HaiSea Marine, a joint venture partnership between the Haisla First Nation and Seaspan ULC, was created to design, build and operate escort tugs and harbor tugs required for ship-assist and escort towing services to LNG carriers calling at LNG Canada’s LNG export facility in Kitimat, British Columbia.
This joint venture partnership represents an innovative and industry leading new battery-powered and low emissions tugboat build program as the new fleet will be among the greenest tugboat fleets in the world. The advancement of the program was recently celebrated with a Keel Laying ceremony which symbolizes the formal recognition of the start of a ship’s construction and the ultimate commitment for a build program.
“HaiSea is honoured to be building these world class tugboats and we are very proud of this milestone. The delivery of these unique tugs in Kitimat will position British Columbia and Canada as a technological and environmental leader in the marine industry. HaiSea is thrilled by this achievement, and it brings us one step closer to delivering our promise to our Haisla Nation Partners.” says Jordan Pechie, Senior Manager of HaiSea.
However, the most important symbolic milestone of this partnership recently came to life with the Haisla-led Blanket Exercise with HaiSea partners and executives.
In early May, HaiSea Marine executives and their key partners came together on Haisla Territory to participate to this cultural awareness training. The saksiwá x̄á’isla Cultural Awareness Training was organized and led by Shelley Bolton from Haisla Nation Council’s Culture & Language Department. This interactive exercise helped participants understand the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in x̄á’isla territory, British Columbia, and Canada.
This gathering created meaningful and emotional conversations and had a powerful impact on all the participants. “The Blanket Exercise was originally planned at the beginning of the partnership, but COVID forced us to postpone this event. However, the delay did not take away from the impact and emotions felt by our team. It was undoubtedly one of the most powerful experiences we have had encountered in your lifetime. It reinforced our commitment to our successful partnership with the Haisla but to continue building and nurturing respectful relationships and meaningful partnerships with Indigenous Nations in British Columbia.” commented Ian McIver, President of Seaspan Marine Transportation.