The T’Sou-ke Nation solar program is an international success story. T’Sou-ke began its journey to become a sustainable solar community in 2008 with a comprehensive community planning process that involved everyone, including children. The guiding principle for the planning was based on the Seventh Generation, planning 100 years ahead. T’Sou-ke realized that in order to achieve sustainability, it needed to embrace traditional values including deep respect for Mother Earth.
In order to produce electricity, large photovoltaic systems were installed above and beside the community’s canoe shed. Solar hot water systems were installed on 40 houses and a comprehensive energy conservation program took place.
Ten members of the community received training in installing solar hot water systems and worked with contractors in placing those systems on half the houses on the reserve and in the community kitchen. The entire community got involved in energy conservation initiatives when T’Sou-ke discovered that it costs just one-tenth the price to save energy as it does to produce it.
An unexpected side benefit of the T’Sou-ke solar project was that the nation created a unique eco-tourism program.
In one year, T’Sou-ke had 32 schools, 54 municipalities and tourists from all over the world come for tours and workshops. As Canada’s first Aboriginal solar community, T’Sou-ke is now producing electricity, hot water to grow food for international markets.