BC Hydro Media Release: $1 Million to Aboriginal Chair

VICTORIA – BC Hydro and the University of Victoria announced today that BC Hydro is providing $1 million towards the first ever National Chair in Aboriginal Economic Development. The Chair, based in the faculties of business and law, will direct a program of research, relationship-building and education to advance Aboriginal economic development in British Columbia and the rest of Canada.

The funding BC Hydro is providing over four years will help launch the Chair and support its ongoing research and project development. This funding means that the $5 million target established for the Chair and its program has now been achieved.

"Many of BC Hydro's generation facilities and distribution lines are located in traditional territories, and we strive to preserve a foundation of mutual understanding, respect, open and honest communication with First Nations," said BC Hydro President and CEO, Bob Elton. "We believe that this initiative will help develop the foundation for sustainable, long-term economic development in aboriginal communities."

"The University of Victoria is very grateful to BC Hydro for supporting this important initiative, the first of its kind," said UVic President David Turpin. "The establishment of this Chair and its program reflects our university's continuing commitment to improving the lives of Aboriginal peoples and supporting Aboriginal communities."

The Chair will conduct independent and collaborative research, develop a repository of best practices, serve as a catalyst for and broker of partnerships among a range of parties and offer students relevant learning in a supportive environment.

A symposium on issues relating to the chair and its mandate will be hosted by UVic this fall, and a national search for the chair holder will be undertaken in the coming year.

UVic is committed to increasing the number of Aboriginal students graduating from all of its faculties and building on its unique relationships with First Nations communities.

BC Hydro is committed to increasing employment for Aboriginal peoples and is looking forward to the work of the Chair in generating new economic opportunities.

BC Hydro serves more than 1.7 million customers in British Columbia through an integrated network of hydroelectric facilities, with a purpose to provide reliable power, at low cost, for generations.

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Keywords: bc, hydro, media, release, 1, million, aboriginal, chair

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