T'Sou-ke First Nation: A Leader in the Innovative Use of Renewable Energy in Canada

See how the T'Sou-ke First Nation on Vancouver Island has become a leader in the innovative use of renewable energy in Canada, through its solar thermal heating for hot water and photovoltaics community projects.

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Transcript: A Leader in the Innovative Use of Renewable Energy in Canada

Gordon Planes- Chief – T'Sou-ke Nation Gordon Planes- Chief – T'Sou-ke Nation

I'd like to welcome you all to T'Sou-ke Traditional Territory

What we are doing is something that I believe we all should be doing…and we all should take care of Mother Earth before we can assure a healthy community and if we do that Mother Earth will be able to provide for us for our future generations.

Andrew Moore- Special Projects Manager- T'Sou-ke Nation

T'Sou-ke spent a lot of time preparing a collective vision…a picture in which everyone could see themselves.

…the community came up with a sort of umbrella project, if you like, of how does this community become sustainable…

… and we knew we wanted to be autonomous in power …we wanted to be self-sufficient in food… we wanted to be able to create training and economic prosperity all the while integrating that into the culture and the values.

Linda Bristol- Arts Manager & Cultural Advisor- T'Sou-ke Nation

It's very important to integrate culture because we are First Nations… if we lose that then we become just another group of people in, in our nation and we are distinct and we very much need to hold onto our culture.

Andrew Moore-Special Projects Manager- T'Sou-ke Nation

So we started with the solar project and that incorporates the photovoltaic …and the beauty of it is it just sits in the sun for the next 70-100 years creating electricity and creating money for the band…so all our bills are credits…

Many of the houses have solar thermal panels on the roof…so this is to enable the community members to have highly reduced bills…

Whenever we run these projects we always incorporate training and opportunities for jobs.

Ed Hale- Solar Thermal Installer- T'Sou-ke Nation

I took the solar training here at T'Sou-ke Nation to become a certified solar installer.

I work in solar thermal which differs from photovoltaic which produces electricity; solar thermal produces your hot water needs. It's a supplement to your domestic hot water tank.

Andrew Moore-Special Projects Manager- T'Sou-ke Nation

So if you count the solar hot water and the photovoltaics, T'Sou-ke Nation is the most solar intensive community in Canada….not just First Nations, but any community in Canada.

Christine George – Coordinator- Ladybug Garden & Greenhouse

The garden program came from a vision in 2009…

…we wanted to grow enough food to keep the community sustainable.

We use all the food from the garden, we use all the food that our members hunt, we use fish that our members catch…it's all sustainable through our membership.

Gordon Planes- Chief – T'Sou-ke Nation

Having food security means we don't have to go very far for our food, and that's the way our old people always told us…your  food's right here!

Shirley Alphonse- Elder- T'Sou-ke Nation

We need harmony, we need peace, we need respect, and with all that, that means looking after Mother Earth and our children.

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