Toronto, June 18—The federal government has made the right decision on expansion plans for the Trans Mountain pipeline, and its support for Indigenous peoples having an ownership stake is the right course.
That’s the message Project Reconciliation, an Indigenous-led group working to buy a majority interest in the pipeline and expansion project, had after the Cabinet announced its decision earlier today.
Delbert Wapass, a former Chief of the Thunderbird First Nation in Saskatchewan and Executive Chair & Founder of Project Reconciliation, has been talking about the project to business leaders and decision makers.
“We see the possibility to make this a pipeline to reconciliation. We are proposing to buy a 51-percent stake in TMX on behalf of eligible Indigenous communities in Western Canada because we want to move from managing poverty to managing wealth,” he said.
“It’s high time Indigenous Peoples had a seat. This is about us taking the lead on protecting the environment and controlling the revenue that will allow us to move from poverty to prosperity.”
Almost 340 First Nation and Métis communities across Western Canada are eligible to join the coalition that wants to buy the pipeline and expansion project. Project Reconciliation has put together an innovative financial structure for the purchase, which includes creating a Sovereign Wealth Reconciliation Fund.
“Minister Morneau has previously indicated the federal government’s interest in Indigenous Peoples having an ownership stake. We look forward to working with the government on the opportunity, and believe it will be a significant step to economic reconciliation.”
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Sarah Del Giallo