Right across Canada, a powerful new Indigenous movement is on the rise. It is about equity ownership, self-sufficiency and a better life. It is about reacquiring the natural resources on Indigenous territories and applying thousands of years of sustainable principles to their development.
It is not about blockades and protests, but of asserting rights to unblock the creation of wealth for hundreds of First Nations that for too long have been denied full participation in the Canadian economy.
You can see this movement expressing itself in northern British Columbia, where the Fort Nelson First Nation is building a $100-million geothermal generating plant, one of Canada’s first, that will supply seven to 15 megawatts of clean, renewable electricity into the BC Hydro grid, displacing more carbon-intensive fossil fuel sources.
Fort Nelson, a community of about 800, is also partnering in a biomass venture to produce 600,000 tonnes a year of wood pellets from forest residue.
In Kitimat, about 600 kilometres southwest, the Haisla Nation is advancing a roughly $2.5-billion floating natural gas liquification and export facility, the first majority Indigenous-owned operation of its type in Canada.