Iskut Power Corporation

September 18, 2009 11:55 ET

Aski Enterprises and Iskut Band Council Form Iskut Power Corporation

ISKUT, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 18, 2009) - The Iskut Band Council (IBC) is pleased to announce a Partnership Agreement with Aski Enterprises Inc. (Aski). On September 1, 2009, IBC and Aski formed a renewable energy company now known as ISKUT Power Corporation (IPC).

The Iskut Band Council is one of the two contemporary First Nations Councils that represent the three Tahltan communities in northern British Columbia. The two Band Councils are in turn represented politically by the Tahltan Central Council.

Aski Enterprises Inc. is a renewable energy company focused on the exploration and development of clean, sustainable energy projects.

Aski Executive Director, Ward Kemerer, has participated in the fast growing clean energy IPP business for the last 20 years. With this experience and a newly developed Aboriginal Energy Ownership Initiative (AEOI), Aski's focus is to work in partnership with Aboriginal groups in the development of a sustainable economy that would go beyond the typical reactionary model of the Impacts and Benefits Agreement (IBA). Aski President Len Wilson says, "The mandate is to include the First Nations from the first stage of prospecting a renewable energy project on their traditional lands. We want to go beyond the standard IBA model and set a precedent."

ISKUT Power Corporation has the support of the IBC membership and a mandate to develop wind power projects within their traditional lands, covering approximately 150,000 hectares of wind farm development sites held under BC's Interior Land Management Bureau (ILMB) Investigative Use Permit tenure system.

The IBC Leadership, through the IPC Partnership, have agreed to co-develop promising energy resources within their territory in support of the recent BC Throne Speech announcement that the long-awaited Northwest Transmission Line (NTL) will be going ahead. Chief Marie Quock states, "The Iskut Band Council and community members recognize the economic opportunities and long term benefits this Energy Initiative will bring to our people for generations to come. We look forward to working with government officials to ensure that our people will maximize any benefits from development in our territory so that we can be in control of our own destiny."

The NTL project, under the direction of the BC Transmission Company (BCTC), has begun preparation for entering into the formal environmental assessment review process. This strategic transmission project has the support of most all communities, businesses and First Nations along the route, from Terrace to Dease Lake, subject to a complete and comprehensive cumulative effects study.

The intention of the IPC is to take advantage of the available transmission capacity that an enhanced and upgraded design of the NTL will provide. Additionally, this will also allow other First Nations opportunities to develop renewable energy generation projects on their traditional lands. Oscar Dennis, President of Iskut Power Corporation says, "With the NTL moving ahead, it's time that we secure our economic options in renewable energy and take a proactive approach to resource development. The potential for wind, geothermal and hydro projects on our traditional lands will build a sustainable economy that will benefit our people for as long as the wind blows and the river flows."

The greater Tahltan Nation will benefit from IPC activities through the provision of employment opportunities during each stage of exploration, development, construction, operation and maintenance of all subsequent Projects.

"Ward and I are pleased that the Iskut Band Council have agreed to move forward with us as trusted partners to develop their renewable resources," said Wilson, "Through our Initiative mandate we recognize and understand the importance of a working partnership directly with the Iskut Band council, community and membership and are pleased to have created a mutually beneficial relationship at the very earliest stage of project development."

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