Government of Canada, Province of British Columbia, and New Relationship Trust highlight renewed support for Indigenous clean energy projects across the province

News release

Funding will help more Indigenous communities drive economic growth through clean energy projects

August 30, 2019 – Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Traditional Traditional Territory / North Vancouver, British Columbia – Western Economic Diversification Canada

Clean energy from renewable resources creates jobs and protects the natural environment in communities throughout BC.

That is why the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia, and New Relationship Trust have committed $9.5 million in renewed funding and support for the BC Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative (BCICEI).

In addition to the renewed support for BCICEI, New Relationship Trust has also announced the latest funding recipients under the initiative.

Through Indigenous Services Canada’s Strategic Partnership Initiative (SPI), the Government of Canada has invested $4.5 million in renewed funding over three years towards the BCICEI. This funding will complement the $5 million in funding that the Province of British Columbia announced in April through CleanBC to help bridge the gap in early stage funding for clean energy ventures.

Launched in 2016, and with $4.2 million in federal funding, the BCICEI is a unique partnership between Western Economic Diversification Canada, the Province of British Columbia, and New Relationship Trust. The BCICEI Advisory Committee consists of Indigenous clean energy business leaders, multiple federal departments and provincial ministries, BC Hydro, and Clean Energy BC—the industry association representing the clean energy sector.

Through recommendations from its advisory committee, the BCICEI has invested over $3.5 million to fund 31 projects, including 10 in remote, off-grid, or diesel dependent communities. These investments have leveraged $37.2 million—including $11.7 million in Indigenous equity—to finance hydro, solar, geothermal, bioenergy, and innovative demand side management projects across British Columbia.

Renewed funding and support will build on past success by enabling more Indigenous communities to engage in early stage development of local clean energy projects.


"Through the BCICEI, Indigenous communities across British Columbia are leading the way in adopting sustainable energy systems and creating jobs in the green economy. With continued nation-to-nation dialogue, we know that the BCICEI will help create a cleaner and more prosperous Canada for us all.”

- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“The BCICEI is building capacity and creating economic opportunities for Indigenous communities across British Columbia. The Government of Canada fully supports New Relationship Trust in its effort to improving our environment one community at a time.”

- The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard

“The renewed BC Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative continues to support economic opportunities for First Nations in British Columbia. By supporting First Nation efforts to develop clean energy projects, the Government of Canada is helping create jobs and build healthier, more sustainable communities.”

- The Honourable Seamus O’Regan , P.C., M.P., Minister of Indigenous Services

“Through our CleanBC plan, British Columbia is supporting Indigenous and remote communities to make the switch to clean energy, develop their local economies and create family-supporting jobs. Together, we are building a cleaner, more affordable future for everyone.”

- The Honourable Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Province of British Columbia

“Our government is working hard to build a cleaner, better future for everyone as we meet the challenge of climate change. Indigenous communities are among the first to feel significant climate impacts. Through CleanBC, we are supporting sustainable economic opportunities in partnership with First Nations participating in the BC Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative.”

- The Honourable George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, Province of British Columbia

“Investments like this support our shared goal of a sustainable future for all the generations that come after us. Together with our First Nations partners, we are working toward a future where clean energy – and the economic opportunities it brings – are accessible to remote and off-grid communities, and all British Columbians.”

- The Honourable Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Province of British Columbia

“The BC Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative is a great economic development program. We are proud of our partnerships with Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Province of BC and our shared commitment to foster the positive economic and ecological impacts of this initiative.  Interest in clean energy continues to grow in Canada, and the Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative helps our communities in BC to develop economic projects in this burgeoning green economy. We congratulate the recipients of the 2019 round of funding.”

- Chanze Gamble, Acting CEO, New Relationship Trust

Associated links


Ben Stanford
Regional Communications Manager
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Vancouver, British Columbia

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

Kent Karemaker
Media Relations
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
Cole Sayers
BC Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative
New Relationship Trust

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