research paper.
“There is not going to be a very substantial expansion of the resource sector in Canada without full partnerships with indigenous Canadians,” said Ken Coates of the University of Saskatchewan.
Coates wrote the report for the Indian Resource Council, an aboriginal group that represents First Nations oil and gas producers. Coates notes that aboriginal opinion on new energy, pipeline and mineral projects reflects the same splits in the rest of Canada.
He writes while many “connected to broader environmental and climate change protesters” oppose such developments, others welcome well-regulated proposals.
Coates cites several examples of bands that have prospered. Saskatchewan’s Meadow Lake Tribal Council controls companies that earn up to $80 million and employ nearly 200 aboriginals through work with uranium mines. Alberta’s Onion Lake band owns 400 oil wells that pumped 14,000 barrels in 2014.
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