Solar Power: Our Allegiance to Land, Air, Water, and Sun

Installation of solar panels

Keepers of the Athabasca is partnering with Sucker Creek First Nation, and the Society of High Prairie Regional Environmental Action Committee to put a solar installation on the Treaty 8 Building in Sucker Creek First Nation, where Treaty 8 was signed over 100 years ago. We are all Treaty people; our ancestors signed this agreement with the intent to respect Indigenous lands and ways of life. 

In this Peace and Friendship Treaty, it was agreed to share lands and resources. There is no ‘cede’ or ‘surrender’ of lands and resources, so the protection of lands and water, plants and animals that contribute to our livelihood: the hunting, fishing, trapping, and gathering that sustain us all, is paramount
—Kevin Ahkimnachie, Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta 

We developed an RfP won by Canadian Power Pac to provide this pilot project on the Treaty 8 building. This clean energy project will save thousands of dollars each year, and initiates planning for Phase 2, accessing Alberta’s Indigenous Solar Program to design and build solar for a good part of the larger SCFN community. 

“We are investing in sustainable energy for the future of our children” 
—Charmaine Willier-Larson, Councillor, Sucker Creek First Nation 

Solar energy was championed by Youth (who provided posters for the community’s three ‘Save the Future’ meetings), and Elders (who attended the meetings asking pertinent and searching questions). Solar training will be provided for interested SCFN members and the Nation’s maintenance department. A monitor will continually display how much power is being produced. We are honoured to work with forward thinking people who are so conscientious about protecting future generations’ right to a clean environment. 

“I’m really excited about the future of solar and the use of this energy on our nation. This is a long time coming! We were able to engage the community to decide on our project and contractor. Thanks to Keepers and REAC for making this initial solar installation possible.” 
—Sandy Willier and Michelle Willier, Councillors for Sucker Creek First Nation 

Keepers of the Athabasca understands that small-scale solar facilities — owned by individuals, First Nations, cooperatives, businesses, and community groups — can play an important part in Alberta’s energy mix and provide economic opportunity for millions of Albertans. While large power plants can lose up to 8% of their power production through transmission, producing on-site power provides a stronger and more consistent local source. Many small sources of energy make our grid stronger. 

Keepers of the Athabasca is Board governed, and we accept donations to help support these sustainable initiatives. We continue to present our ‘Community Climate Action’ workshops for schools, First Nations, community groups, churches, and others who want to build or access renewable energy in Alberta. 

For more information: 

Jule Asterisk, Executive Director
Keepers of the Athabasca | 780 805-1709
[email protected]

Sandy Willier, Councillor
Sucker Creek First Nation | 780 316-9777 
[email protected]