Students today. Game-changers tomorrow?

From left: Dawn George (Takla Lake First Nation), Allanah Kenoras-Schwandt (Adams Lake Indian Band), Tara Badine hermes replica belt
(Fort Nelson First Nation), Robert Russ (Haida Nation), Paul Michel (First Nations Centre director), Brenda Drazdoff (Prince George), and Adam Thomas (Saik’uz First Nation)

Tara Badine says she came to UNBC from Fort Nelson largely because of her interest in renewable energy. She was one of a small group of Aboriginal UNBC students who joined me for a discussion about UNBC’s proposed energy project this week. The students came to UNBC from a variety of communities: Haida Gwaii, Takla, Grand Forks, and Saik’uz, for example, and they were keen to understand how the expansion of the bioenergy systems on campus could lead to deployment in rural and remote communities. The idea is to connect the Bioenergy Plant and a wood pellet system at the I.K. Barber Enhanced Forestry Lab to the residences and the daycare – creating a small district energy system in the process. This hermes bracelets energy system would serve as the platform for adding new energy technologies on campus and for adding new infrastructure such as an expanded greenhouse for food production. The whole thing would act as a classroom for people interested in learning about how local energy systems could be integrated with housing and local food to create sustainable, northern communities.

It’s an opportunity that’s fundamental to why these hermes belt size chart men
students are at UNBC in the first place. They’re here pursuing degrees in Planning, or Social Work, or resource management, or health sciences, but they’re also at UNBC to learn things that will make them effective leaders in their communities. They have a commitment to making a difference that is both palpable and inspiring. And they know that making their communities better is more complicated than simply swapping out a diesel generator for one that uses biomass.

For example, we talked about community-based governance, provincial policy, accessing funding for new initiatives, the current cost of power, family-oriented housing, and health. We also talked about local education that would lead to technical understanding and implementation of energy systems that could stimulate view the website
local economic development, create jobs, and produce healthy food options. These are complex issues, but there’s some belief that local, sustainable energy systems are critical catalysts.

Last year, two BC energy leaders wrote an article in the Vancouver Sun about the growing involvement of First Nations in clean energy. In the editorial, Paul Kariya of the BC Clean Energy Association and Dave Porter of the First Nations Energy and Mining Council described “a quiet revolution taking shape with First Nations that has everything to do with energy and relationships.” After my meeting this week, I predict that Adam, Robert, Dawn, Tara, and Allanah will be a few of the revolutionaries who will bring their knowledge, education, passion, and experiences to bear for the benefit of their communities.


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About Rob van Adrichem

Rob van Adrichem is a UNBC grad and the University’s Vice-President for External Relations. He was born and raised in Prince George and has been an employee of UNBC since 1992. He was appointed by former Premier Gordon Campbell to a provincial council on climate action and has been a champion of UNBC’s efforts to be a model for sustainability. He is married with two young children.