From July 10-13, Vancouver, Canada hosted LNG2023, the world's most significant conference on liquefied natural gas. Representatives from 85 countries, including Ministers of Energy, Ambassadors, officials, and CEOs, attended. Energy for a Secure Future (ESF) members spoke on Canada's LNG future. Indigenous engagement in the LNG industry was emphasized by leaders like Crystal Smith and Sharleen Gale, showing the link between LNG and reconciliation in Canada.
ESF's Advisory Council member, Chief Councillor Crystal Smith of the Haisla Nation, took part in a leader's dialogue during the opening plenary and emphasized responsible resource development for fostering reconciliation and growing Indigenous economies.
"My nation is the proponent of an LNG project on BC's west coast: Cedar LNG. It is the largest majority First Nation-owned infrastructure project in Canadian history, and the first Indigenous-owned LNG export terminal in the world."
- Crystal Smith
Smith also called out the “eco-colonialism” of environmental groups opposing energy projects and the need for Canadians to hear directly from Indigenous communities about how they are protecting the environment while advancing prosperity.
A press conference with Indigenous leaders from ESF's Advisory Council, highlighted their pivotal role in shaping the industry. They were joined by board members from the First Nations LNG Alliance, an ESF affiliate organization.
Karen Ogen, Chief Executive Officer of the First Nations LNG Alliance, spoke about the tangible benefits of LNG development which are propelling Indigenous communities towards prosperity and well-being,
"LNG development has provided immediate and medium-term opportunities to lift thousands of Indigenous people and our communities out of intergenerational poverty. We are already seeing benefits from employment, training, contracting, procurement, and benefits agreements."
- Karen Ogen
The Spotlight Session on Day 2 featured Christine Kennedy and Roger Dall Antonia of Woodfibre LNG and Fortis BC, as well as Crystal Smith of Haisla Nation and Sharlene Gale of First Nations Major Projects Coalition, to discuss the ground-breaking Indigenous-Industry partnership work in the LNG.
Later in the conference, APTN interviewed President Eva Clayton of the Nisga’a nation, a proponent of the Ksi Lisims LNG project. She and her business partners, including Rockies LNG CEO Charlotte Raggett, discussed their previous collaborations and future opportunities.
Finally, ESF advisory council members met Japanese Consul General Maruyama to discuss Indigenous communities’ efforts to advance LNG and interest in continuing a dialogue about collaboration for energy security and environmental goals. This meeting was on the margins of an engaging Diplomatic Forum.
For more insights into the impact of LNG2023, listen to this interview featuring Shannon Joseph, chair of Energy for a Secure Future, conducted by Radio Canada.