Councillor John Jack will represent HFN at natural gas summit

Huu-ay-aht First Nations Councillor John Jack has been given an opportunity to speak at the Sixth Annual Northeast B.C. Natural Gas Summit on Sept. 18th and 19th in Vancouver.

The summit will take place at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, and this year’s theme is The Road Ahead for LNG. The subject of John Jack’s talk is Hishuk Tsawak, Uu-a-thluk: Huu-ay-aht values and modern governance combined.

He said he will be talking about Huu-ay-aht’s approach to business, as well as introducing them to who Huu-ay-aht People are and how the treaty is changing how the Nation operates.

John Jack said the theme of his talk is important, and it shows how First Nations approach building relationships. Uu-a-thluk (Taking Care of) in this context is about taking care of present and future generations as well as taking care of the resources provided by the land and natural world. Hishuk Tsawak (Everything is One), is the notion of the interconnected, interdependent and reciprocal relationships between people, the land and the wider world in a physical, spiritual and social sense.

He said his talk will stress the importance of Huu-ay-aht’s initiative to improve the conditions of its people and community. But he stresses that means always creating balance based on three criteria – economic, social and environmental sustainability.

“First Nations can bring a lot to the table and can be a useful partner in business,” he said. “But collaboration and communication must be there at the beginning. Relationships will grow from there.”

He will talk about how valuable partnerships with First Nations communities can be. He said strong partnerships will lead to mutual benefits for everyone involved. But in order for that to happen all parties involved must respect the First Nations’ involvement and beliefs.

A healthy partnership requires active cooperation between the province, Canada, and all parties involved in order to achieve mutually positive outcomes. First Nations can bring a lot of legal certainty, socio-political legitimacy, regional influence and local knowledge to new initiatives and projects, John Jack said. But it requires communication, cooperation and collaboration to be on respectful and equal terms in order to create mutual trust.

John Jack said he is looking forward to the conference both to share his knowledge and learn from others who will be speaking.