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UBCIC Open Letter of Support and Gratitude to Fort Nelson First Nation

May 1, 2014

Fort Nelson First Nation
RR1 Mile 295 Alaska Highway
Fort Nelson, BC
V0C 1E0

Via facsimile: 250-774-7260

Dear Elders, Youth, Community members and Chief and Council of the Fort Nelson First Nation,

We are writing to thank you for your kind and generous hospitality during our stay and while attending your Shale Gas-LNG Summit in Fort Nelson on April 14-16th, 2014. This gathering of First Nations, government and industry was an important opportunity for those involved to discuss and address issues in relation to the natural gas industry. Although, as Chief Gale has indicated that the conference did not end in the spirit in which it began, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) Executive appreciates and supports Fort Nelson First Nation’s strong and principled position on the LNG issue.

Further, the UBCIC Executive will continue to stand and support Fort Nelson First Nation as we move forward together on this path. As Chief Gale has accurately articulated, First Nations are on the front lines of land, water and air protection in a world hungry for natural resources. The strong stand that First Nations take across BC to protect their territories; we leverage our Aboriginal Title, Rights and Treaty Rights for the benefit of all Canadians and British Columbians by forcing governments and industry to put environmental protections on par with economic growth. The UBCIC commends Fort Nelson First Nations proactive and strong approach on this issue and we are confident in the Solidarity and Elders Declarations put forward at the Forum. Furthermore, we categorically reject any racist notions that the Fort Nelson First Nation acted inappropriately or has any reason to apologize for their strong and courageous stand.

We welcome hearing that a meeting between Fort Nelson First Nation leadership and Premier Clark will occur in short order. Finally, we fully agree that resource extraction strikes at the core of who we are as Indigenous Peoples and striking a balance is an important feature of the approach First Nations can take with industry and government while at the same time ensuring respect and recognition of our Aboriginal Title, Rights and Treaty Rights.

On behalf of the UNION OF BC INDIAN CHIEFS

[Original signed]

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
President

Chief Robert Chamberlin
Vice-President

Kukpi7 Judy Wilson
Secretary-Treasurer

NT5

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