PRINCE RUPERT, BC, Sept. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - Today Calvin Helin, Chairman and President, announced the formation of a new ground breaking Aboriginal-owned and controlled company, Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings Ltd. Helin, a multi award-winning, and international best-selling author, entrepreneur, speaker and advocate of indigenous self-reliance, said that ''a team of highly experienced individuals in the resource development space have assembled to form a company with its key objective - to assist aboriginal communities and individuals to become successful with managing economic opportunities in their traditional territories" .He also stated "We want to work with communities to establish a First Nations Energy Corridor across northern British Columbia".
Helin, a member of the Lax Kw'alaams First Nation, and son of a hereditary Chief, noted further that "we chose Prince Rupert to kick off our new endeavor because we share the concern with our families and communities about the environmental impacts, the lack of transparency, fair equity participation, business benefits, and real consultation that has characterized the recent spate of energy projects announced." "These projects impact the lands upon which our people have continuously lived for 10,000 years. Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings Ltd, intends to move forward only with publicly supported projects that can produce benefits to those who are involved," he said.
During his speech Helin pointed out that members of the Land Claims Agreements Coalition in Canada's north have treaties that result in the ownership, control, or influence over almost half the Canadian land mass representing a land base that is greater than 27 countries represented in the European Union. Surprisingly, this does not include many yet-to-be-settled treaties, or the legal requirement for consultation and accommodation that First Nations (below the 60th parallel) possess for projects that impact their rights in their traditional territories—rights established by recent decisions from the Supreme Court of Canada which are part of an unprecedented string of 150 court victories.
Board member Dave Tuccaro, one of Canada's top Aboriginal businessmen, stated that, "Major corporations do not understand that the era of business-as-usual approach to offering beads and trinkets to First Nations for projects in their traditional territory is over." He elaborated suggesting that, "Aboriginal people are not anti-business and they recognize the opportunities that development brings, but projects need to be done on their terms."
The Aquilini Investment Group is also pleased to be part of this venture as the financial backer and partner for Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings Ltd. Luigi Aquilini, the founder of Aquilini Investment Group stated that "Our group, who have a long history of working cooperatively on business projects with Aboriginal communities, is delighted to have the opportunity to assist Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings Ltd to solve energy problems with better solutions for First Nations in British Columbia''. Mr Aquilini was recently honored with the Order of British Columbia and is the Owner of the Vancouver Canucks.
Dave Porter, CEO of the BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council welcomes the announcement on the launch of this company. ''It is important for the economic development of our communities that our entrepreneurs step out into the business arena help build capacity''.
Darrell Beaulieu, Board member and President and CEO of Denendeh Investments Inc., a corporation representing the corporate investments of the Aboriginal groups in the Northwest Territories noted, "I support the concept of an Aboriginal owned energy corridor that provides for the economic wellbeing, environmentally balanced and sustainable business solution that will benefit Aboriginal peoples, industry and governments. This is a leading edge solution that will provide a win, win, win. A beneficial partnership. To disagree with the concept and partnership benefits would clearly signal and enhance the polarization, uncertainty and character of Canada's business environment with Aboriginal people''
SOURCE: Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings Ltd
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Chairman and President