Stellat’en First Nation in B.C. feeling the benefits of signing with the CGL pipeline - APTN NewsAPTN News

Stellat’en First Nation in B.C. feeling the benefits of signing with the CGL pipeline

Laurie Hamelin
It’s a quiet snow day in Stellat’en First Nation and the sound of drumming and singing can be heard throughout the community.

The rhythm, and voices, are coming from an event at the nation’s year old health and wellness centre.

“I wanted this so bad for our people of Stellat’en,” says Cynthia Munger, community health representative for the nation.

She says the benefits agreement her chief signed with TransCanada to build a natural gas pipeline through approximately 30 kilometres of their territory is a good thing.

“We as First Nations people have struggled for a long time and I want our future to be bigger and brighter,” she said. I am very proud of this building. I believe Stellat’en is very proud of this building and every time we meet here it’s always joy and I want that to continue happening.”

Stellat’en First Nation is a remote community in northern B.C. with 600 members. Only half live on the reserve.

“My objectives are simple and that’s why I am here for seven years,” says Archie Patrick the elected chief. “Just had my third election as chief and I got 90 per cent support from my membership so they like what I am doing.

“And basically what I am doing is saying that I want to see shelter for everyone.  I’d like to see a job for everyone and I want to see our children go to our schools.”

(Eileen Louis and Chief Archie Patrick at the Stellat’en First Nation Health Centre. Photo: Laurie Hamelin/APTN)

Patrick says he didn’t take signing the pipeline deal with the company lightly. He spent five years in consultations.

He says the money from the pipeline will be used wisely.

“We will invest it, we will try to start economic development in the territory, probably provide services and there is the whole question of tourism which we haven’t explored at all,” he says.

The New Coastal GasLink pipeline will be the second pipeline to run through the Stellat’en lands.

The community’s experience with the first pipeline helped give the ok for the second.

“There is a pipeline through our territory just over the mountain here, it was put in 30 years ago.  It is overgrown, nothing has ever happened to it and likely that is going to happen,” says Patrick.

“It will be disruption for a year or so, but after that it is going to be back to normal basically.”

Although Patrick is looking forward to pipeline construction – he says he isn’t happy with how the Wet’suwet’en people who are against the project were treated and removed from their territory.

“They indeed were responsible for the territory are responsible for the territory,” he says.

“It was destroyed because of colonialism so these people are bringing it back up so I applaud them for that.


Tags: , , ,

7 Responses to “Stellat’en First Nation in B.C. feeling the benefits of signing with the CGL pipeline”

    Robyn Lawson January 14, 2019 at 10:16 pm #

    All First Nations, Inuit and Metis would be feeling the benefit of equal standing economically, educationally, progressively and in health if Canada, at any point in its 151 yr history, lived up to the agreements it is legally obligated to – Treaties 1-11 and in good faith negotiations with those who never signed Treaties.

    This is nothing but rejoicing over the scraps thrown their way after decades of deliberate and continuing under-funding by the Canadian Governments.

    Angela January 14, 2019 at 6:59 pm #

    Well I didn’t vote for mr Patrick but he’s lost my vote now, will I ever benefit from the money my band received? No! I’m not related to the chief! I’m suffering here with bad teeth cause NHIB won’t approve my dental work!! Thanks for selling out

    Chas January 13, 2019 at 6:11 pm #

    So proud to have such a great team of people working in the band office. They did their research and took their time to make sure everyone had all the information they needed to make a decision.

    Jay January 12, 2019 at 10:16 pm #

    what is this ridiculous piece of propaganda, published when the world’s eyes and hearts are with the Wet’suwet’en???
    Shame on APTN.

    Sharolise January 11, 2019 at 7:43 pm #

    If true Archie would have consulted all Aza’ne (all of our relatives) especially our neighbouring family’s through to Hazelton, regarding our shared territory with Wet’suwet’en.
    The old ways is not to move forward until he has 100% agreement (Archie needed 100% of all of our Aza’ne in agreement which he does not have)
    Archie speaks of this way but operates as a INAC administrator only.

    John January 11, 2019 at 5:52 pm #

    Bravo! My Chief Archie Patrick , sometimes your most humble members… See the the wisdom , required to see what our Wise leaders True Intentions are… selah

      JohnO January 11, 2019 at 9:54 pm #

      Free , Prior and Informed Consent was not duly conducted. I am sorry Archie, your consultation with the Stellat’en Nation is severely flawed. There are many of us who are directly effected by a decision made by so few.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *