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OTTAWA — The federal government is providing up to $6 million in funding to help Indigenous communities in British Columbia and Alberta increase their participation in energy infrastructure projects.

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi made the announcement Wednesday.

Funds will be provided through the Indigenous Natural Resource Partnerships program.

A statement from Natural Resources Canada describes the program as a one-ear initiative aimed at supporting Indigenous business development as well as Aboriginal communities and organizations interested in energy projects.

Successful projects could include creation of business plans or feasibility studies, training programs, engagement forums or other activities designed to boost participation in energy infrastructure development.

Natural Resources Canada says funding preference will go to B.C. or Alberta groups proposing projects that will be substantially completed by next March.

Sohi says the partnerships program recognizes that Indigenous peoples are leaders in a cleaner, more resilient energy future.

“We are proud to partner with communities to increase participation and enable the development of innovative energy projects that will have benefits for generations to come.”

The Canadian Press

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