After kicking out government officials at industry summit, Fort Nelson First Nation signs LNG worker camp deal

Jenny Uechi

In an apparent turn of events since the "Fort Nelson Incident", in which 33-year-old Fort Nelson First Nation Chief Sharleen Gale held up a feather and kicked out government officials from an LNG summit, the nation has now signed up a deal for a long-term camp lease for LNG workforce. 

The operating camp, signed with Black Diamond Dene Limited Partnership, would include a 425-room lodge in the Horn River area near Fort Nelson. 

The camp would support what is expected to be a massive fracking boom expected for her natural-gas-rich northeast territory.

Reached by phone, Chief Gale said she could not comment due to upcoming elections, and later wrote in an email:

"The simple fact is that oil and gas development has been in our territory since the 1950s. We have always been a part of the industry... Many of our own members are business people engaged in the industry."

It's a big turn from her earlier tough talk.

“The way things are going now – it’s a no go,” she told the Vancouver Observer in April.

“We can’t allow this devastation to happen to our communities without being part of the decisions.  Especially when it comes the environment, and the controls that need to be in place.”

“If Fort Nelson is not on board, there won’t be anything flowing down the pipe.”

But this week, she emphasized that Black Diamond are "good partners" and are "supportive" of the Fort Nelson First Nation's goals.  Black Diamond and the Fort Nelson First Nation entered into an equity-based agreement called Black Diamond Dene LP in 2009.