Taking Action: Collaborating With Indigenous Communities

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Taking Action:

Collaborating With Indigenous Communities 2022 / 2023 Edition
Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Message from Electricity Canada’s Indigenous Relations Committee leadership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Education / training initiatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Employment initiatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Business / economic initiatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Capacity building initiatives . . . . . . . . . 24 Other initiatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Introduction

Canada is on a path to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples . Not only have the political, legal and policy landscapes towards recognition of Indigenous rights and renewing relationships between Canada and the First Peoples grown significantly in the last few years, but so has Indigenous inclusion within the electricity sector .

Electricity Canada and its members are committed to engaging Indigenous Peoples of Canada to nurture meaningful, long-term relationships and enhance mutually beneficial economic and business opportunities . These engagement efforts go beyond project-specific consultations and are centered on the recognition and respect for the history, uniqueness, and traditional ways of Indigenous Peoples from coast-to-coast-to-coast

In 2016, Electricity Canada and its members developed a set of national engagement principles to build more positive, mutually beneficial relationships with the Indigenous communities in which they operate . Canada’s electricity sector considers open and transparent engagement with stakeholders and First Nations of paramount importance

Within this document are several collaborative, community-driven initiatives led by Electricity Canada member utilities that respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples and enriches their communities . They draw upon the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Calls to Action .

The TRC report, released in 2015 and fully supported by the Government of Canada, outlines 94 ‘Calls to Action’ urging all levels of government and the corporate sector to work together to change policies and programs in a concerted effort to repair the harm caused by residential schools and move forward with reconciliation .

Specifically, Section 92 calls upon the private sector to commit to:

• Meaningful consultations;

• Respectful relationships;

• Provide equitable access to employment and training; and

• Educate management and staff on the history of Indigenous Peoples

Highlighted in the following pages are many examples of how Electricity Canada members are successfully collaborating and engaging with Indigenous communities in relation to the TRC recommendations .

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Message from Electricity Canada’s Indigenous Relations Committee Leadership

It is our pleasure to share the report, Taking Action: Collaborating With Indigenous Communities, a compendium of activities undertaken by Electricity Canada members to advance and support Indigenous reconciliation through their work .

Several years ago, Electricity Canada and its member companies collectively formalized their commitment to working collaboratively with Indigenous Peoples across the country by adopting a set of national principles . These principles, which were the culmination of dedicated involvement by Electricity Canada’s Indigenous Relations Committee, outline the importance of nurturing meaningful long-term relationships, enhancing mutually beneficial economic partnerships and business opportunities, and considering Indigenous perspectives in activities undertaken by Electricity Canada and its members .

As long-standing members of Electricity Canada’s Indigenous Relations Committee, we see first-hand the progressive strides our industry has made, and continues to make, to address the effects of historic developments, build strong working relationships with Indigenous Peoples going forward and foster awareness and inclusivity within our workplaces .

We acknowledge that reconciliation is a journey, and that much work still needs to be done . It is our sincere hope that by sharing and learning from each other through the initiatives described in this report that we can meaningfully contribute to broader dialogue about how future advances in reconciliation can be achieved .

We hope you find the following initiatives both informative and inspiring . We encourage you to share with others to further encourage progressive Indigenous relations in our country and beyond .

Sincerely,

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“We acknowledge that reconciliation is a journey, and that much work still needs to be done . It is our sincere hope that by sharing and learning from each other through the initiatives described in this report that we can meaningfully contribute to broader dialogue about how future advances in reconciliation can be achieved . ”

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Education / training initiatives

Electricity Canada and our members are committed to finding new ways of engaging and building respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians Section 92 of the TRC Calls to Action specifically notes Indigenous Peoples should have equitable access to education opportunities in the corporate sector . It also recommends the corporate sector provides education for management and staff on the history of Aboriginal Peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and Indigenous Crown Relations

Electricity Canada members offer many education-related opportunities for management, staff as well as Indigenous Peoples Various companies are implementing Indigenous-based cultural competency guidelines and training into their corporate framework . Below are a few examples of member education initiatives .

ATCO supports First Nation, Inuit and Métis students across Canada

ATCO’s Indigenous Education Awards Program provides financial assistance to Indigenous youths in their quest for higher education . These awards, bursaries and scholarships are given to students who demonstrate leadership capabilities and strive to be role models in their schools and communities There are three different awards available: Merit Awards ($500) – for students completing Grades 10 – 12, including upgrading; Bursaries ($1,000) – for students enrolled in trade, diploma or certificate programs; and Scholarships ($1,500) –for students enrolled in degree or graduate programs .

BC Hydro provides cultural awareness training & educational support

BC Hydro offers in-depth cultural awareness training programs to employees and contractors, with materials and content developed by the utility's own Indigenous employees . The company has set a five-year objective to have at least 80 per cent of employees take Indigenous awareness training . As of December 2022, 64 per cent of employees have completed one or both courses, exceeding its 2023 target of 55 per cent .

