Oil & gas makes full employment & self-sufficiency possible for First Nations!

Credit Bloomberg. Click for FP.

A December 7th, 2016 CBC article by John Paul Tasker caught my attention this morning on Twitter (H/T @PipelineAction). It had the title “Environmentalists have impoverished First Nations.”

Yet, when I read the article, I found that where First Nations embraced the development of such natural resources as oil and gas (never mind forestry, fishing and mining), the reverse was actually the case — which has not always been so.

  • First, there were the anti-fur campaigns in the 1970s which eventually destroyed the Native way of life, not only for those who were hunters and trappers, but furriers and retailers as well.
  • Then, there was the anti-seal campaigns both off the coast of Newfoundland and throughout Europe.
  • Now, there is the 2014 pro-whaling fiasco by the anti-whaling Greenpeace. Known for stopping the whale hunt world-wide, Greenpeace recently supported the killing of a whale by the Clyde River Inuit in Nunavut even though whales are endangered in the Arctic. Given the destruction of the fur and seal trades of the past, I believe this latest turn of face is pure political theatre to try to turn public opinion in Greenpeace’s favour. The problem is that if whales are endangered in the Arctic, pretty soon there won’t be any left to hunt, traditional native values and way of life notwithstanding.

Anyway, the good news is that times are changing because there are forward-looking First Nations Chiefs who know that there can be a balance between care of the environment and providing jobs and wealth.

For example:

  • As I linked at the start of this post, Chief Jim Boucher of the Fort McKay First Nations in Alberta, recently spoke at an Assembly of First Nations Gathering in Gatineau, Quebec and is quoted as saying that: “His community … has an unemployment rate of zero, an average annual income of $120,000, and financial holdings in excess of $2 billion, thanks to its willingness to do business with Canada’s oil and gas companies.” Not only that, but as a result of this windfall, that band is self-governed, receiving only 4% of its revenue from the Government of Canada.
  • A similar good news story was recently heard from First Nation Chief Joe Dion of Frog Lake, Alberta. A quote from a BBC article, also dated December 2016, states that: “[Dion] heads up Frog Lake Energy Resources Corporation, which is wholly owned by the First Nation and manages the on-reserve oil and gas drilling facilities” which has been able to use oil production dividends to build homes, community and senior centres, as well as help fund education programmes.

Thankfully, then, history will not repeating itself if enough First Nations leaders realize that oil and gas and everything connected to those industries, if done right, can benefit their communities.

At the same time, however, caution and awareness is needed because there are still a lot of environmental activist groups that would have First Nations living in poverty, as illogical as that seems. For a full description of who wants to stop anyone from receiving any benefits from oil and gas resource and pipeline development, I would recommend reading a very detailed Vivian Krause October, 2016 article in the Financial Post.

Anyway, let’s look forward with confidence.

The crux of the matter is that First Nation leaders and their communities in both Canada and the U.S. can benefit financially and purposefully from oil and gas extraction and pipeline infrastructure on their traditional lands — with business development and full employment and all the positive outcomes resulting from those activities.

 

6 thoughts on “Oil & gas makes full employment & self-sufficiency possible for First Nations!

  1. Progressives who don’t live in the real world have no concerns with unemployment, corruption and other trivial matters.

    They are too busy constructing the ultimate socialist being, politically correct, white privilege excised with really good paying jobs for the favoured few, and lots of “victims.”

    The Natives have their rent seekers like everywhere else in the economy, and they seek to increase strife and victimhood, it is good for their business. Think of the so-called “Indian Industry.”

    I fear some Native leaders are OK with their populace living in depraved circumstances as long as their power, influence and wealth is secured without the mundane need for accountability.

    Good cordial relations where everybody wins doesn’t sell media time either.

    There’s just enough village idiots in the Native community, many with strident Marxist revolutionary ideas, to prevent needed reform and in a way a return to their way of life, which is harvesting the land for its bounty, such as oil and gas exploration

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well said Phil.
    Hopefully more First Nations bands are wising up to their being used as political pawns by people who care not one whit for them, but only want them to remain in poverty and on the public dole.

    The Osoyoos band in British Columbia is a shining example of what can be accomplished.

    A belated Happy East to you Sandy and readers.

    Like

  3. Pingback: Living in Poverty « Jack's Newswatch

  4. I’ve always thought allowing development on First Nations land and them getting the rents would be a win-win situation as it would improve the standards of living for First Nations, which all of us want, and also do so at no cost to taxpayers. Kenkulak which mentioning the Osoyoos band, but another example is the Cree in Northern Quebec who cut a deal with Hydro Quebec and as such were able to build new schools, provide clean water to everyone, and as such their band is prospering unlike some of the others.

    I don’t think most leftist are bad people, I think the real problem is many live in a fantasy world basing their policies upon what they think is their ideal world not how things really work in the real world. One classic example of this is raising income taxes on the rich and corporate taxes. The left thinks this will mean a more equal and fair society, but in reality all it does is cause a brain drain making no one better off. Raising those two taxes only works if they are much lower than others which is most certainly not the case in Canada now. With the environmentalist I think we are seeing the same thing. They mean well, but are being quite naïve on the consequences of their proposal. Governments should make decisions based on facts not wishful thinking and based on how the world really operates not how one wishes it did.

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