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Nits’ilʔin (Chief) Russell Myers Ross

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WILLIAMS LAKE, B.C. - Oct. 21, 2019 =  The Tŝilhqot’in Nation celebrated the Grand Opening of its Solar Farm last Friday, October 18, 2019.  The Tŝilhqot’in Solar Farm is located 80 km west of Williams Lake on what is known as the Riverwest Sawmill.  The 1.25-MW solar farm is the largest of its kind in British Columbia and is a hundred percent developed, built, owned and operated by the Tŝilhqot’in Nation.

Five years ago, the opportunity to initiate the Tŝilhqot’in Solar Farm presented itself. There were many challenges along the Tŝilhqot’in Solar Farm project’s lifecycle including financing, authorization, training and harsh weather conditions. However, despite all the challenges, the Nation has been dedicated to the project and the result is that this opportunity has now become a reality.

The Tŝilhqot’in Solar Farm consists of 3,456 solar modules that will convert the sun’s rays into electricity which will then be sent into the BC Hydro grid and generate economic profit for the Nation. The Tŝilhqot’in Solar Farm stands on 2 hectares of the Riverwest Sawmill brownfield awaiting the final connection to the power line that runs along Highway 20.  Full operation will begin shortly with the solar farm generating about 1,500 megawatt hours of electricity per year during its 25-year expected lifetime.

Nits’ilʔin (Chief) Joe Alphonse, Tribal Chair, Tŝilhqot’in National Government, “The Tŝilhqot’in Nation continues to break new ground with our Solar Farm, which is the largest in British Columbia. This is an important accomplishment for the Nation and I’m proud that our people have been involved in all aspects of the project from the planning and development to the, now operation of the Solar Farm.

Energy and electricity has been lacking out in the territory for a long time, despite one of the longest stretches of hydro in Canada, so we welcome the opportunity for business and to improve the well-being of our people. The Solar Farm is a huge economic win for our Nation and I believe our Nation is continuing to lead the way for indigenous people throughout Canada and around the world. I especially thank Chief Russ for providing leadership on the project and his commitment to see it through.”


Nits’ilʔin (Chief) Russell Myers Ross, Vice-Chair, Tŝilhqot’in National Government, “It was a pleasure meeting Michel de Spot of EcoSmart 5 years ago to kick start the project by scoping out what the possibilities were in the Tŝilhqot'in. At the time, it seemed like an opportunity and I was happy to explore the potential of solar energy. There were challenging hurdles to get this project to the point of completion, but I am happy to see that the Solar Farm is ready to offer electricity to the region and provide revenue for the Tŝilhqot'in Nation.

This project is significant for our Nation because it involved all six Tŝilhqot'in communities in some way and is the first project to generate our own source of revenue for our Tŝilhqot'in organization and the community, which is significant for our overall goal of self-sufficiency. Lastly, we are honoured to be recognized by Clean Energy BC and to receive the Community of the Year Award. ”
 WILLIAMS LAKE, B.C. - Oct. 21, 2019 =  The Tŝilhqot’in Nation celebrated the Grand Opening of its Solar Farm last Friday, October 18, 2019.  The Tŝilhqot’in Solar Farm is located 80 km west of Williams Lake on what is known as the Riverwest Sawmill.  The 1.25-MW solar farm is the largest of its kind in British Columbia and is a hundred percent developed, built, owned and operated by the Tŝilhqot’in Nation.

Five years ago, the opportunity to initiate the Tŝilhqot’in Solar Farm presented itself. There were many challenges along the Tŝilhqot’in Solar Farm project’s lifecycle including financing, authorization, training and harsh weather conditions. However, despite all the challenges, the Nation has been dedicated to the project and the result is that this opportunity has now become a reality.

The Tŝilhqot’in Solar Farm consists of 3,456 solar modules that will convert the sun’s rays into electricity which will then be sent into the BC Hydro grid and generate economic profit for the Nation. The Tŝilhqot’in Solar Farm stands on 2 hectares of the Riverwest Sawmill brownfield awaiting the final connection to the power line that runs along Highway 20.  Full operation will begin shortly with the solar farm generating about 1,500 megawatt hours of electricity per year during its 25-year expected lifetime.

