December 3, 2018 — Rivers Inlet, Wuikinuxv Traditional Territory, British Columbia — Indigenous Services Canada
Reliable access to electricity and switching to sustainable energy sources can significantly contribute to improved quality of life for remote Indigenous communities.
The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, congratulates the Wuikinuxv Nation on the completion of the Nicknaqueet River Hydropower project. The facility will replace over 90 per cent of the electricity currently produced by diesel generators with clean hydroelectricity.
The Nicknaqueet River hydroelectric power facility will provide Wuikinuxv with safe and reliable energy that will have a positive effect on the health and safety of community members. The clean power produced by the plant will also reduce shipments of diesel fuel through sensitive coastal waterways and the potential for environmental contamination from the storage of fuel on reserve.
Indigenous Services Canada invested $12 million to support the design and construction of the facility.
“I applaud the Wuikinuxv Nation in their efforts to produce clean energy from a local source and reduce dependence on diesel. I am especially pleased to note the cooperative agreement the community reached with the Canada Nature Conservancy for the use of its land to access the site of the hydro facility. Today’s announcement is an example of how the Government of Canada is working collaboratively with First Nations and other partners to support green energy goals that benefit everyone in Canada.”
The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services
“I would like to thank all those who made the Nicknaqueet Hydro Project a reality for the Wuikinuxv Nation. This foot print was a long time in the making. Also to the leadership before us, Gianakaci, thank you for the resilience and foresight to have us carry on the work to achieve Wuikinuxv’s dream. You should have heard the sounds of joy and elation on the VHF when the announcement was made that we have now switched from our diesel generator to our hydro plant. Gianakaci.”
Chief Frank Johnson
“The Nicknaqueet hydro plant has been a 40-year dream in the making. Through countless feasibility studies, numerous meetings, and many, many hours of planning, we are now so proud to call this our own. We would like to thank the numerous people that played a part in making our dream a reality.”
Councillor Rick Shaw
- The Wuikinuxv Nation is located 483 kilometres northwest of Vancouver, British Columbia, in the central coast region of the province. It is accessible only by ocean or air. The community has a registered population of 285 people.
- To protect the river’s salmon species, the community opted for a run-of-river hydropower project, which involves diverting some of the river’s flow to power a turbine, then returning it to the river.
- Budget 2016 provided $255 million over two years, beginning in 2016-2017, to support infrastructure on reserves, including energy projects.
- Wuikinuxv Nation received the 2018 Clean Energy BC Award for the development of this project.