A local, wholly Indigenous-owned organization

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 the Trans Mountain Pipeline and the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX) (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 impacted by 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, the lands, and the water around Trans Mountain.

Founding Principals

Environmental Oversight

Giving our communities the power to guide environmental oversight and stewardship of our lands and waters. Input and participation into managing and minimizing the impacts of development on the environment.

Community Engagement

A clear understanding of our values and needs through representation by our own community members. Leadership that is focused on oversight over cultural and community aspects.

Economic Empowerment

Meaningful direct Indigenous ownership to provide impacted communities with economic participation and governance rights. Material distributions to unitholders with our communities having full autonomy over spending decisions.

Our Leadership

Chief David Jimmie
Chairman and VP Finance

Chief David Jimmie

Joe Dion
CEO and Director

Joe Dion

Chief Michael Lebourdais
Executive VP and Director

Chief Michael Lebourdais

Keith Matthew
President and Director

Keith Matthew

Chief Russell Chipps
Director

Chief Russell Chipps

Chief Greg Desjarlais
Director

Chief Greg Desjarlais

Chief Robert Gladstone
Director

Chief Robert Gladstone

Chief Gordon Planes
Regional Organizer

Chief Gordon Planes

Audrey Poitras
Director

Audrey Poitras

Chief Arthur Rain
Director

Chief Arthur Rain

Joshua Dion
Community Outreach

Joshua Dion

Our History

2018

WIPG is Founded

The Western Indigenous Pipeline Group (WIPG) was formed in 2018 by three founding members: Chief Mike LeBourdais, Whispering Pines Clinton Indian Band, Joe Dion, Kehewin First Nation, and Keith Matthew, Simpcw First Nation.

WIPG was formed to acquire a major stake in Trans Mountain for the benefit of Indigenous communities who live along the pipeline. Since 2018, WIPG has been focused on building support for a collective Indigenous approach in purchasing a significant equity stake in Trans Mountain.

2019

Building Momentum

In 2019 WIPG met with key government officials including Canada’s Minister of Finance, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Premier of Alberta, and several MP’s and MLA’s in Alberta and BC.

Beginnings of initial partnership discussions between WIPG and Pembina Pipeline Corporation (Pembina).

By the end of 2019, WIPG had secured several LOIs with Indigenous communities.

2020

Involving Our Communities

In 2020, WIPG continued to see real momentum, signing agreements with communities each month. Board members met with communities to present information and review comprehensive community plans. These plans are used to direct how our leadership marches forward. WIPG has and will continue to be committed to listening to how our members are interested in participating.

The structure of WIPG has been built with flexibility to continue to accommodate Indigenous groups so that everyone has a voice at the table. By purchasing
Trans Mountain, Indigenous communities will ensure their environmental, community and economic goals are met.

Chief David Jimmie was appointed as Chair of the Board in May 2020. Chief and CEO of Squiala First Nation located in Chilliwack, BC. President of Sto:lo Nation representing 9 Sto:lo communities and the President of the Ts’elxweyeqw Tribe representing 7 communities. He is the former co-chair alongside the National Chief for the National Chief’s Committee on Fiscal Relations.

2021

Securing the Pembina Pipeline Corporation Partnership

In May of 2021, WIPG and Pembina Pipeline Corporation formed a 50-50 partnership, being the Chinook Pathways LP, to pursue the purchase of Trans Mountain from the Federal Government. WIPG holds equal governance rights with Pembina Pipeline Corporation in the Chinook Pathways LP, including equal representation on the Board of Directors and Management Committee.

Chinook Pathways’ acquisition of Trans Mountain will benefit all impacted First Nations along the route and, through teaming up with an established pipeline company, will provide the world class operation, participation and oversight that Indigenous communities want to see in any project impacting their traditional territories. WIPG is structured so that its partner Indigenous communities make zero financial contribution and have full autonomy in determining how distributions are spent.