Federal government investing millions in eco-friendly energy on First Nations
The federal government's Western Economic Diversification Ministry announced $7.5 million dollars for 14 First Nations-driven projects in the province.
First Nations Power Authority of Saskatchewan received $600,000 to enhance renewable energy partnerships in First Nations communities and SaskPower.
"FNPA is tapped on the shoulder through our master agreement that looks at facilitating First Nations to participated in wind projects and solar projects," said Guy Lonechild, CEO of the FNPA. "This really helps provide I think, cleaner, renewable options for power generation for years to come."
The FNPA has been in Saskatchewan since 2011 and is a membership-driven organization.
The Pasqua First Nations Pro Metal Industries Ltd. also recieved $1 million from the WED to support Indigenous participation in the metal manufacturing sector.
"Looking forward for Pro Metal Industries and the ongoing [projects] and future projects, it will definitely be a big asset to the company," said Roberta Soo-Oyewaste, Business Development Manager for the PFN.
PFN's Chief agrees, highlighting one innovative project they have in mind which would turn landfill waste into synthetic gas which can be used as industrial fertilizers, chemicals and fuels through a conversion process called Gasification.
"Many times we have landfills and those landfills are going to eminate methane gas," PFN Chief Matthew Peigan said. "What we want to do is take the garbage and burn it off in a clean and environmental way."
The Gasification Unit is still in the planning stages, but is receiving support from a variety of parties.
The Cowessess First Nation also received $1 million from WED to expand and commercialize a hybrid renewable energy generation system.