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Indigenous Organizations Launch ‘Just Transition Guide’ as Counterpart to Canada’s Sustainable Jobs Act & ‘Net-Zero’ Plan

Press Release

November 6, 2023

TURTLE ISLAND, VIRTUAL — Indigenous and climate organizations from across Turtle Island have launched the much anticipated “Just Transition Guide — Indigenous-led pathways toward equitable climate solutions and resiliency in the climate crisis.” This critical resource profiles Indigenous-led climate solutions already underway across the country and acts as a tangible “how-to” guide for communities who want to address the climate crisis on their own terms.

The newly launched guide is the outcome of a multi-year research project developed in collaboration with Sacred Earth Solar, Indigenous Climate Action, David Suzuki Foundation, Power to the People and Real World Media. It provides an equitable path forward that empowers individuals, communities and Indigenous nations to take matters into their own hands.

Across Turtle Island, there is a growing demand for feasible climate solutions that phase out fossil fuels in an equitable way, while ensuring communities and workers are not left behind. The Just Transition Guide showcases solutions and their impact on the frontlines, while putting Indigenous Peoples’ visions, needs and barriers at the forefront of the work to transition to a healthy and equitable future.

The lessons of the guide highlight the notable gaps in the federal government’s current approach to a just transition, including Bill C-50, the Canadian Sustainable Jobs Act, which just passed second reading in parliament.

In Bill C-50, the federal government continues to sidestep naming or addressing the root causes of the climate crisis. The Just Transition Guide centers the real issues we need to tackle, such as:

  • Phasing out fossil fuels
  • Increasing renewable energy through a diversity of technologies
  • Improving energy efficiency and embracing energy conservation
  • Centering Indigenous leadership and sovereignty
  • Ensuring policy is inclusive of both workers and communities

Highlighting an equitable path forward, the guide demonstrates a bottom-up approach to implementing a truly just transition — centering the need for community-led transitions across the country as a critical element. The guide includes case studies of Indigenous communities who have transformed their energy sovereignty through renewable energy; outside of utilities, Indigenous Nations are the largest renewable energy asset owners in Canada.

For more information or to schedule interviews, please contact:

Melina Laboucan-Massimo
Founder of Sacred Earth Solar and Co-Founder of Indigenous Climate Action

Brendan Glauser
Director of Communications, David Suzuki Foundation


“While governments across the country continue to falter in passing robust climate legislation that will protect workers and communities, this guide serves as a resource to help build resilient communities in the face of the climate crisis, which is truly upon us in every way. The Just Transition Guide focuses on showing how Indigenous Nations have already started the transition; the rest of society needs to take notice, as well as follow suit to move beyond just  talking about climate action and begin the tangible implementation of climate solutions — before it is too late.”  — Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Lead Author, Founder of Sacred Earth Solar, Co-Founder of Indigenous Climate Action

“The Just Transition Guide provides inspiring case studies where Indigenous communities are taking a lead on real climate solutions while also showing a path forward for our communities who are not sure where to start. Created by and for Indigenous peoples, this guide is not only an impactful resource on the path to a just and equitable future, but it is also a resource that considers the unique needs and challenges our communities face.“ — Jayce Chiblow, Garden River First Nation, Indigenous Climate Action

“Indigenous peoples have been living and working with nature since time immemorial – it’s thrilling to see Nations’ and communities’ leadership in the renewable energy economy and just transition in Canada. If Canada believes in reconciliation and Indigenous rights, then all levels of government need to implement policies and funding that support communities and help ensure the inevitable transition to renewable energy is equitable and just, leaving no person or community behind.” —  Severn Cullis-Suzuki, Executive Director, David Suzuki Foundation

“We are no longer planning for extreme weather events and the catastrophes they trigger, we are living them. No one today is immune from the devastating effects of extreme weather and those who have done the least will suffer the most. We must all transition and adapt our lifestyles and builds while we still have time. This is what our community has been doing for the past 20 years. There is no more time for denial. apathy, lip service and half measures though.”— retired Chief Patrick Michell, Kanaka Bar First Nation (*The community of Kanaka Bar is featured in the Just Transition Guide for their groundbreaking transition work.)


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