Deh Cho Urges Gas Companies to Back First Nations’ Quest for Voice in Pipeline Project

The Deh Cho First Nations (DCFN) are calling on Imperial Oil and the other prospective developers of a Mackenzie gas pipeline to back the DCFN request for a meaningful role in the pipeline review.

“This would be an excellent way for them to mark today’s official filing of their applications,” says DCFN Grand Chief, Herb Norwegian. “It’s nice that Imperial has now shown us what they plan, but it is not going anywhere until the government deals with us fairly. If Imperial wants this application to proceed, then they could work with us to persuade the government to get onside.”

Last month, the DCFN filed an application in federal court to halt the Joint Review Panel appointed to review the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Project, until the First Nations agree to the panel. The DCFN are also asking for an injunction stopping the panel from holding any hearings until the court application has been heard.

“This court action will continue until or unless it is settled by the federal government giving the Deh Cho people a real voice in their future”, adds Chief Norwegian. “For that to happen, we need to be able to recommend people to the review panel, and we need to have input into the terms of reference of that panel.”

Forty percent of the proposed pipeline is runs through Deh Cho First Nations territory. This is the largest development project the Deh Cho has ever seen, with the potential to completely change the lives of the people who must live beside it.

The Deh Cho First Nations lands are still negotiating land and governance rights with the government. Other First Nations along the pipeline route, and the Inuvialuit have all settled land claims with the federal government, and have been given representation on the review panel.

For more information, contact:

Herb Norwegian, Grand Chief, Deh Cho First Nations (867) 695-2355