B.C. First Nation leads with green technology, sustainability


cbc.ca | Published April 14, 2017

By Martha Troian

A tiny B.C. First Nation is emerging as a leader in renewable and green energy.

The T’Sou-ke Nation, located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, has just over 250 community members.

Yet in the last decade, the T’Sou-ke have been operating a solar micro-grid, wasabi and oyster farms and an eco-tourism enterprise, and have launched a large-scale wind project.
■How First Nations got ahead of the curve on clean energy

Chief Gordon Planes said the community’s success has come from focusing on long-term sustainability, rather than personal profit.

“We made the decision, which is really easy, that that it’s a light footprint approach, and we did that for our children,” Planes said.

“It’s all about future generations.”

The T’Sou-ke Nation refined its vision through a program called Comprehensive Community Planning, administered by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada in British Columbia, which helps Indigenous communities reach their development goals.

‘Whole community behind it’

“It’s pretty important to bring everyone along and that, whatever we envision, that we have the whole community behind it,” said Andrew Moore, the community’s solar project director.

The planning process helped the First Nation set an overall goal of economic development that fosters a healthy Indigenous population with a focus on four pillars: energy, autonomy, food self-sufficiency and cultural renaissance.

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