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Kitselas First Nation awarded NRCan funding for forest and biomass projects

In Canada, the Minister of Natural Resources Amarjeet Sohi has announced over CA$669 000 in funding for two forestry projects for Kitselas First Nation to position the community to pursue new business opportunities, provide training to workers and lay the foundation for future economic development.
"These projects will directly benefit the surrounding communities by creating jobs and providing eco-friendly development solutions," said Minister Sohi.

Totem Poles at the Kitselas Canyon (photo courtesy Kitselas First Nation).

According to a Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) statement, the first investment of CA$600 000 enables Kitselas First Nation in Kitsela, British Columbia (BC) to pursue business development activities related to land reclamation and other restoration opportunities, including environmental monitoring services that could manage the impact of development activities on the land by reducing the carbon footprint and returning the landscape to a healthy ecosystem.

The second investment of CA$69 443 is for launching a feasibility study on biomass combined heat and power (CHP) energy systems using local wood residues to reduce the community’s reliance on diesel and help it transition to a low-carbon economy.

Both projects are co-funded by NRCan’s Indigenous Forestry Initiative (IFI) and Indigenous Services Strategic Partnerships Initiative, which offer opportunities to Indigenous communities that rely on forest sustainability.

These forestry projects aim to reduce the carbon footprint and promote a healthy ecosystem. Through the federal Strategic Partnership Initiative, Indigenous Services is proud to support Kitselas First Nation’s efforts toward forest sustainability, said Minister of Indigenous Services Jane Philpott.

The IFI funding aims to increase Indigenous participation in forestry-related opportunities, businesses, careers, and governance.

Since time immemorial, Kitselas has always taken care of our people. When we look back in history, we acknowledge our toll system that was utilized in the Kitselas Canyon where our Nation created a means of revenue that was shared amongst all Kitselas members. Today, we are continuing to explore opportunities to create revenue for our people through potential energy projects in our traditional territory, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank one of our supporters, Natural Resource Canada, said Deputy Chief Judy Gerow, Kitselas First Nation.

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