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Opinion

First Nations ownership part of the solution to building major projects in Canada

By Sharleen Gale      

Our members want better engagement and collaboration with industry, and industry wants better engagement with us.

Demonstrators, pictured on Feb. 24, 2020, in Ottawa, out to support some of the Wetʼsuwetʼen chiefs' who are against the building of the $6.6-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline through their traditional territory.

The recent protests over the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline in Wet’suwet’en territory have opened up a national discussion on whether and how major projects can be built in this country. This national discussion must look at how Indigenous interests in major project development can be incorporated in such a way that contributes to early and informed decision-making amongst all impacted First Nations. Historically, not all First Nations have had access to tools, options, and advice in order to make informed decisions. In the absence of the supports necessary to arrive at informed decisions, it is easy to say no or to become adversarial toward the unknown.

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