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Lower Kootenay Band Nasukin meets FortisBC CEO to discuss building relationships and homes

On April 17, Yaqan Nukiy Nasukin Jason Louie met with FortisBC CEO and president Roger Dall’Antonia to discuss their ongoing relationship.

During the meeting, Louie spoke of his people’s connection to the reserve and the challenges they have overcome through their time there.

He said the Yaqan Nukiy were initially given almost inhabitable land but through their hard work and indomitable will, it has become a beautiful land full of rich farming opportunities.

However, he said they are still facing difficulties with housing and the shoddy construction of homes in their community.

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He spoke of a single mother, who had to choose each month whether to buy food for her family or pay the heating bill.

He added his own experiences growing up in a home with improper heating, saying that he dreamt of one day sleeping on a real bed in a warm home.

He commended Dall’Antonia and FortisBC, speaking of their continued efforts to build human relationships and work towards truth and reconciliation.

He added other communities and groups could follow their example.

“It’s a really simple concept. They bring the human element to their organization and work with us,” explained Louie,

“I think, most importantly, working with us as equals. And it’s not that hard to fall suit. Fortis can lead by example with the other individuals and corporations out there in our territory.”

He says the direct meeting with the FortisBC execs and the continued effort of the community to provide proper housing goes a long way towards righting past wrongs.

“It says a lot. It’s not the first time that I’ve met with various reps from Fortis through the years, but this is the first time the top man came all the way from Vancouver. It means a lot and shows a lot of sincerity about moving forward with our working relationship.”

During the meeting, Dall’Antonia asked Louie how they could help in furthering the Lower Kootenay Band and their fight against the housing crisis.

Louie said they’re always accepting support and are interested in possibly researching the viability of green energy solutions in their community.

“The world we are in is so much different from our ancestors where climate change did not exist.”

“Here we are in 2024, where science doesn’t lie. Climate change is very real. So we have to adapt to today and explore green energy. It seems to fall into the values and principles of Ktunaxa culture. So that’s part of the mindset I had with exploring those possibilities.”

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