(September 10, 2018) – Little Red River Cree Nation has partnered with the Alberta government to install solar panel systems on two community buildings.
The project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, make energy bills more affordable and support local jobs.
With support from Alberta’s Indigenous Solar Program, Little Red River Cree Nation installed solar panels on Kayas College and their band office.
“We are proud to support Little Red River Cree Nation, and applaud their environmental leadership,” stated Alberta Minister of Indigenous Relations Richard Feehan. “This grant will help the Nation make life better for its community and for future generations.”
Funds saved from reduced utility costs – approximately $7,000 per year – will allow Little Red River Cree Nation to reinvest in other community priorities. The solar panels are expected to generate 55.1 kilowatt hours per year. They will also prevent about 880 tonnes of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere, which is the equivalent of taking about 190 cars off the road.
“This is an exciting opportunity for our community to invest in green energy and support our commitment to environmental stewardship,” remarked Chief Conroy Sewepagaham, Little Red River Cree Nation.
“The money we save on energy costs will also allow us to pursue other community initiatives. In addition, renewable energies, such as solar, are Treaty-friendly to our peoples for as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the waters flow…”
The $162,168 grant is part of $35 million in funding available in 2017-18 for Indigenous climate leadership programs that help Indigenous communities respond to climate change and provide greater energy security. These initiatives support the Alberta government’s commitment to implement the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The Nation also received $67,247 through the Alberta Indigenous Climate Capacity Program to assist in climate-related training, and $171,745 through the Alberta Indigenous Community Energy (Audits) Program to assist the Nation in performing energy assessments on community-owned buildings to help them identify energy conservation opportunities.
Little Red River Cree Nation is a Treaty 8 First Nation located in Northern Alberta.