Living Up To the Treaty – As long as the sun shines…
BEAVER CREE FIRST NATION – “Beaver Lake Cree Nation is concerned with the present state of our environment. We recognize the importance of becoming energy-efficient and how moving to the green economy will better position us economically down the road. Our Treaty states that as long as the sun shines, the rivers flow, and the grass grows that we will continue our traditional way of life. The sun will continue to shine and be a part of all our lives, and we should be utilizing it with the present and future solar capabilities,” says Germaine Anderson, Chief, Beaver Lake Cree Nation.
With support from Alberta’s Indigenous Solar Program, solar panels will be installed on the Nation’s Busy Beaver Community Store, Wah-Pow Treatment Centre, and health centre. The solar panels will help reduce utility costs, allowing the Beaver Lake Cree Nation to reinvest those funds in community projects. It will also prevent about 1,250 tonnes of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.
“The Alberta Indigenous Solar Program is making life better and more affordable for Indigenous peoples and communities. Our government is proud to support this project and the First Nation’s rich history of environmental leadership,” comments Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations for Alberta.
Alberta’s Indigenous Solar Program is a new provincial grant initiative to help Indigenous communities reduce their energy bills, create local jobs and participate in the emerging green economy. Beaver Lake Cree Nation is one of many Indigenous communities and organizations that will become more energy-efficient with support from this program.
The $153,000 grant is part of $35 million in funding available this fiscal year through various streams, including the Alberta Indigenous Solar Program, to meet the needs of Indigenous communities tackling climate change. Panel discussions, dialogue with Indigenous leaders, workshops, and feedback from two successful pilot projects helped inform the new programs.
These initiatives support the Alberta government’s commitment to implement the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.