Unifor funds international Indigenous energy collaboration


VICTORIA Unifor’s Social Justice Fund donated $10,000 to the T’Sou-ke Nation as part of an international project with Chilean First Nations to explore locally-run renewable energy projects.

“Unifor members are proud to contribute to an important dialogue about energy independence in the Araucanía region of Chile,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.


(L-R) BC Regional Council member Leanne Marsh and Unifor Indigenous Rep Gina Smoke present cheque to Chief Gordon Planes, Director of Projects Andrew Moore and Elder Shirley Alphonse of the T’Sou-ke Nation.

The cheque was presented by Unifor Indigenous Liaison Gina Smoke and B.C. Regional Council member Leanne Marsh. They met other First Nation leaders who were opening the B.C. legislature with a ceremony, and met Premier John Horgan, Minister Scott Fraser and Minister Katrine Conroy.


Leanne and Gina meet with John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia.


Leanne and Gina also met Minister Scott Fraser.

“The T’Sou-ke Nation has much expertise to share about sustainable energy and economic independence,” said Gina Smoke, Unifor Indigenous Liaison. “We are thrilled to have the Unifor Social Justice Fund support this initiative.”

T'Sou-ke Nation Chief Gordon Planes will visit the Ayja Rewe Budi Mapuche territory in southern Chile to participate in a nation-to-nation project with the goal of alleviating high residential energy costs while addressing skills training and local employment.

“Indigenous communities globally are likely to be the most affected by climate change because of their traditionally close connection to the land and sea. This much-appreciated financial support from Unifor will help us to share knowledge with the Mapuche people in Chile and build resilience through energy independence, training, jobs and important social justice programs like these,” said Chief Gordon Planes of the T’Sou-ke Nation.

Unifor is dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families in Canada and around the world. One way we express that commitment is through our Social Justice Fund.

Learn more about the Fund here.


Leanne and Gina receive a gift from Chief Planes in thanks for the SJF’s project support.