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Uchucklesaht Tribe, Ahousaht First Nation develop clean-energy projects

CANADA, February 13 - First Nations’ communities on Vancouver Island and Flores Island are leading clean-energy projects with B.C. government funding to empower community members with access to more efficient and sustainable sources of energy.

Through the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (FNCEBF), the Province is providing two communities in the region with $549,140. The Nations are partnering with the Province to develop projects that champion innovation and align with the CleanBC plan to reduce emissions that cause climate change.

The FNCEBF supports clean-energy projects led by First Nations communities, such as installing heat pumps and solar roofs, as well as improving insulation in homes, energy-efficiency planning and educational events. Six First Nations partners provincewide received more than $1.8 million through the fund in this round of funding.

New projects on Vancouver Island and Flores Island include:  

  • Uchucklesaht Tribe will improve quality of living for community members in the Ehthlateese village by developing innovative hydroelectric and solar-power initiatives – $499,140.
  • Ahousaht First Nation will develop a comprehensive community energy plan to identify energy-efficiency measures and explore potential clean-energy initiatives to help strengthen local resiliency – $50,000.

By participating in the province’s clean-energy sector and the FNCEBF program, First Nations communities are creating economic opportunities and cleaner futures in their territories. The next intake closes April 30, 2024.

Quotes:

Murray Rankin, Minster of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation –

“The B.C. government is working in partnership with First Nations to support resilient communities on Vancouver Island and the coast. Supported by the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund, projects like the Uchucklesaht hydroelectric development will power remote communities and create economic opportunities.”

Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation –

“Through the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund, our government is investing in the future of communities on Vancouver Island and Flores Island by creating local jobs while reducing pollution. These partnerships with the Ahousaht First Nation and Uchucklesaht Tribe will support our CleanBC goals – empowering local economic development while mitigating the effects of climate change.”

George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy –

“Collaborating with First Nations to address climate change and climate adaptation is important to all of us and is a key aspect of lasting reconciliation. Working together we create jobs, protect against future climate disasters, and support First Nations in their work to safeguard and steward the environment and their communities.”

Chief n̓aasʔałuk (John Rampanen), Ahousaht First Nation –

“Ahousaht is excited to move forward with clean-energy initiatives in our Nation and is grateful for the support from FNCEBF. As a remote, coastal Nation we believe that the future of clean and sustainable energy is a vital part of our ongoing development and responsible stewardship over our lands and waters.”

Chief Wilfred Cootes Jr., Uchucklesaht Tribe –

“Funding from FNCEBF makes an important contribution towards Uchucklesaht’s development of community-owned clean-energy systems in the village of Ehthlateese. Developing new sources of clean energy is fundamental to the revitalization of the village and requires consistent efforts to invest in the design and development of new infrastructure over time. Without the support of the Province of B.C. and our other funding partners, the ambitious undertaking of phasing out diesel while expanding power-generation capacity in our growing village would not be possible.”  

Quick Facts:

  • Since the FNCEBF began, more than 150 First Nations communities have benefited from more than $20 million in capacity and equity funding for projects focused on clean energy, energy efficiency, fuel switching and feasibility studies. 
  • Currently, 46 First Nations benefit from 71 clean-energy revenue-sharing agreements with B.C. that are based on new incremental revenues to government derived from water and land rents.
  • The Province is also funding small, grid-connected, First-Nations-led power projects to contribute to B.C.’s electricity needs through the B.C. Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative.

Learn More:

To learn about the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/consulting-with-first-nations/first-nations-clean-energy-business-fund

To learn about Clean Energy BC, visit: www.cleanenergybc.org