Northwest BC First Nations create ‘K’uul Power’

November 7, 2023

Chief, Wesley Sam, Tsil kaz koh First Nation and K’uul Power Board Chair

BRITISH COLUMBIA – Northwest First Nations Leaders formally introduced K’uul Power at the First Nations Energy Summit in Vancouver. K’uul Power will pursue the development and ownership of renewable energy transmission and generation projects in northwestern British Columbia.

K’uul (coming together as one) Power Nations will explore mutually beneficial partnerships and commercial relationships – and become directly involved in projects where host Nations and the K’uul Board of Directors agree.

“We support each other in having historic wrongs addressed and past agreements honored while also working together to build new infrastructure in the right way. Our commitment is to work in the spirit of collaboration, for mutual gain and a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren,”  said Chief, Wesley Sam, Tsil kaz koh First Nation and K’uul Power Board Chair.

The organization is taking a collaborative and Nation-driven approach to expedite each participating First Nation’s review and decision-making regarding potential ownership and construction of energy transmission and generation infrastructure – together or separately, in partnership with other levels of government and or the private sector.

Eleven First Nations elected and hereditary Leaders have signed a collaboration and communications protocol agreement that is the foundation of K’uul including: Tsil kaz koh, Nee Tahi Bunh, Wet’suwet’en First Nation, Hereditary Chief Samooh of Birch House, Witset, Kitsumkalum, Kitselas, Nisga’a, Haisla, Nadleh Whuten and Nazko. Open collaboration is also occurring with leaders of eleven other First Nations, as well as other Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, who are welcome to join the organization if they choose to.

“Nazko First Nation is excited to join with other Nations in this collaborative. We hope that K’uul Power will enable our communities to benefit from the generation of clean power and the co-ownership of the infrastructure to deliver that power to BC’s coastal communities and industries,” said Chief Leah Stump, Nazko First Nation.

K’uul Nations are already developing options for taking substantial ownership positions in the new infrastructure along with neighbouring Nations who are collaborating with them – shifting their communities from the margins of the economy to majority owners of critical infrastructure.

“In Smalyax – Küül is the concept of one.  A significant decision among the Chiefs along the transmission line that shows their strong commitment to work together in this precedent setting opportunity. This is the first time the Province of British Columbia has supported First Nations in BC in such a significant project.  This Transmission line is groundbreaking on so many levels. Equity, economic inclusion, shared responsibility, and an opportunity to develop resources in such a way that our governance and membership can be positively impacted,” said Diane Collins General Manager Kitsumkalum Economic Development Group.

The ultimate goal of K’uul Power is to develop a comprehensive and adaptable plan for energy infrastructure in the Northwest, and the creation of profitable companies co-owned by First Nations in partnership with the Provincial and Federal Governments, BC Hydro and other private corporations as needed.

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