By Michael Harris
A memorandum of understanding signed this past week sets up an agreement between BC First Nations and the Clean Energy Association of BC (CEBC) to cooperate in developing British Columbia's renewable sector, including hydroelectric power.
The document -- which includes the signatures of 13 First Nations groups, the First Nations Energy and Mining Council, and CEBC -- also includes wind, biomass, biogas, solar, geothermal and natural gas generation.
"There is no reason why the clean energy sector cannot power a new era of economic development for First Nations in British Columbia," Sechelt (shishalh) First Nation councilor Garry Feschuk said. "First Nations are distributed throughout B.C and so are the clean generation fuels. We should all be able to benefit from this sector."
British Columbia is home to 125 First Nations groups that have had some involvement in the development of renewable energy so far, CEBC said, and all are still welcome to sign the memorandum.
"British Columbia's clean energy sector has a strong track record of working collaboratively with First Nations to promote economic development," Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett said. "Working with First Nations is a key part of doing business in British Columbia, and this MOU will help to strengthen these important partnerships."