The Coming Indigenous Power Play – The Tyee

by ahnationtalk on April 20, 2022245 Views

Inside the First Nations-led plan to decolonize British Columbia’s electricity. Last in a two-part special report.

One afternoon in November 2019, a yearly First Nations summit on clean energy had just broken for lunch at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver. Cole Sayers, a member of the Hupačasath First Nation, was outside the doors of the conference room, holding a cup of lukewarm coffee, surrounded by attendees who, like him, were fed up.

Over the previous two decades, many First Nations in B.C. had developed expertise in renewable energy. They’d invested a lot of effort, money and hope in the government-fostered promise they could feed a growing market for their power. Now, as the day’s proceedings made clear, the door had been slammed shut.

What would it take to pry it back open? That was the question on the mind of Sayers. He hadn’t yet formulated his answer, but he knew what stood in the way — the monopolistic role played by BC Hydro, the province’s power utility.

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