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Burns Lake opposes EA processes for LNG projects

LNG Industry,

Burns Lake Band has published its response to British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Official (EAO), opposing the current EA processes for two LNG pipeline projects.

The projects in question are TransCanada Pipeline's Coastal GasLink Project and the Pacific Northern Gas PNG Looping Project, both of which intersect Burns Lake's traditional territory in North Central B.C.

The Supreme Court of Canada decision recently declared aboriginal title for the Tsilhqot'in People and how that title is to be protected, including providing guidance for areas subject to aboriginal title claims of the Burns Lake Band. The EAO based its EA plans to consult with Burns Lake on small notions of aboriginal title in January 2014, an approach now defunct.

Dan George, Councillor for Burns Lake, explained: "They got the test for our rights wrong and set up the process for the EA wrong as a result. Their own letter to us admits that we regularly used our lands to hunt, fish, trap, gather, etc. and that is now evidence of aboriginal title, not just aboriginal rights.”

In a letter prepared through legal counsel, Burns Lake Band is seeking to have the EA processes for both projects revisited and done correctly.

Burns Lake Band is a small First Nation of the Wet'suwet'en Peoples.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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