PRINCE RUPERT, BC, June 25 /CNW/ - Ridley Terminals, Inc. (RTI) and the
Tsimshian communities of Lax Kw'alaams and Metlakatla First Nations (Coast
Tsimishian) held a traditioonal ceremony today to announce the signing of a
ground-breaking Opportunities Agreement. The Agreement establishes
preferential contracting opportunities for the Coast Tsimshian.
Ridley shall make commercially reasonable efforts to allow the Coast
Tsimshian to participate in eligible RFP Contracts by breaking down large RFP
Contracts into smaller ones. However Ridley shall have no obligation to break
down RFP Contracts to contracts smaller than $500,000 aggregate per contract.
Chief Councillor of the Lax Kw'alaams First Nation, John Helin, notes
that "there is nothing that Canada can do to create more wealth for the nation
than to constructively engage the Aboriginal population and their assets in
Chief Councillor of the Metlakatla First Nation, Harold Leighton, notes
that "Ridley's board and management is showing real leadership, and
encouraging a relationship of trust and cooperation at a critical period in
the history of Coast Tsimshian in our traditional territory."
Elmer Derrick, an Aboriginal leader from the Gitxsan First Nation, and
board member of RTI, added that "Aboriginal people in Prince Rupert make up
over half the population of the city. These basic steps greatly assist the
Aboriginal population on its path to self-sufficiency.
Chief Councillor of the the Lax Kw'alaams First Nation, John Helin, added
"Chairman Dan Veniez and the RTI Board have shown great wisdom in their
attitude and how they have approached dealing with the Coast Tsimshian. When
both sides have the attitude of win/win that truly is the best mindset to
establish long-term trust and stability. What RTI is doing is the right way to
build a relationship. We look forward to being trusted partners and
stakeholders in the future of RTI and its operations within our traditional
According to Daniel D. Veniez, chairman of Ridley Terminals: "Forging a
new relationship with the Coast Tsimshian simply makes good business and
economic sense. The Opportunities Agreement provides a concrete framework for
us to do business together. It's also in keeping with our mandate to build
value for our shareholders - the Canadian taxpayer. Being the first of its
kind, this agreement between a Crown Corporation and First Nations could act
as a protocol for similar arrangements across Canada."
Calvin Helin, an advisor to the Coast Tsimshian and best-selling author
of Dances with Dependency stated: "RTI is also showing great leadership in
recognizing the new paradigm - the rapidly growing importance of Canada's
Aboriginal population to the economy of the nation."
Mr. Helin notes that "Aboriginal Canadians can contribute enormously to
the economic well-being of the entire nation by constructively engaging in
economic development. This is a major and needed step in that direction."
The Coast Tsimshian and Ridley entered into a Protocol Agreement dated
October, 2008 for the purpose of pursuing business, employment and other
development opportunities in respect of the Terminal. In furtherance of the
objectives of the Protocol, the Parties have set out in this agreement the
terms and conditions of the preferential business opportunities between the
Coast Tsimshian and Ridley in relation to the terminal. Within 30 days of the
date of this Agreement, the parties shall establish the Joint Implementation
Committee. The committee will provide a collaborative forum for open and frank
dialogue between Ridley and the Coast Tsimshian as they relate to all matters
pertaining to new projects at the Terminal, as well as to review and consider
all aspects of such projects and performance by the Parties under this
For further information:
For further information: To arrange media interviews: Tim Crowhurst,
(604) 724-0100, firstname.lastname@example.org; Calvin Helin, (604) 644-8810