Indigenous Groups Seek Ownership Over Trans Mountain Pipeline

A non-profit organization called Nesika Services has joined several other groups in seeking indigenous ownership of the Trans Mountain Pipeline that runs from Alberta to British Columbia’s coast.

Nesika Services was formed to “maximize economic opportunity” for indigenous communities through acquiring the Trans Mountain Pipeline. Nesika Services is trying to negotiate a deal that would see 129 indigenous groups along the pipeline own the entire project.

The group joins other organizations, including Project Reconciliation, Natural Law Energy and the Western Indigenous Pipeline Group, in seeking to give indigenous groups control of a major oil pipeline that’s been owned by the federal government in Ottawa since 2018.

The Trans Mountain pipeline is being expanded to increase its capacity to nearly 900,000 barrels of oil a day from the current 300,000. The government bought Trans Mountain from Kinder Morgan after the company threatened to halt the expansion project amid fierce opposition in British Columbia, where activists claim the line is a threat to the environment.

Since then, the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed an interest in selling a stake in the pipeline to indigenous communities once the expansion is completed. However, to date, the federal government has not made any firm commitments regarding selling a stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline.