first_imgVANCOUVER, B.C. – TransCanada Corporation announced this morning that its Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project subsidiary has signed community and project agreements with all of the elected Indigenous bands along the proposed natural gas pipeline’s route.The company said that the 20 total agreements demonstrate the strong support it has received from local Indigenous groups for the proposed natural gas pipeline.“This is an important milestone for the Coastal GasLink team,” said Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project president Rick Gateman. “When we first began this project over six years ago, our goal was to build more than just relationships with First Nations communities in B.C.; it was to build trusted partnerships, and that has made all the difference. We are grateful to these First Nations communities for this opportunity and appreciate the incredible support they have shown us over the years.” TransCanada says that the contracting and employment opportunities, along with the long-term benefit programs set forth in the agreements, were designed specifically for each community along the route and will provide Indigenous groups with job opportunities and sustainable sources of revenue over the life of the project.A map of the Coastal GasLink pipeline project route, along with the 20 Indigenous bands TransCanada has signed agreements with. Supplied photoAgreements have been signed with the elected leaders of the following Indigenous bands:Stellat’en First NationSaik’uz First NationCheslatta Carrier NationMcLeod Lake Indian BandSaulteau First NationsKitselas First NationWest Moberly First NationsLheidli T’enneh First NationNadleh Whut’en Indian BandBurns Lake Indian BandBlueberry River First NationsHalfway River First NationDoig River First NationWet’suwet’en First NationYekooche First NationNee Tahi Buhn Indian BandSkin Tyee First NationWitset First NationNak’azdli Whut’enHaisla NationIn addition to the agreements with the elected Indigenous leaders, TransCanada said that the project also has support from several traditional and hereditary leaders within these communities. The project continues to hold discussions with some hereditary governance groups and is optimistic that additional agreements may be reached in the near future, should the project receive a positive final investment decision from LNG Canada.“Today’s announcement is a testament to what we can accomplish when industry and First Nations work together,” said Witset First Nation councillor Gary Naziel. “This project will provide jobs, contracts and financial benefits that Witset First Nation can use to enhance programs and initiatives for our citizens, such as language and cultural programs. We look forward to continuing to work together with the Coastal GasLink project toward these common goals.”Coastal GasLink awarded approximately $620 million in conditional contracting and employment opportunities to northern Indigenous businesses back in July. The project anticipates another $400 million in contracting opportunities for local and Indigenous businesses during the construction period, bringing the total to approximately $1 billion for B.C.last_img