Nits’ilʔin (Chief) Joe Alphonse, Tribal Chair, Tŝilhqot’in National Government, “The Tŝilhqot’in Nation continues to break new ground with our Solar Farm, which is the largest in British Columbia. This is an important accomplishment for the Nation and I’m proud that our people have been involved in all aspects of the project from the planning and development to the, now operation of the Solar Farm.

Energy and electricity has been lacking out in the territory for a long time, despite one of the longest stretches of hydro in Canada, so we welcome the opportunity for business and to improve the well-being of our people. The Solar Farm is a huge economic win for our Nation and I believe our Nation is continuing to lead the way for indigenous people throughout Canada and around the world. I especially thank Chief Russ for providing leadership on the project and his commitment to see it through.”


Nits’ilʔin (Chief) Russell Myers Ross, Vice-Chair, Tŝilhqot’in National Government, “It was a pleasure meeting Michel de Spot of EcoSmart 5 years ago to kick start the project by scoping out what the possibilities were in the Tŝilhqot'in. At the time, it seemed like an opportunity and I was happy to explore the potential of solar energy. There were challenging hurdles to get this project to the point of completion, but I am happy to see that the Solar Farm is ready to offer electricity to the region and provide revenue for the Tŝilhqot'in Nation.

This project is significant for our Nation because it involved all six Tŝilhqot'in communities in some way and is the first project to generate our own source of revenue for our Tŝilhqot'in organization and the community, which is significant for our overall goal of self-sufficiency. Lastly, we are honoured to be recognized by Clean Energy BC and to receive the Community of the Year Award. ” 

Williams Lake, BC - Sep. 15, 2021 - The Tŝilhqot’in National Government is endorsing a Liberal government led by Justin Trudeau in the upcoming Federal election on September 20th. Under the direction of Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberal Government, Canada finally endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights on Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) without qualification and passed legislation to implement UNDRIP within Canada.

Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberal Government prioritized Indigenous communities during the pandemic for vaccinations and aided in the overall COVID-19 response within Tŝilhqot’in communities. Without this, the health of the Tŝilhqot’in Nation and many other Indigenous communities would have been even further compromised.

Prime Minister Trudeau has shown leadership over his time in office by working closely with the Tŝilhqot’in Nation and addressing the hard issues that matter to the Tŝilhqot’in. In 2018, Trudeau delivered a historic statement exonerating the six Tŝilhqot’in War Chiefs of 1864/65 of any wrongdoing, with the full support of Parliament. Later that year he delivered this statement of exoneration directly to our people on Tŝilhqot’in title lands. In 2019, the signing of the tripartite Gwets’en Nilt’i Pathway Agreement demonstrated the commitment of the Liberal Government to the hard work and sustained partnership required to advance reconciliation. 

Nits’ilʔin (Chief) Joe Alphonse, Tribal Chair, Tŝilhqot’in National Government, says, “No previous Prime Minister has engaged with the Tŝilhqot’in in such an effective manner as Trudeau. Through Trudeau’s actions, we have seen that he is willing to take the time and resources needed to tackle the almost insurmountable mess that the legacy of colonization and residential schools have left. As the only recognized holders of Aboriginal title in Canada, the Tŝilhqot’in Nation is leading the way on how a true nation-to-nation  relationship can happen.”

“As Indigenous people, we have operated in poverty for far too long. For the first time in history, Canada has provided substantial funding increases for First Nations people, allowing us the space to find solutions that work for our communities. Trudeau has shown leadership and commitment in the face of COVID-19. We have to take a hard look at where this country is headed if we have a majority Conservative government. In order to increase certainty and reduce conflict we must look to acknowledging rights and title of Indigenous people. We are on the brink of repeating the 2005 Paul Martin era. I encourage all Indigenous people to vote liberal across Canada.”

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Tŝilhqot’in National Government Endorses Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada

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Tŝilhqot’in Nation Celebrate Grand Opening of its Solar Farm