Successful clean energy projects from Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples are increasing across the country.
Spearheaded by Aboriginal communities, these projects harness hydro, wind, biomass, and solar power. It is estimated by the end of 2015 more than 60 projects will be in operation, generating 1400 megawatts (MW) of electricity. At the end of last year, 46 projects were already up and running.
Some of these projects include:
- Mi’kmaq Millbrook First Nation’s approval for a 6-MW wind project in Nova Scotia;
- Québec’s Inukjuak community’s plans for generating hydropower to replace diesel fuel;
- the Mother Earth Wind Energy project on Manitoulin Island in Ontario on the M’Chigeeng First Nation territory; and
- Manitoba’s 200-MW Wuskwatim Hydro Project (now nearing completion).
These projects are being completed in collaboration with the private sector as well as governments. The stories behind these initiatives are examined in Chris Henderson’s book, Aboriginal Power: Clean Energy and the Future of Canada’s First Peoples. Henderson, a clean energy advisor to indigenous communities and president of Lumos Energy, helps bring hydro, wind, and biomass projects to operation.
“Canada’s construction sector is being boosted by new energy builds such as hydro power plants, transmission lines, and wind farms,” Henderson told Construction Canada Online. “Qualified and hard-working trades workers are essential to construction companies. The potential of Aboriginal workers is untapped, and increasingly First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities are partners in energy infrastructure projects.”