Canadian Business: “Response to Michael McCullough” by Elmer Ghostkeeper
In Michael McCollough’s recent piece on how natural resource companies and Aboriginal people need to work together to realize shared prosperity through resource development, he quotes only one Aboriginal point of view on the topic of Northern Gateway Pipelines.
Had he spoken to one of the 26 Aboriginal Equity Partners in the Northern Gateway project, he would have found several First Nations and Metis Nations that are very pleased with the continuing company engagement activities in which we discuss a wide range of partnerships including a new concept of Aboriginal equity.
The Aboriginal Equity Partners have said our communities need early, strong support in education, training and capacity building in order to exercise our ownership and to plan for the jobs and economic opportunities we need from the Northern Gateway project. To their credit and to ours, Northern Gateway equity partnership agreements include funding for education and training programs and for development of Aboriginal businesses.
At the end of the day, the only way to solve tough social issues is through real Aboriginal employment and strong, sustainable Aboriginal businesses. Northern Gateway and its Aboriginal Equity Partners are both showing leadership in creating a new method to move forward together.
This decade-long conversation about the project has, especially in recent years, become a model, and holds real benefit for Aboriginal communities.
Yours very truly,
Elmer Ghostkeeper BA MA
Councillor, Buffalo Lake Metis Settlement
Aboriginal Equity Partner, Northern Gateway