Blog Archives

Indigenous-led energy company plans GoFundMe to legally challenge federal oil tanker moratorium

Eagle Spirit Energy logoEagle Spirit Energy has launched GoFundMe account to raise funds for legal effort

Tsuut’ina’s massive development among several urban initiatives as Indigenous youth flock to cities

Tsuut'ina billboardChief says 500-hectare project on Calgary’s western edge will help move First Nation through ‘dark period’

By Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press, Jan 3, 2018

Bulldozers and excavators are cutting a broad swath through the reserve land of the Tsuut’ina in southwest Calgary as part of a transformative project gets underway.

The push to finish the city’s ring road has meant a $340.7-million payment to the First Nation for the land, and has helped create opportunities for economic reconciliation, said Lee Crowchild, chief of the Tsuut’ina. Read the rest of this entry

Tlicho Grand Chief to be paid over $200K annually after salary increase


Eddie Erasmus is the current Grand Chief of the Tlicho government. The post is up for election in September. (CBC)

Election day to choose next Grand Chief will be Sept. 11

By Richard Gleeson, CBC News, August 2, 2017

A job that’s just about to come up for competition — the Grand Chief of the Tlicho — is now one of the highest paid elected positions in the N.W.T.

Salary and per diem increases that the Tlicho assembly approved in April at the end of the last Tlicho assembly came into effect on Tuesday. After the increases, the Grand Chief now gets paid just over $200,000 annually, about $20,000 more than the N.W.T. premier. Read the rest of this entry

Fort McKay profits from Tar Sands even as land is destroyed

Band office at Fort McKay. photo: APTN

Band office at Fort McKay. photo: APTN

Benefits of oil boom for northern First Nation outweigh the losses caused by industrial development, for now

by Brandi Morin, APTN National News, June 23, 2015

The main road running through Fort McKay looks like it was newly paved and painted.

It is bright and green here, looking fresh and on the brink of summer.

The river flows gently alongside the community as the day comes alive with the sounds of power tools, trucks and other machinery echoing against the backdrops of its forested setting. Read the rest of this entry

Kwikwetlem Chief Ron Giesbrecht should resign, band councillor says

Ron Giesbrecht, chief of the Kwikwetlem First Nation near Vancouver, BC.

Ron Giesbrecht, chief of the Kwikwetlem First Nation (formerly the Coquitlam Indian Band) near Vancouver, BC.

‘We’re a national embarrassment right now,’ says councillor calling for chief’s resignation

CBC News, Aug 02, 2014

Some members of a tiny Coquitlam-area First Nation want their chief to resign after damning financial disclosures were published this week.

In filings published under the new First Nations Financial Transparency Act, Kwikwetlem Chief Ron Giesbrecht disclosed he earned an $800,000 bonus last year on top of his salary.

Marvin Joe, who has been head of the 81-member First Nation in the past, says the revelation of that extra compensation has deeply angered many of the band’s members. Read the rest of this entry

B.C. seeks First Nations’ input on LNG planning right from the start

Banner dropped at International LNG in BC conference, May 21, 2013, by members of Rising Tide.

Police and security inspect banner dropped at International LNG in BC conference, May 21, 2013, by members of Rising Tide.

Key word: Collaboration

The Province/The Canadian Press, May 23, 2014

In a first for relations between the B.C. government and First Nations, the province is asking for aboriginal input on environmental stewardship around natural gas development.

Aboriginal Relations Minister John Rustad says that in the past the province would release a plan for development and then ask for comment, but this time there will be collaboration between First Nations, industry and the government from the start.

Read the rest of this entry

First Nations leader Phil Fontaine: An angry radical embraces compromise

Phil Fontaine with 2010 Winter Olympics torch, when he was working for the Royal Bank of Canada.

Phil Fontaine with 2010 Winter Olympics torch, representing the Royal Bank of Canada.

by Shawn McCarthy, The Globe and Mail, May 16, 2014

At 30 years old, Phil Fontaine was an angry man.

A survivor of sexual abuse at a residential school, separated from his parents at a young age, forbidden from speaking his native language, the Anishinaabe from Manitoba was elected at the age of 29 as chief for the Sagkeeng First Nation, situated east of Lake Winnipeg. By his own account, he was impatient and belligerent, especially in his dealings with government bureaucrats.

The former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations mellowed over the years. He became convinced he could do more for aboriginal people through compromise and pragmatic action than angry radicalism. But he remains passionate about the need for Canada to address the appalling poverty among First Nations people. He sees resource development as one way to end that poverty. Read the rest of this entry

Aboriginal Business Elite Promote Pipelines as part of ‘Energy Corridor’

First nations carving out an energy bridge to the B.C. coast

Nathan Vanderklippe, The Globe and Mail, Feb 5, 2013

Calvin Helin doing power point presentation in his button blanket regalia.

Calvin Helin doing power point presentation in his button blanket regalia.

For the Canadian energy industry desperate to pump oil and natural gas through British Columbia, the single greatest obstacle has been the dozens of first nations fighting to ensure pipelines are never built.

Now, some of the leading figures in Canada’s aboriginal business community are offering a bridge across the province’s difficult political landscape. They have formed Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings Ltd., a company quietly working to create a first nations-owned energy corridor across northern B.C. that could serve as a physical line across the province to move natural gas, electricity and oil. Read the rest of this entry

Oily Chiefs, Idle No More, and the AFN

by Zig Zag, Warrior Publications, January 17, 2013Idle No More protect enviro sign

To fully understand the phenomenon of Idle No More, you must imagine two parallel universes. In one, INM is comprised of good-hearted grassroots Native people responding to a call to oppose Bill C-45 and to protect the land and water of their traditional territories. In the other, however, are chiefs using the mobilization to achieve their political & economic agenda, an agenda that includes partnering with corporations seeking to exploit oil and gas resources on reserve lands. Read the rest of this entry

Native Capitalists Seek to Exploit Energy Resources

First Nations group formed to create energy corridor

Calvin Helin using culture for his capitalist endeavors (encouraging greater resource exploitation and collaboration by Natives with corporations).

First Perspective News, 27 September 2012

A group of BC first nations leaders have come together to create what will be known as an aboriginal energy corridor from the B-C coast to the Alberta border.

Called Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings, it proposes to be the facilitators between energy companies and the local first nations in Northern British Columbia on any energy projects proposed to come through their territory. Read the rest of this entry