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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 - Director, Advisory Services, Integrated Sustainability

Ms. Nelson Guay is a proud member of Métis Region of Alberta, Region III. Currently, she is the Director of Advisory Services at Integrated Solutions where she provides guidance on carbon policies and climate change mitigation and management.

Leah is the founder and former CEO of First Nations Power Authority of Saskatchewan – a business model for leading the development of First Nation-led projects. Through her work at FNPA, the organization signed a 10-year partnership agreement with SaskPower; has supported the development of a 36MW biomass facility with the Meadow Lake Tribal Council; has commissioned three solar demonstration projects for the purpose of collecting solar performance data in southern Saskatchewan; and is working to deploy an additional 630MW of renewable power in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Leah holds a BSc in Land Use and Environmental Science and an MBA from the University of Saskatchewan, where she specialized in business strategy, marketing and finance and its application within the natural resource sector. In 2004, Leah was awarded the Métis Youth Entrepreneur of the Year.

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 2021
  • Phase 3: Project design and development to begin implementing plan: April 2021 - March 2022
  • Final feast and sharing of results: April 2022


  • 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.

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