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If Stephen Harper wants Northern Gateway pipeline built, he’ll have to ensure it doesn’t become a flashpoint in broader national clashes between his government and aboriginal communities. Protesters take part in a mass sit-in in front of the British Columbia legislature in Victoria, B.C. Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, to protest the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
If Stephen Harper wants Northern Gateway pipeline built, he’ll have to ensure it doesn’t become a flashpoint in broader national clashes between his government and aboriginal communities. Protesters take part in a mass sit-in in front of the British Columbia legislature in Victoria, B.C. Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, to protest the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
(JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Ottawa has a duty to consult First Nations on Northern Gateway pipeline

Just as he’s ticking off the checklist on his way to approving the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline, Stephen Harper finds himself facing what may be a summer of discontent among First Nations.

The pipeline is a symbol of Mr. Harper’s oil-to-Asia economic agenda, but if he wants it built, he’ll have to ensure it doesn’t become a flashpoint in broader national clashes between his government and aboriginal communities.