Provincial grant supports energy plan for Snuneymuxw First Nation

NANAIMO – A $30,000 grant from the provincial government will be used to identify efficient power opportunities.

A $30,000 government grant will power up an energy and emissions plan for the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

The B.C. Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation announced last week it will distribute $88,000 to three Vancouver Island First Nations for community energy plans.

Snuneymuxw First Nation will get $30,000 to create awareness of the community’s energy footprint and reduce energy use. It will also look at how energy efficiency and clean energy generation could be part of future development of band lands, according to a press release.

The cost of hydro on the reserve is “enormous,” said Snuneymuxw Chief John Wesley, who calls the awareness program essential to the community.

Wesley also plans to speak with Chief Gordon Planes of T’Sou-ke Nation, whose community is known for its solar power generation. There’s a lot that needs to be done to try to be more efficient, he said, adding the Snuneymuxw are looking at all the avenues and are open to anything.

“The time for talk is yesterday. I just want to move on a lot of things and help our people and bring a lot of energy-saving things to Snuneymuxw,” he said.

Other recipients of the provincial funding include the K’omoks First Nation near Comox and We Wai Kai Nation near Campbell River.

Money comes from the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund and is part of a provincial committment to reconciliation with First Nations.