Chief's Letter to Members

TO ALL MEMBERS
Re: HIFN WINDFARM LEGACY TRUST VOTE, October 20, 2020

Our windfarm project has finally commenced full operation and we are beginning to receive income from Nigig Power Corporation, which is a 50% owner of the project.

The windfarm has a contract to sell electricity to Ontario that will run until 2039. During that period, HIFN will receive income from Nigig and from the rent which the project pays directly to the First Nation. Financial projections for these two income streams are in the Windfarm Trust Community Meeting documentation on HIFN’s website and the backgrounder slide deck included in this voting package.

Council has engaged in extensive community consultation on how to use and manage these income streams. Based on that consultation and advice from the Band’s lawyers, auditors, and financial consultants, Council has adopted two objectives:

  1. IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ALL PRESENT MEMBERS

    Regular payments to registered members, on or off-reserve Enhanced community facilities and member programs and services

  2. PROVIDE SAME BENEFITS TO FUTURE GENERATIONS

    After the energy sales contract ends in 2039, continue the member and community support indefinitely, if possible

The proposed payments to registered members will be at the rate of $500.00/month for each adult, $600.00/month for seniors over the age of 60, and $100.00/month for minors (held back until age 21 or age 18 if they have a high school diploma). If we put the Nigig income steam and surplus rent in trust and manage it prudently, the Band will be able to make these payments to members throughout the term of the energy sales contract and for many generations of members thereafter.

More detail on the Windfarm Legacy Trust proposal is contained in the enclosed backgrounder slide deck, notice and draft of the land law Council will enact if the proposal is approved, and the draft Trust Settlement Agreement. This package also includes a mail-in ballot which must be received before Sunday, 13 December 2020.

You can also vote in person at the Firehallon on that date.

A special Zoom and in-person Community Meeting will be held on Monday, 02 November 2020, at 2:00 pm, to go over the model one last time before the vote. If the Trust is approved by the membership, its first task will be to issue 15-month catch-up payments to each member. We anticipate the Trust will be able to get these catch-up payments out to members before Christmas.

CLICK HERE for the .pdf letter from the chief.