Natural Resources Canada

Indigenous Off-diesel Initiative

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Meet the Jury

The external Indigenous Jury are an integral part of the Indigenous Off-diesel Initiative. With their wealth of diverse expertise, they have selected the Clean Energy Champions and will review their achievements and provide guidance at each milestone of the Initiative.

Meet the external Indigenous Jury

Leah Nelson Guay - Senior Advisor, Indigenous & Community Relations, Suncor

Leah is most well-known for her role in founding and serving as the past Chief Executive Officer of First Nations Power Authority – a membership-based non-profit developed to bring Indigenous Communities into the renewable energy sector though capacity building, investment, training and new business opportunities. FNPA continues to hold a membership of over 100 organizations and during her time, she was successful in securing government-based renewable energy contracts for projects with capital value in excess of $150M.

Currently, Leah has been fortunate to continue her work in the energy future and Indigenous-led economic development in her role as a Senior Advisor in Indigenous & Community Relations with Suncor Energy. This role has allowed her to continue to learn new ways to build strategic and meaningful partnerships with Indigenous Nations. Previous to that, Leah was a Director at Integrated Sustainability, an advisory firm for sustainability in water, waste and energy. Leah specialized in Renewable Energy, Indigenous Economic Development and Entrepreneurship

Leah is a KPMG Alum and has supported entrepreneurs in innovation, commercialization, skill development and new venture creation. Leah also currently participates in the Indigenous Off-Diesel Initiative with Natural Resources Canada and has previously contributed to NRCan’s Generation Energy Advisory Council, the University of Calgary’s Sustainable Energy Development Advisory Board and has Co-Chaired the Calgary Chapter for WiRE, Women in Renewable Energy. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Land Use and Environmental Studies and a Masters of Business Administration proudly from the University of Saskatchewan.

Norman Meade - Elder in Residence, University of Manitoba

Mr. Meade grew up in the Métis settlement of Manigotagan, and spent many years in Bissett Manitoba.

Norman is an active community member, serving as an Elder and a Pastor. He serves on various boards in the city of Winnipeg and is an Elder in Residence at the University of Manitoba. He is also an avid curler and is the founder of the Aboriginal Curling League of Winnipeg.

Norman spent 26 years with the Gov’t of Manitoba, holding various positions including employment consultant, local development officer, co-op development officer, and consumer services officer. In earlier years, Norman worked at the gold mine in Bissett as a labourer and miner. He also worked as a manager and pulp wood cutter at Wanipigow Producer's Co-op in Manigotagan.

Norman also spent four years with the Northern Association of Community Councils as a field worker and later as the Executive Director. He also worked for the Manitoba Métis Federation as a Métis Services Officer.

Sara Monture - Executive Director, Aboriginal Apprenticeship Board of Ontario

Sara has spent the last 10 years establishing partnerships and economic opportunities between Indigenous communities and non-Indigenous stakeholders. She has worked with a wide range of industry partners to facilitate discussions with Indigenous groups on major projects across Ontario. A results-oriented strategist, Sara is a skilled organizer, researcher, writer and facilitator from Six Nations of The Grand River Territory.

Agatha Laboucan - Housing Manager, Yellowknives Dene First Nation

Ms. Laboucan is from the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation. Agatha championed the Lutsel K’e solar project, securing a power purchase agreement with the Northwest Territories Power Corporation that made the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation the first solar Independent Power Producer in the territories.

Agatha now resides in Yellowknife and works as the Housing Division Manager of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation.

Cleo Reece - Environmental Activist, retried Band Counsellor

Ms. Reece is a member of Fort McMurray First Nation, and a past Council member. Cleo is passionate about Cree language revitalization and oral history and taught at the adult learning centre at Keyano College in Fort MacKay.

Cleo is the Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta delegate on the Mackenzie River Basin Board. She also holds a seat on the Treaty 8 Education Committee, and the Traditional Knowledge Steering Committee for the Mackenzie River Basin Board.

Cleo is the coordinator for the Healing Gathering for the Land, Water, and People, an internationally famous event produced by Keepers of the Athabasca. The event focuses on cultural, mental, physical, and emotional healing.

Andy Moorhouse - Owner & Manager of Moorhouse Group, Moorhouse Logistics and Expediting

Mr. Moorhouse is an accomplished Inuit beneficiary of the James Bay Northern Quebec Land Claims Agreement. Born in Montréal, he grew up in the Northern Village of Inukjuak. At age 20, he was elected as a Councillor for the municipality of Inukjuak. He went on to serve as Mayor of Inukjuak from 2003 to 2005. Most recently, he served as the Vice President for the Makivik Corporation, the legal representative of Quebec’s Inuit. He also served two terms as the Corporate Secretary of Makivik Corporation.

Initiative Details

Who can apply?

Individuals who reside in, or have strong and ongoing ties to, an Indigenous remote community that is currently reliant on diesel fuel for power and/or heat

To qualify as an Indigenous remote community, the community must (1) have a majority Indigenous population (2) not be connected to the North American electrical grid or the natural gas pipeline network (3) be a permanent settlement of at least five years with ten dwellings or more.

Key Dates

  • Launch: February 13, 2019
  • Champion selection: March 2019 
  • Phase 1: 20/20 Catalysts program period and community engagement: April - July 2019
  • Phase 2: Development of ambitious diesel reduction vision and community energy plan: October 2019 - March 2022
  • Phase 3: Project design and development to begin implementing plan: October 2020 - February 2023
  • Final feast and sharing of results: Spring 2023

Funding

  • Each Champion receives $20K to get started
  • Each Clean Energy Champion and their Indigenous remote community are eligible to receive up to $ 1.3 million to develop ambitious diesel reduction goals and begin implementing a community-scale clean energy plan.
  • Up to an additional $9 million will be awarded to leading communities to support plan implementation over two more years.

Stay Connected

Join the conversation using #ImpactCanada and #OffDiesel.