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WSES assignment 1 Canada

Connie Nisbet, University of Victoria,

First Nations Renewable Energy Symposium The University of Victoria held a renewable energy symposium in partnership with T’Sou-ke First Nation on 25th June 2010. This one-day event showcased successful First Nations1 renewable energy projects, policies and programmes. A range of speakers – including the Canadian National Chair of Aboriginal Economic Development, Chiefs of First Nations involved in renewable energy production, government representatives and a representative from the Association of Independent Power Producers of British Colombia, made presentations or participated in panel discussions. The symposium also incorporated a poster display, where Uvic students presented their research on renewable energy. The event closed with a trip to the T’Sou-ke Nation to see their solar energy installation. Symposium poster The event was organised by the Uvic Office of Indigenous Affairs (INAF). INAF is dedicated to supporting Indigenous students and reaching out to the wider Indigenous community. The symposium was held at First Peoples House – an academic and cultural centre for Indigenous students and the Uvic community. The symposium included elements of the Coast Salish 2 culture such as opening prayers and a welcome led by Elders. INAF logo

1 “First Nation”, or “Nation” is a term used to refer to the indigenous or native communities of Canada. 2 Local First Nations group


WSES assignment 1 Canada

Connie Nisbet, University of Victoria,

This event was an important sustainability event for three reasons. Firstly it gave First Nations the opportunity to present their sustainable energy projects. Showcasing the initiatives of these Nations recognises their foresight and hard work, helps other organisations to learn from their work and experiences – hopefully in a way which encourages them Solar energy panels at T’Sou-ke Nation to initiate their own sustainable development projects and builds networks and connections between groups working in this area. Secondly, the event brought academics and the community together, hopefully leading to mutual learning and more scope for partnership between academics and the community. Thirdly it provided an opportunity for people to learn about the possibilities and new technologies for renewable energy development and energy conservation. This initiative is a good example for other Universities because it is a simple but effective way to build connections between academic institutions and communities dedicated to carrying out the practical steps needed to make our lifestyles more sustainable. This project is particularly significant for Uvic because it involved Indigenous communities. Some people don’t recognise the capacity of Indigenous groups to be leaders in sustainability, hopefully showcasing their work through this symposium changed that. However, this type of initiative could be arranged with any community Panellists at the symposium – left to right - Dave group involved in practical Porter, First Nations Energy and Mining Council,


WSES assignment 1 Canada sustainability work.

Connie Nisbet, University of Victoria, Christina Ianniciello, Ministry of Energy Mines & Petroleum Resources, Paul Kariya, Director of Independent Power Producers of BC

First Nations Renewable Energy Symposium  

At the University of Victoria, Canada a symposium about renewable energy is held, also involving indigenous communities and government repre...

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