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Celebrating Indigenous Leadership in Clean Energy

Press Release

December 22, 2020 Ottawa, Ontario Natural Resources Canada

As Canada continues to experience the impacts of climate change, particularly in northern regions, many Indigenous communities are leading the way to a resilient future with clean energy. This is why the Government of Canada is investing in community-led clean energy projects with remote Indigenous communities that are prioritizing a transition away from diesel while supporting the advancement of reconciliation and self-determination.

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced that 14 projects in the Indigenous Off-Diesel Initiative (IODI) have moved to Phase 2 and received $500,000 in funding to develop a community energy plan, identify and deliver training, and develop a detailed clean energy implementation plan.

The 14 projects are:

Heiltsuk Economic Development Corporation Heiltsuk Nation, British Columbia – led by Energy Champion Leona Humchitt
Council of Haida Nation via their Economic Development Corporation, The Haida Enterprise Corporation, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia
Nuxalk Nation, Nuxalk Nation, British Columbia – led by Energy Champion Vince Robinson
Nihtat Energy Ltd., Aklavik and Inuvik, Northwest Territories – led by Energy Champion Grant Sullivan
Teetl’it Gwich’in Band Council, Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories – led by Energy Champion Richard Nerysoo
Deline Got’ine Government, Deline, Northwest Territories – led by Energy Champion Tim Tutcho
Hamlet of Kugaaruk, Kugaaruk, Nunavut – led by Energy Champion Alex Ittimangnaq
Sakku Investments Corporation, Coral Harbour and Repulse Bay, Nunavut – led by Energy Champion Blaine Chislett
Hamlet Council of Gjoa Haven, Gjoa Haven, Nunavut – led by Energy Champion Jimmy Arqviq
Aqqaq’s Clean Energy Enterprise, Taloyoak, Nunavut – led by Energy Champion Peter Aqqaq
Nunatsiavut Government, Nain, Hopedale, Postville, Makkovik and Rigolet, Nunatsiavut, Newfoundland and Labrador – led by Energy Champion Jessica Winters
NunatuKavut Community Council Inc., St. Lewis and Black Tickle, NunatuKavut, Newfoundland and Labrador – led by Energy Champion Siobhan Slade
Société Kuujuuamiut Inc., Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, Quebec – led by Energy Champion Jason AitchisonJobb Developments, Kinosaoo, Saskatchewan – led by Energy Champion Tyler Jobb

The IODI is a $20-million Impact Canada Initiative aimed at generating new opportunities by reducing diesel reliance in remote Indigenous communities. The initiative was designed based on 18 months of engagement with rights holders, Indigenous organizations and stakeholders. The IODI is delivered in collaboration with the Indigenous Clean Energy Social Enterprise and the Pembina Institute. By working together, IODI is not only supporting the development of clean energy projects, but also bolstering Indigenous leadership in Canada’s cleaner future.

An external all-Indigenous jury selected the communities to receive funding and join the IODI. Each community receives hands-on support and up to $1.3 million in funding to develop an ambitious clean energy plan and break ground on their first clean energy projects. The projects may include renewable energy technologies, encourage energy efficiency, build community skills and develop economic opportunities in the community. Additional project funding of up to $9 million in total is available for communities participating in IODI for project construction through Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities (CERRC) program and Champions may also be seeking partnerships with additional funders over the coming years.

The government continues to support community-led projects that will build a clean energy future for all. Together, we are building healthier, greener and more energy-resilient communities for future generations.

“The creative, innovative ideas behind these 14 projects will mean more communities can get off of diesel, through projects led locally.”

Seamus O’Regan
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

“The Pembina Institute congratulates all the IODI Energy Champions in advancing to Phase 2. We look forward to continuing to support their efforts to reduce diesel and provide clean energy in their communities.”

Linda Coady
Executive Director of the Pembina Institute

“Indigenous communities continue to lead the way toward Canada’s clean energy future. The social and environmental impacts these 14 champions and their communities are already having through diesel reduction clean energy initiatives is truly immeasurable.”

Eryn Stewart
Director of Programs, Indigenous Clean Energy Social Enterprise

Associated links


Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations
[email protected]

Ian Cameron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources
[email protected]


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