About WIPG

ABOUT WIPG

We are the only Indigenous-owned entity that is supported by the legal rights and title holders on the Trans Mountain pipeline route. As the Chiefs and community leaders of these traditional territories, we are proud to ensure the ongoing protection of our land and water, and to provide new economic opportunities for our people and children.

The Western Indigenous Pipeline Group (WIPG) is a wholly owned Indigenous company led by Chiefs and community leaders, which represents the communities directly impacted by Trans Mountain Pipeline and Expansion (collectively, Trans Mountain) in B.C. and Alberta. WIPG was formed to acquire a major stake in Trans Mountain for the benefit of Indigenous communities who live along the pipeline. By purchasing Trans Mountain, Indigenous communities will ensure their environmental, community and economic goals are met. WIPG is a local organization with real ties to the people and the lands around Trans Mountain.

Leadership

The leaders of WIPG are from communities along the pipeline route. We are the only Indigenous-owned entity that is supported by the legal rights and title holders on the Trans Mountain pipeline route, and because of that we will make sure our communities’ interests are reflected in every aspect of our approach.

Chief David Jimmie Chairman and VP Finance
Chief Jimmie currently serves as Chief & CEO of Squiala First Nation located in Chilliwack, B.C. He is the President of Sto:lo Nation, representing 11 Sto:lo communities; and President of the Ts’elxweyeqw Tribe, representing seven communities. He is the former co-chair alongside the National Chief for the National Chief’s Committee on Fiscal Relations and is now a board member on the National Joint Advisory Committee on Fiscal Relations. David also owns and operates DJimmie Construction (DJC), which has built 224 homes and 175 apartment units in Chilliwack and Westbank, B.C. DJC is currently building a 330-unit townhome development in Chilliwack.
Joe Dion
CEO and Director
Mr. Dion currently serves as Chairman & CEO of Frog Lake Energy Resources Corp and has over 35 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. He is the former Chief of Kehewin and Grand Chief of Alberta and is the founding Chairman of the Indian Resource Council.
Chief Michael Lebourdais
Executive VP and Director
Chief Lebourdais currently serves as Chief of Whispering Pines/Clinton Indian Band for his fifth consecutive term. He serves as the Chairman at Tulo Centre for Indigenous Economics and is the Director for Cayoose Creek Development Ltd.
Keith Matthew
President and Director
Mr. Matthew is the former Chief of Simpcw Indigenous Nation, where he served for five years until 2010. He also served as the chief negotiator for his Nation with Kinder Morgan Canada, which delivered Impact Benefit Agreements to his Nation with regards to Trans Mountain.
Chief Russell Chipps
Director
Chief Chipps currently serves as Chief of Scia’new (Beecher Bay) First Nation and has held that position for the last 12 consecutive years. Throughout that time, he has been deeply involved in the daily governance of his Nation. He also owns and operates the company Nanny Goat Yard Works. Previously, Chief Chipps worked in management at the Cheanuh Marina and sits on the Spirit Bay Development board, which guides the development of building sustainable development for Beecher Bay and other residents.
Chief Greg Desjarlais Director
Chief Desjarlais has 15 years experience working in the oilfield before beginning his career by serving as council for three terms and then becoming elected Chief of Frog Lake First Nation. He is an advocate for own source revenue for First Nations.
Chief Robert Gladstone Director
Chief Gladstone is the elected Chief of the Shxwhway Village. Prior to that, he has worked in various capacities from Band Manager to Councillor. He is continuously involved with various committees and boards, including Indigenous Environmental Monitoring Committee, Lower Fraser Fishing Alliance, Indigenous Bloom, Coqualeetza Cultural Education Centre Society and more.
Chief Gordon Planes
Director
Chief Planes currently serves as Chief of the T’Sou-ke (SAA-UKE) Nation and has held that role for the last 12 years. He also sits on many boards encompassing the Salish Sea. He has previously been a logger, commercial fisherman, and pipe fitter by trade, in addition to Back Country Operations Manager with Pacific Rim National Parks Reserve. Gordon is a Coast Salish artist and carver, traditional singer, and captain of T’Sou-ke Nation’s traditional dug-out canoes.
Audrey Poitras
Director
Ms. Poitras was the first woman elected President of the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) beginning in 1996; she eliminated the organization’s financial debt, balanced the budgets, and began raising the profile of the MNA. She has gone on to become the longest serving President of the MNA, with over 25 years at the helm of the oldest Métis organization in Canada. She’s also overseen the creation of the MNA’s new Métis Centre of Excellence.
Chief Arthur Rain
Director
Chief Arthur Rain has served as Chief of Paul First Nation since 2016 and as a Councillor four years prior. He has dedicated 21 years of service in the economic development portfolio for Paul First Nation and has been a champion for resource revenue sharing and equity ownership in major projects.
Joshua Dion
Community Outreach
Mr. Dion has worked for Frog Lake Energy Resources Corp and Windtalker Energy Corp for several years. He is also a manager of Indigenous Resource Management, which is a software company that has created a single platform for Indigenous Consultation and Project management. He has his BBA in Finance and Marketing and an MBA in International Business.
Trans Mountain goes right through my reserve, right beside my sister’s house and right beside my mother’s house. We live here every day.

Governance

The WIPG board and management team are committed to the highest standards of corporate governance to ensure that decisions are implemented in an effective manner, and that the organization is held to the highest standards of accountability and transparency. WIPG’s governance model supports an Indigenous-owned company that is dedicated to equitable stewardship of the lands and resources, and compliance with governance policies.
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Board Structure

The WIPG board structure represents the unique geographic regions of the Indigenous Communities along the pipeline route.

  • 1 Chairperson (non-voting)
  • 12 Board Members
  • Region 1 – Vancouver Island (2 Directors)
  • Region 2 – Inlet to Hope (2 Directors)
  • Region 3 – Merritt to Hinton (2 Directors)
  • Region 4 – Hinton to Edmonton (2 Directors)
  • Metis Region – BC and AB (2 Directors)
  • Executive reps (2 Directors)

Rights and Title and Why it Matters

Aboriginal rights are collective rights which flow from Aboriginal peoples’ continued use and occupation of certain areas.

They are inherent rights which Aboriginal peoples have practiced and enjoyed since before European contact.

Aboriginal rights exist in law and are enshrined in the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982. They act as distinct and different from the rights of other Canadians. 

Aboriginal rights include Aboriginal title, which is a unique communally held property right protected by the Constitution Act, 1982.

WIPG is the only Indigenous ownership entity which will distribute equity to, and has the support of, the legal rights and title holders on the Trans Mountain pipeline route.