New Post Creek Project
Peter Sutherland Sr. Generating Station
The New Post Creek project is more than a major project for the Taykwa Tagamou Nation. It is one part of the reconciliation of decades of environmental and social impacts from electricity generation in the Traditional Territory of the Taykwa Tagamou Nation. This reconciliation included an apology from Ontario Power Generation, a settlement agreement, the partnership that has worked to bring this project to its current stage, and the opportunity for ownership of a hydroelectric generating station producing clean, renewable energy.
TTN’s equity ownership in this project will provide annual income that can be used to generate additional wealth and invest in the development of the community. While there will be project debt to repay for some time, this project will generate revenue for many decades.
There will be opportunities for TTN members and businesses to get involved in the construction of this project. The capacity of individuals and of the entire First Nation will be built through training and employment associated with this project. The specific details of this plan are outlined in the completed TTN Engagement Plan.
The First Nation will gain from the project not only the equity share and the eventual profits from this share, but also the experience in developing and managing a project of this scale and scope. This will enable TTN to be a strong partner in future developments within the TTN Traditional Territory.
The TTN community voted in 2007 to accept a grievance settlement agreement from OPG for past exploitation of water resources in their Traditional Territory. The final settlement agreement was signed Nov. 26, 2007. Part of the settlement included a mandate to move forward in a partnership with OPG to explore and develop the New Post Creek project. The New Post Creek project had previously been identified as a potential development site through the negotiation process with OPG and discussions with TTN community members.
The project development process has continually moved forward since this time and has included consultation with the Moose Cree First Nation. TTN and the Moose Cree First Nation (MCFN) continue to work together to consider how current plans for hydroelectric development impact on each other’s Territory. The Moose Cree First Nation is working with OPG to re-develop the Lower Mattagami Complex. TTN and MCFN have concluded a Reciprocal Agreement that includes provisions for supporting each other’s proposed developments. This region is rich in water resources, and the First Nations are becoming fully involved in this potential to ensure their members enjoy and prosper from all the benefits derived from the use of these lands.
The New Post Creek site was chosen to make use of the significant elevation change between the New Post Creek and the Abitibi River. The creek historically had lower flows, but a diversion dam built in 1963 diverted a significant portion of the Little Abitibi River through the New Post Creek into the Abitibi River to increase power production on the hydroelectric facility at Otter Rapids. The proposed development will help to restore a portion of the creek and the falls to the conditions remembered by the Elders of TTN.
The old Hudson’s Bay Company New Post Creek trading post is located near the confluence of the New Post Creek and the Abitibi River. The Taykwa Tagamou Nation was previously called the New Post First Nation as previous generations traded at this location, and some evidence of an old portage route in this area can still be found. In 1905 what became known as Treaty 9 was signed between the New Post Indians and Canada at this site.