Huu-ay-aht First Nations citizens made history, becoming the first British Columbia Nation to approve a co-management development arrangement for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility.
On March 25, Huu-ay-aht citizens voted 70 per cent in support for the proposed Sarita LNG Project with Steelhead LNG. The proposed LNG facility, which also received unanimous support of Huu-ay-aht's Ḥaw̓iiḥ Council (Hereditary Chiefs) and elected Executive Council, could be an economic game changer for the Nation of 750 people.
The Huu-ay-aht citizen approval is particularly significant because it marks one of the earliest points in project development at which a First Nation community has voted to approve an LNG export facility or pipeline project in BC.
The resounding positive vote means that Huu-ay-aht and Steelhead LNG will move forward with a co-management relationship to develop the proposed facility on Huu-ay-aht owned land in their ḥahuułi (traditional territory), on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
The Sarita LNG facility is in the preliminary engineering and conceptual design stage.
Robert J. Dennis, Sr., Chief Councillor, Huu-ay-aht First Nations
"The people have spoken. We can move forward and take the people's message to the world, showing them what world-leading means. The people's vote will give the project business certainty to take it to the next stage."
"Our co-management arrangement for this project is ground breaking and, by approving such a world-leading approach, Huu-ay-aht is continuing to be a leader among First Nations."
Tayii Ḥaw̓ił ƛiišin (Derek Peters), Head Hereditary Chief, Huu-ay-aht First Nations
"In my role as hereditary leader, it is important that I know we are following a path that is right for my people. Our elected leaders have ensured that their voices have been heard and by moving forward united in our vision, we will continue to be a strong resilient nation. I offer my word that I will always honour my commitment to protect our ḥahuułi (traditional territory) and act in a way that is best for our nation. Moving forward, we will continue to engage and consult with citizens."
Nigel Kuzemko, CEO, Steelhead LNG
"This is a first in B.C. and Canada, and creates a significant degree of certainty early in the project for not only Huu-ay-aht and Steelhead LNG, but also for government, investors and customers."
"The project, which will become a leader in socially responsible energy development both in Canada and globally, will also supply a continually evolving global LNG market in which countries around the world are choosing clean-burning natural gas as a clean, sustainable energy source."
Huu-ay-aht First Nations
Huu-ay-aht First Nations is an indigenous community located on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. It is a part of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation, formerly called the Nootka. Huu-ay-aht is a party to the Maa-nulth Final Agreement, a modern treaty that grants its five member-nations constitutionally-protected self-government as well as ownership, control and law-making authority over their lands and resources. For more information, visit huuayaht.org.
Steelhead LNG is a Vancouver-based energy company focused on liquefied natural gas (LNG) project development in British Columbia. Steelhead LNG's management team's experience includes guiding some of the world's leading energy companies and projects, with commercial and technical expertise that spans the entire LNG value chain. From project concept to product delivery, Steelhead LNG is committed to responsibly creating and delivering value for the communities, suppliers and customers that it serves. Steelhead LNG is also continuing to develop the proposed Malahat LNG Project with the Malahat Nation on the Malahat Nation-owned Bamberton Industrial Lands located about seven kilometres south of Mill Bay, BC. For more information, visit steelheadLNG.com.
SOURCE: Huu-ay-aht First Nations
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