“I did not know that most First Nations agree on that,” he told Reuters. “This is something new that comes to my understanding.” He further said he did not seek out further information on the project because the role of the committee does not involve investigative work.
Haisla Nation Chief Crystal Smith, whose community has signed a community benefit agreement with Coastal, told the National Post, “I frankly find it condescending to the work the 20 nations have done in the past six or seven years to get the project to where it is today.”
She said the UN directive points to the bombastic quality of discussion around major resource projects in Canada, which have received intense scrutiny over the past decade largely due to a perception of widespread First Nations opposition.
“I think it speaks volumes in terms of the sensationalism (around) a topic that is getting so much attention,” Smith said. “There are sides to the story that are not being reflected and frankly there are not many voices in the media in support of the project.”