Looking across the Atigun River Valley at the Endicott Mountains of the Brooks Range and the eastern boundary of the Gates of thBackground: PNG was looking to construct a natural gas pipeline from Summit Lake to Kitimat B.C. to supply natural gas to the export facility in Kitimat.  To do so required approval from provincial and federal regulatory agencies, as well as the 17 First Nations along the pipeline corridor.

Our MethodCornerstone was involved in all First Nations facets of the project including: providing strategic advice to PNG; coordinating with federal and provincial agencies; negotiating capacity understandings and protocols with First Nations; undertaking consultation; writing up Chapters of the harmonized Federal/Provincial Application for the Environmental Certificate; negotiating accommodation; and implementation of commitments.

We established credibility and developed strong social capital with the First Nations and created a network of positive relationships with many key influencers in the First Nation communities.  These developed relationships allowed us to connect with First Nations’ key influencers in a non-confrontational and productive manner, as well as provided an opportunity to meet quickly and effectively.  With our participation, and access to key influencers we were able to facilitate efficient communication and understandings between PNG and First Nations.

The Results: Agreements, including Mutual Benefit Agreements, were reached with 16 of the First Nations.  The project was subsequently sold to Chevron and Apache Canada, and construction of the pipeline is currently underway.

Cornerstone is once again working for PNG in undertaking First Nations consultation on their behalf for a 525 km of 24” diameter gas transmission pipeline.  At a recent First Nations LNG Forum, PNG’s First Nation engagement, led by Cornerstone, was given an A rating by the First Nation.

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