OWA Releases New Documentary "Our Heritage Our Future - the Kapuskasing River Waterpower Project"

The Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA) is pleased to announce the public release of the documentary Our Heritage, Our Future - the Kapuskasing River Waterpower Project. This documentary chronicles the development of partnerships between three First Nation groups: Brunswick House First Nation, Chapleau Ojibwe First Nation, Chapleau Cree First Nation; the developer Hydromega; and the town of Kapuskasing.

"We are very excited to be sharing this story," said Paul Norris, OWA President. "It's an example of First Nation communities being involved with economic partnership and business. This is a new business model in hydroelectricity, where communities are not just consulted but are equity partners."

Outlined in this documentary are the benefits and challenges of building First Nation and industry collaboration in developing waterpower opportunities. The Kapuskasing River Waterpower Project is a 22 megawatts (MW) development of four (4) sites on the Kapuskasing River. The project began in 2005 and the first generation stations are scheduled to be commissioned this year (2013).

The film was made possible through the efforts of the Waterpower Working Group (WPWG), an Aboriginal, industry and government collaborative focused on building greater understanding and opportunities for partnerships between Aboriginal communities and the waterpower industry in Ontario. Direct support in the Kapuskasing River Waterpower Project was provided by the Ministry of Natural Resources, Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Canada, Wabun Tribal Council and the Ontario Waterpower Association.

"The Kapuskasing River Project has generated social and economic benefits for the municipality, First Nations and surrounding communities," said the Honourable David Orazietti, Minister of Natural Resources. "This project serves as an example of the significant potential for new investment in waterpower in Northern Ontario."

"We hope that by sharing this story with Aboriginal communities, proponents and the public, people will come to realize the potential of such partnerships," added Jason Batise, Economic Development & Technical Services Advisor with Wabun Tribal Council. "This project will create significant socioeconomic benefits for our communities for generations."

"The Kapuskasing waterpower project is ground-breaking. It demonstrates not only environmentally sound energy solutions, but significant social and economic benefits. When the community benefits a large number of residents benefit," said Mayor of Kapuskasing, Al Spacek. "Shareholders are the citizens and the community will always be a benefactor."

The video can be accessed through the WPWG by clicking on the below link:

The Kapuskasing video was premiered at the Ontario Waterpower Association's (OWA) annual Power of Water Canada (POWC) Conference and Tradeshow in 2012. This year the event will have similar topics and will be held from October 20 - 22 at the beautiful White Oaks Conference Resort located in Niagara, Ontario. The POWC Conference is the largest waterpower-focused event in the country and attracts over four hundred (400) delegates from across North America.