Aquaculture – Training, Construction, and Monitoring
In December 2020, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans approved approximately $150,000 for each following STC Member First Nations: Mistawasis Nêhiyawak, Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, and Muskoday First Nation. These projects help meet one of the major priorities of the communities, that being food security.
We are using the money to construct three demonstration aquaculture facilities. The aquaculture systems will be housed in the greenhouses we built last summer. The communities will be growing leafy greens and fish in these facilities.
We have arranged training sessions for people involved with the care of the fish and the operation and maintenance of the facilities. Educators in the community schools are also invited to attend the training. The community leadership has clearly wanted the youth to participate in this educational food security initiative.
In summer 2020, we constructed greenhouses at Mistawasis Nêhiyawak, Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, and Muskoday First Nation. This will be the first year they are being used to grow food.
Food Forest Development
Mistawasis Nêhiyawak and Muskoday First Nation have asked for assistance in developing a food forest plan, similar to what Muskeg Lake has done. This is in the early planning phase, and we hope to begin construction in June if COVID restrictions allow us to get into the communities.
Solar Project Development
STC is currently working with a charity called Light Up the World, based out of Calgary. We are developing a project to bring solar power to the three greenhouse/aquaculture facilities and bring solar power to the One Arrow Culture Camp. This will ensure that the greenhouses are sustainable projects for the community that do not provide unreasonable operation and maintenance (O&M) costs in the future. This project is in the early stages of development, but we had spoken about a fall 2022 target for construction.
MEDA Entrepreneurship Program
ETS has been asked by the Muskoday First Nation Economic Development Authority to run their youth entrepreneurship program this summer 2022. They have a small budget to help kickstart some start-up projects. We will be working with approximately five youth to develop a business plan and run their small businesses for the summer.
The STC member First Nations of Muskoday First Nation, Kinistin Saulteaux Nation, One Arrow First Nation, and Whitecap Dakota First Nation are working to establish bison herds and develop a management and business plan to expand their existing herds.