CALGARY, Nov. 4, 2019 /CNW/ - Up to 80 Chiefs from across Canada in favour of energy and natural resource development are attending the 2019 National Coalition of Chiefs (NCC) Energy and Natural Resource Summit Nov. 4-5, along with several hundred representatives from Canada's natural resource industries. The event is being held at the Grey Eagle Casino and Resort in Calgary, Alta.
The event is designed to build networks and common understanding between Chiefs seeking to develop their natural resources to generate economic development, and industry leaders interested in Indigenous engagement and partnership in their projects.
"The majority of First Nations in this country are in favour of responsible resource development. We need jobs, own-source revenues, and business opportunities to get out of poverty," asserted NCC President Dale Swampy, of the Samson Cree Nation. "The National Coalition of Chiefs was created to provide a strong and united voice for Indigenous leaders who support energy and natural resource projects that can help address the economic needs of our people. We are tired of activists and politicians speaking on our behalf and against our interests. Indigenous peoples have economic rights too."
"The social issues that plague First Nations all have poverty at their root. There are not a lot of revenue-generating opportunities for First Nations in northern B.C. that have the potential to make a dent in our communities' poverty. Oil and gas production, and transmission provides a real solution," said NCC director Chief Dan George of the Burns Lake Band (Ts'il Kaz Koh First Nation). "We support this important forum that brings industry and First Nations together as partners, where we can work and succeed together, rather than as adversaries."
"We are pleased to be a part of this event to continue to build relationships and mutual understanding with First Nations," said president and CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), Tim McMillan. "Strong working relationships with Indigenous communities have always been a priority for Canada's oil and natural gas industry. We share many goals; including responsible, timely development that provides economic benefits to Indigenous communities. We want to strengthen our partnership in energy development."
The Summit will also see the launch of Indigenous Strong, the first organization of its kind comprised solely of Indigenous workers committed to supporting Canada's oil and gas industry through public rallies and social media. In addition to facilitating a community of Indigenous workers, Indigenous Strong will share and promote employment opportunities, business contracts and partnerships in the oil and gas industry to its members, and help recruit and retain more First Nations and Métis people in the workforce.
In addition to numerous Chiefs and industry leaders, the NCC Summit will hear from Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Indigenous Relations Minister Rick Wilson, Energy Minister Sonya Savage, and Saskatchewan Minister of Energy Resources Bronwyn Eyre. Each will speak of the importance of positive, mutually beneficial relationships between the provinces, First Nations and Métis communities, and the natural resource sector.