FORT ST. JOHN – BC Hydro and McLeod Lake Indian Band have concluded agreements that will provide economic development opportunities and other benefits related to the construction and 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 adhered to Treaty No. 8 in 2000. The main community of McLeod Lake Band is located on McLeod Lake Indian Band Indian Reserves #1 and #5 near the unincorporated village of McLeod Lake, approximately 150 kilometers north of Prince George on Highway 97. McLeod Lake Band Membership totals about 515 members.
The Site C Clean Energy Project is a hydroelectric dam and generating station under construction in northeast B.C. The project is being built to meet long-term electricity needs in B.C. Once complete in 2024, the project will provide clean, reliable and cost-effective electricity for more than 100 years.
Chief Derek Orr, McLeod Lake Indian Band
"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."
Jessica McDonald, President and CEO, BC Hydro
"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."
Hon. Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines
"We're pleased that agreements have been reached with McLeod Lake Indian Band. We've been upfront that building a dam has impacts and that's why BC Hydro and the Province have worked very hard to reach these agreements with McLeod Lake Indian Band."
Hon. John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
"The signing of this agreement reflects the commitment of both the provincial government and BC Hydro to building a strong, trusting relationship with the McLeod Lake Indian Band."
BC Hydro Media Relations