Tŝilhqot’in Nen— EcoPlan Update

It has been a great couple of months working for the Tsilhqot’in Nation on the Clean Energy Plan! I am working with the Barkley Project Group to put together the Clean Energy Plan for the Nation. Barkley Project Group is a project management company that specialises in renewable energy projects, which are primarily owned by First Nations communities. Some of the projects Barkley has assisted in included: Halalt First Nations Clean Energy Plan, Canoe Creek Hydro for Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations, and Nicknaqueet River Hydro for Wuikinuxv Nation, just to list a few. More project information can be found on the Barkley’s website.

Now some of you may be wondering, what is a Clean Energy Plan and how does it relate to me? That is a great question!

In general, clean energy plans are done on a community basis and they look at a variety of factors related to energy consumption, use, demand, and potential for clean energy projects. This can include a large list of things depending on what fit’s that community the best, with each energy plan being tailored to the specific community it is created for. The Tsilhqot’in Clean Energy Plan is a little different because it is looking at all six communities. We are looking at the entire Tsilhqot’in Nations territory to identify potential clean energy projects that are of priority to either a community, or the Nation as a whole based on community input and feedback. There are many other details involved in the process. The final report however, will be a summarised overview of the work that was completed.

Some of you may have already met us at the “Renewable Energy Education Fair Series” we put together during the second week of April. Kassy Harbottle, Martin Beach, and myself were the team from Barkley that put these sessions on. We also had Kathleen Heggie join our sessions to introduce herself and the Tsilhqot’in Land Use Plan that Eco-Plan is doing for TNG. This series was focused on providing education on what clean energy is, gaining an understanding of the different types of clean energy projects available, and how these projects might fit into your community vision. In total, we had an estimated 150-200 people attend throughout the six communities and received around 160 feedback comments overall. I had so much fun being in each community, engaging with members, gathering feedback, playing with windmill and solar panel demos, and playing energy bingo and energy pantomime with everyone that attended!

I was very thankful for Dolly Kershaw, James Evans, and Tammy Haller from TNG, as well as Peyal Laceese and Graham Gillies from Tsilhqot’in Radio, who joined all of our sessions assisting and taking part in the event. You may have also heard us on the radio talking about how the sessions went, and if you have not, then make sure to tune in to 104.5 on the FM dial.

Moving this plan forward, I am planning to have our second round of ‘engagement sessions’ between June 10-19th, where I will be back in all of the communities again. The dates are not confirmed yet but keep an eye out for posters in your community with more information as the date gets near!

—Michelle Myers

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