We are a not-for-profit grassroots organization that’s been formed by Indigenous communities impacted by the Trans Mountain (TMX) pipeline.

Our sole purpose is to support the communities to negotiate a transaction which sees Indigenous communities have an ownership stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline project that values environment, governance and economic benefits equally.

Nesika does not seek to buy the pipeline but rather to support the communities in negotiating and structuring the best transaction possible.

We are led by Indigenous community leaders in both British Columbia and Alberta.

The founding Directors are:

  • Chief Tony Alexis, Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation (Chairman)
  • Chief Alice Mckay, Matsqui First Nation
  • Councillor David Walkhem, Cooks Ferry Indian Band
  • Mark Peters, Peters First Nation

We currently have 14 Indigenous communities as members, with more joining because of their belief in our shared values.

We are not-for-profit: Nesika will not seek or receive any profit from a transaction. We do not have a predetermined pipeline operating partner or financial partner. We are driven by Indigenous community leaders and will build trust and respect through open and transparent dialogue. We seek to empower communities to make their own informed decisions.

We will seek an outcome that equally values environmental stewardship, governance, and economic benefits. We will seek flexibility that provides equity and non-equity options (revenue sharing), both options have no financial risk to the communities.

Yes, other groups seek to buy the pipeline directly and are profit-oriented – which is a major conflict with Indigenous communities.

Some groups have a predetermined pipeline partner taking 50% of the ownership and only provide an equity option. Another group’s intent is to divert free cash flow away from the communities directly to reinvest in their own financial fund.

The first step is for Canada to disclose the terms and conditions under which it is willing to sell. We need them to engage and begin negotiations with us. We are not expecting ownership for free, however we do expect Canada will be part of a financing solution.

We also have had discussions with national and international infrastructure investors and there is serious interest but we need Canada to engage so we can get to specifics. We will run a competitive process amongst interested financiers and pipeline operators in order to get the best terms financially and ensure we have the best operating partner. Decisions on how to move forward will always come back to our community partners.

We respect all communities’ choice to make a decision that meets their own values and needs. We support and want to be leaders in the transition to a green economy, but we understand this will be an evolving process and that hydrocarbons will be needed for decades to come.

Today we have an opportunity to become owners of TMX. The most responsible thing we can do is have a seat at the governance table and ensure there is standard setting environmental stewardship of this asset. Ultimately, acquiring an economic interest in the TMX can begin to build economic sovereignty and contribute to healthy vibrant communities.

We would prefer 100%, but we are here to work with Canada to negotiate and understand their goals in selling the project.

We have engaged research experts to evaluate how other transactions and projects have approached this issue. We have also talked with and asked over 20 impacted communities. Ultimately our members will make the decision, however we believe the two key factors that will determine apportionment are proximity to the pipeline and impact.

Discussions with Canada to date have focused on engagement. The government has decided to engage directly with groups like Nesika instead of negotiating with individual communities. We do not know the terms of the transaction upon which Canada is willing to proceed. We expect negotiations to begin in the Q1/Q2 2022. Again, we do not plan to own the project, we plan to help negotiate and secure the best deal possible for Indigenous communities and groups involved.

We have a non-binding letter of intent for communities to review and sign to begin attending our meetings and understanding the issues. To be eligible to sit on the Board, a community can then sign a formal Memorandum of Understanding.