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Clean energy survey studies BC First Nations involvement

Social Sciences

- Anne MacLaurin

Saik'us First Nation and Innergex with their wind energy project. Photo provided by Judith (Kekinusuqs) Sayers.

A new survey on clean energy was released April 24 by the BC First Nations Clean Energy Working Group in partnership with UVic’s School of Environmental Studies and Clean Energy BC. The survey, “First Nations and Renewable Energy Development in BC,” had 105 responses from the 203 First Nations in BC. According to its co-author, Kara Shaw of UVic's School of Environmental Studies, this is the first attempt to document the range and impacts of renewable energy development by First Nations in this province.

Sixty-eight per cent of respondents indicated significant barriers to involvement

“The results identify a wide variety of projects, differing in size, technology, and application,” says Shaw, “however 68% of respondents indicated they are experiencing substantial barriers to entry and expansion in renewable energy development.”

Forty-seven per cent of 105 First Nations surveyed are involved in clean energy industry

According to Judith (Kekinusuqs) Sayers, a co-author and an adjunct professor in UVic's School of Environmental Studies and UVic's Gustavson School of Business, “The sheer number of projects First Nations are involved in or want to become more involved in the clean energy sector confirms the need for government to continue to develop and expand this sector with First Nations.”

Sayers is also a member of the BC First Nations Clean Energy Working Group and a former chief for the Hupacasath First Nation in the Greater Alberni Valley.

Survey respondents call for more involvement

The survey found 47% of the 105 First Nations surveyed are involved in the clean energy industry in some way from ownership to receiving royalties, and 98% of respondents indicated they are or would like to be more involved. The survey is a good picture of what the impacts of clean energy have been in the province for First Nations and what the potential could be if given the opportunity.

Find out more

Clean Energy BC media release


In this story

Keywords: Indigenous, clean energy, government; environmental studies, environment, community, research

People: Kara Shaw, Judith Sayers

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