Canada’s First Nations are divided on the issue of pipelines. While the Energy East project is supported by the Indian Resource Council, other groups oppose it.
Stakeholders are right to insist on stringent environmental assessments. But they should also consider the opportunity that responsible resource production accrues to them.
Many First Nations are big players in the energy industry, earning billions of dollars in development trust funds and benefiting from employment through aboriginal development corporations.
Ottawa must work with First Nations across Canada, to ensure that government properly considers their interests. Bands, in turn, should partner with governments and resource companies, to support a project that benefits everyone.