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Canada Supports Indigenous Advisory Council for SMR Action Plan

Press  Release

From: Natural Resources Canada

December 15, 2021                               Ottawa, Ontario                             Natural Resources Canada

The climate crisis poses enormous threats to long-term sustainability, global security and economic well-being around the globe. Canada must rapidly reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change in way that works for communities across the country, including Indigenous communities.

That is why the Government of Canada is supporting Indigenous communities in exploring the potential of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) to provide emissions-free energy for a wide range of applications, including electricity generation in remote communities.

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, today announced an investment of $800,000 in the First Nations Power Authority to create a national Indigenous Advisory Council as part of Canada’s Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Action Plan.

The new advisory council met for the first time on Monday, November 29, and is composed of individual First Nations, Métis and Inuit members from Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta and the territories to ensure a coordinated, Indigenous national leadership voice on the development of SMRs.

The initiative is funded through Natural Resources Canada’s Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program (SREPs), which encourages Indigenous inclusion in Canada’s energy transition. The advisory council will enable Indigenous communities to be more informed about the role SMRs could play in addressing key national energy challenges and potential opportunities from development and deployment.

The Government of Canada continues to support Indigenous participation and leadership through meaningful relationships with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities as we move toward net-zero emissions by 2050.

Quotes

“Indigenous leadership will be extremely important in building Canada’s low-carbon energy future. This new Indigenous Advisory Council will be playing a key role in helping Indigenous communities assess which energy generation options are right for them.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources

“I am excited that we are moving forward on the Indigenous Advisory Council on the Small Modular Reactor Action Plan. Much work over several years has gone into this initiative, and it’s great that we are finally ready to kick it off. This council will help prepare Indigenous peoples to participate in the SMR economy in many ways and provide an Indigenous lens to SMR policies, programs and decisions as the SMR Action Plan develops.”

Guy Lonechild
President and CEO
First Nations Power Authority

Quick facts

  • In June 2021, the SREPs announced $964 million in funding to invest in initiatives that will create a more equitable, diverse and inclusive energy sector.
  • Launched in 2020, Canada’s SMR Action Plan seeks to advance the safe and responsible development and deployment of SMRs through a pan-Canadian approach in partnership with provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous Peoples, organized labour, utilities, industry, innovators, academia and civil society. All 117 signatories of the Action Plan have agreed to strengthen diversity and representation in the nuclear industry and explore meaningful, long-term economic partnership opportunities with Indigenous communities.

Associated links

Contacts

Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations
343-292-6100
[email protected]

Joanna Sivasankaran
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources
819-790-1907
[email protected]

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