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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – BC Hydro and McLeod Lake Indian Band have reached agreements to provide economic development opportunities and other benefits regarding the in relation to the operation of BC Hydro’s Site C Clean Energy Project.
“The agreements, which were endorsed in a vote by McLeod Lake Indian Band members, include an Impact Benefits Agreement, a Contracting Agreement, as well as a Tripartite Lands Agreement, to which the Province of British Columbia is also a party. Benefits under the agreements include a lump sum payment, a payment stream over 70 years, procurement opportunities for McLeod Lake companies, the transfer of provincial Crown lands to McLeod Lake, and a commitment to consider land management initiatives involving McLeod Lake respecting certain lands.”
McLeod Lake Indian Band is a Tse’khene First Nation that joined Treaty Number 8 in 2000.
The community of McLeod Lake Band is located on McLeod Lake Indian Band Indian Reserves #1 and #5 near the unincorporated village of McLeod Lake. It is around 150 km north of Prince George on Highway 97. The band has about 515 members.
Chief Derek Orr hopes these agreements build respect and trust.
“We set out to negotiate agreements with BC Hydro and the Province that recognize and address the adverse effects of Site C on our aboriginal and treaty rights. The agreements were put forward to our members and supported in a referendum vote. We hope these agreements indicate the start of a long-term relationship based on trust and respect.”
Site C is expected to be completed in 2024. Bc Hydro says that once it is complete, the project will provide clean, reliable, and cost-effective electricity for more than 100 years.
Jessica McDonald, President and CEO of BC Hydro says they are very thankful that the two could come to an agreement.
“We want to express our sincere gratitude to the McLeod Lake Indian Band for the opportunity to work together on a path forward. These agreements reflect our deep respect and genuine commitment to a meaningful long-term relationship. As we move forward together, we will continue to listen and explore opportunities for mutual benefit and reconciliation.”
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