Solar shines on a new path for Heiltsuk Nation
Photo credit: Qqs Projects Society
Qqs Projects Society and Bullfrog Power are excited to announce the launch of a 7.3 kW solar rooftop project at the Koeye River Youth Camp on Campbell Island, B.C. The new project is helping power the camp’s facilities with renewable energy and signifies the community’s shift to clean power.
The Koeye (pronounced “kway”) River Youth Camp is an outdoor education centre for children in the Heiltsuk Nation, a First Nations community of more than 1,500 people in the island community of Bella Bella. The camp itself is an initiative of Qqs (pronounced “kucks”) Projects Society, which formed in 2011 to restore and revitalize the Heiltsuk culture for future generations.
The camp hosts roughly 50 Heiltsuk children every summer. There, they learn about traditional Heiltsuk practices, ceremonies and stories, as well as the science of the nature that surrounds them. The Koeye River Camp is also home to scientists and stewardship technicians who research and monitor the territory’s wildlife—imparting the knowledge back to its young visitors.
“Through our actions, we wish to exemplify the lessons we teach our youth,” says Larry Jorgenson, who is the Executive Director of Qqs Projects Society. “Clean power, food sustainability and stewardship capacity are important for them to see and experience. They are the next generation of stewards and it is our hope that they see these kind of green projects as the norm.”
“The solar project at the Koeye River Youth Camp is an exciting milestone for Qqs Projects Society and the Bella Bella community,” says Ron Seftel, CEO of Bullfrog Power. “It symbolizes the important relationship between sustainability and future generations, and Bullfrog is honoured to play a part in this new development.”
The Society, however, hopes the project will impact more than just its youth. “Living on the edge of the ocean exposes you to change very quickly and noticeably, so we want to help lead the way for local independence and adaptation,” says Jorgenson. “We hope our current and future renewable energy projects will inspire not only our home community in Bella Bella, but the many groups and Nations that visit Koeye.”