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Aboriginal peoples in Canada, known as First Nations, have a “unique opportunity” to benefit from the country’s booming resource development, according to a study from the Fraser Institute, a nonpartisan Canadian research group.
The study, by Ravina Bains, associate director of aboriginal policy studies in the institute’s Vancouver, BC, office, says each of 600 major resource projects planned in Canada during the next decade affects at least one First Nations community. The projects represent investment of an estimated $650 billion.
“These communities are often in remote, resource-rich areas so they have a unique opportunity to benefit from these developments,” Bains said.
First Nations groups exert strong and growing influence over governmental approvals of big oil and gas projects—some supporting projects and others opposing them. For example, First Nations support will be vital to approval of two pipeline projects proposed between Alberta and Canada’s Pacific Coast and opposed by environmental groups.