Garry Reece of Lax Kw'alaams First Nation presents cedar bark hat to Premier Christy Clark as Aboriginal Relations Minister John Rustad looks on at LNG revenue sharing signing ceremony at the B.C. legislature Wednesday.

Aboriginals offered share of LNG revenues

Lax Kw'alaams and Metlakatla First Nations on the North Coast agree to use of their territory for natural gas exports

VICTORIA – The B.C. government has signed its first two revenue sharing agreements with aboriginal communities on the North Coast for liquefied natural gas developments.

Agreements were signed at the B.C. legislature Wednesday with representatives of the Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla First Nations near Prince Rupert. The two Tsimshian communities claim lands known as Grassy Point as part of their traditional territory, and the agreements could mean up to $15 million from LNG export revenues.

Benefit sharing has been the B.C. government’s preferred strategy to advance industrial development in areas of the province where treaties remain unresolved. They began with logging, and in recent years have been applied to mining agreements.

Grassy Point is the site of two proposed LNG developments north of Prince Rupert. One is Aurora LNG, a joint venture involving Nexen Energy, a division of the China National Overseas Oil Company (CNOOC). The other is proposed by Woodside, an Australian oil and gas company.