February 2020 – First Mover

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

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Page 32 of 79

FEBRUARY 2020 BCBUSINESS 33 FROM KITIMAT TO VANCOUVER, B.C. FIRST NATIONS ARE MAKING STRIDES TO BUILD CAPACITY FOR THEIR COMMUNITIES AND BECOME KEY PLAYERS IN THE PROVINCIAL ECONOMY Crystal Smith left no doubt where she stood. In late 2018, soon after the Haisla Nation backed the LNG Canada/Coastal GasLink energy megaproject based in her hometown of Kitimat, the charismatic chief councillor wrote an open letter to critics suspicious of its social and environmental impacts. Besides an education and employment department for Haisla seek- ing work, funding from the community benefit agreement between the nation and the $40-billion project's proponents had already financed a traditional language program, Smith noted. "If it weren't for the open communication and the continued offer of respect from LNG Canada and Coastal GasLink as they engaged with Haisla, we would not have those services in place." / / / b y S T E V E N T H R E N D Y L E /// p o r t r a i t b y PA U L J O S E P H FIRST MOVERS

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