Choiyoji Phase II

On one hand First Nations have lands and resources that are subject to unresolved Land Claims. On the other hand industry has interests in the factors of production that enable business to operate. First Nation certainty is based on being able to pick and choose how the lands and resources are used and for what purpose. Corporate certainty is based on those factors of production to be free and clear of risk. The Crown is charged with the responsibility to ensure that the balance of interests is managed fair and honorably in the public interest.

Environmental values are the natural capital First Nations have that are interwoven into lands and resources through culture, aboriginal title, and aboriginal rights. Those title and rights interests are subject to constitutional protection under Section 35 and 25 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Many court cases and environmental assessment procedures have greatly defined the existence of First Nations interests and have established that those interests are subject to consultation and accommodation.

Environmental permitting is subject to the extent on which First Nations interests are covered off in consultation and accommodation.

The Qooluun methodology has been built around crafting effective strategy in response to the challenges of consultation and accommodation. Our goal is to incorporate traditional ecological knowledge and science into processes that lead to certainty. Certainty is captures in environmental accords that are an integral element of Master Development Agreements.

Certainty is the absence of risk.

To the greatest extent possible our modeling is geared to creating structure that allows certainty to be managed over the long term.


We cut our teeth designing the environmental accord model during the 2003 negotiations with West Fraser over the effluent dumped into the Kitimat River. In the process we resolved a 32 year-old dispute between the Haisla and Eurocan that created a lot of mistrust.

In our agreement we formulated the process for dealing with Eurocan?s ageing infrastructure that was the cause of the pollution. In the agreement we described how to evaluate changes to technology as well as the financial implications. We defined how we would test the processes and water samples. We charted out how we would test the eulachons for effluent as well as the compensation for positive results on a sliding scale.

In addition we charted out a course for Haisla environmental capacity building, as well as defined Haisla employment and procurement opportunities.

We established annual environmental capacity funding to ensure that the Haisla always had access to the kind of expertise that would allow the Haisla to engage and make informed decisions.

We reached an agreement on eulachon and habitat assessments for the Kitimat River.

We established a working group that would provide direction to the other departments in each organization.

We established a framework on the Haisla Biologist In-training Program in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Eurocan, and the Haisla.

The Haisla ? Eurocan Environmental Accord was executed in November 2003.


Before Rio Tinto Alcan there was Alcan who arrived in our territory in the 1950s. The relationship was very checkered. That changed in the late 1990s when the Haisla challenged their permit. In 1998 the Haisla presented Alcan with, ?The Haisla Nation and Alcan Past Present and Future. It was an invitation to work with the Haisla to establish a new relationship.

In 2000 the Haisla and Alcan signed the, ?Haisla Nation ? Alcan Aluminum Ltd. Principles to Develop and Sustain a Working Relationship.? That document was followed by a Protocol Agreement.

The Haisla worked closely with Alcan on the stewardship of the Kemano River to support Eulachon habitat and stock protection from powerhouse discharges.

The Haisla worked closely with Alcan to bring the National Oceanic and Aquatic Administration to Kitimat to study the impact of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons emission impact to fish in the Douglas Channel.

Alcan provided the Haisla with funding to level the playing field allowing the Haisla to acquire expertise and build capacity.

In 2003 the Haisla and Alcan reached an agreement to develop an environmental internship whereby a Haisla person would spend 1 year within the company working on environmental issues. The agreement specified 1 Haisla per year for 5 Years.

Concurrently the Haisla worked with the Provincial Ministry of Environment and Eurocan to establish the Haisla Biologist-In-Training Program. A Haisla person was retained by the Ministry to introduce the environmental scope and career path development possible. The Ministry provided the funding, work plan, and office space for 1 Year.

We entered in an agreement where Alcan, Eurocan, and the Haisla funded a summer student position for the highest academic achiever to work in at least one of the organizations based on career path desires.

The Haisla and Alcan reached an agreement on environmental issues during the Kitimat Modernization Project, as well as post construction.


The Galveston negotiations were particularly difficult as two cultures had very different ideas on rights and obligations.

The Haisla engaged into the Environmental Assessment Procedure with the Crown and concurrently entered into consultation and accommodation negotiations with the proponent.

We worked closely with the BC Environmental Assessment Office and line ministries from BC and Canada.

Once we reached an agreement with Galveston we incorporated the environmental elements into the regulatory process and worked closely with Galveston to acquire the Environmental Certificate for the terminal.

Our agreement included environmental stewardship and environmental response contracts.

Part of the agreement with Galveston included working with them and other First Nations to acquire the necessary permitting and approvals for the Pacific Trails Pipeline.

In March of 2009 the First Nation Limited Partnership was created by virtue of the 15 First Nations executing the Partnership, Economic, and Limited Partnership Agreement.

The necessary support for the approval of the PTP was acquired as defined in the Benefit Agreement. The environmental strategy was the central element that allowed First Nations to support the proponent acquiring the Environmental Certificate.