In addition to these training courses, BC Hydro hosts cultural awareness training events throughout the year, and continues to provide educational funding to support Indigenous youth pursuing post-secondary education The scholarships and bursaries program offered 37 awards in 2021-2022 valued at $180,000 . Since 2018, over 150 students have received awards for their studies in degree, diploma, certificate, or technical/trades programs .

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Capital Power provides scholarships to Indigenous students

In British Columbia, Capital Power provides scholarships to members of the McLeod Lake Indian Band, Saulteau First Nations, and West Moberly First Nations The first grants (four annually) were awarded from the Capital Power Scholarship Fund for Haudenosaunee Youth through the Grand River Post-Secondary Education Office . The scholarships focus on supporting students pursuing educational opportunities in environmental studies, engineering, and business .

Elexicon Energy takes action to increase Indigenous-related cultural competencies

Elexicon Energy, an Ontario based electricity company, is taking steps with Indigenous partners to increase Indigenous-based cultural competencies throughout the organization The organization has hired an Indigenous-owned consulting firm to commission maps of the organization’s service territory overlayed with information on treaties and the Indigenous communities that have inhabited the land for millennia . Maps were shared with all staff as a resource for increasing awareness and understanding about the history of the land that the organization operates on and its intersection with Indigenous communities . The organization also created a Land Acknowledgement that was shared with all staff . Elexicon Energy has also begun work on a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) that will continue into 2023 . In the early stages of the RAP, all executive leaders met with Indigenous consultants to increase their awareness about the impacts of colonization and residential schools, but also to learn about how to be partners in building respectful and mutually beneficial relationships

FortisAlberta implements mandatory webbased training for staff

FortisAlberta has implemented a mandatory web-based education initiative on the history of Indigenous Peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), Treaties and Indigenous rights, Indigenous law and Crown relations . Additionally, FortisAlberta has created land acknowledgment plaques for each of its offices throughout the province . These plaques are a reminder of its commitment to treating the land, and each other, with respect and honor now and into the future FortisAlberta has also been active in educating the communities on how regulated utilities operate

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Hydro One invests in Indigenous student scholarships

On National Indigenous Peoples Day in 2022, Hydro One announced the recipients of the Leonard S (Tony) Mandamin Scholarship A group of 20 Indigenous students from Ontario who are enrolled in a recognized university or college program were selected to each receive $10,000 and an opportunity to complete a paid work term at Hydro One . The scholarship is named after the Honourable Justice Leonard S . Tony Mandamin, one of the first Indigenous electrical engineering graduates in Ontario . The Leonard S . (Tony) Mandamin Scholarship is part of Hydro One’s commitment to advance meaningful action on reconciliation which includes building a workforce that is reflective of the diverse communities found across Ontario This includes increasing the number of Indigenous employees at Hydro One by creating education and employment opportunities for future generations

Manitoba Hydro invests in Indigenous cultural awareness for employees

As part of Manitoba Hydro’s reconciliation journey, it shares and supports opportunities for all employees to expand their knowledge and awareness of Indigenous cultures and history

In spring of 2021, a dedicated Indigenous Initiatives Advisor position was established to implement a range of learning activities for employees across the organization . These have included virtual presentations, smudges and hands-on learning opportunities like bannockmaking and learning about and harvesting medicines from our Indigenous roof-top garden at our downtown Winnipeg corporate headquarters

In addition, Manitoba Hydro has offered a two-day Indigenous cultural awareness workshop and, more recently, has developed a mandatory e-learning course to help employees better understand Manitoba Hydro’s history and ongoing relationships with Indigenous communities throughout the province . Through these offerings, employees learn how Manitoba Hydro is addressing the legacy of its early developments, why having strong relationships with Indigenous communities is a priority for the company, and what they can do, in their own jobs, to support Manitoba Hydro’s efforts to build strong, respectful relationships with Indigenous Peoples

Nalcor Energy supports Indigenous educational programs

Nalcor Energy, through formalized agreements, supports activities such as career counselling, stay-in-school initiatives, student achievement awards, scholarships, and culturally specific programs such as the Southern Inuit Education Program . As well, employees and contractors working in Indigenous communities and on Indigenous lands have or will receive cultural awareness training To date over 5,000 workers on the Lower Churchill project have received Innu cultural awareness training

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New Brunswick Power offers cultural awareness programs to employees

New Brunswick Power (NB Power) offers various avenues to employees to build cultural awareness and sensitivity to New Brunswick’s Indigenous Peoples These range from orientation sessions developed internally with input provided from Elders and Indigenous representatives, to experiential exercises conducted by Indigenous Peoples to inviting employees to attend Pow Wows and other culturally significant events . Additionally, in partnership with the Province of New Brunswick, the University of New Brunswick and the Mi’kmaq/Wolastoqey Center, a mandatory comprehensive online cultural awareness session is also under development .

Nova Scotia Power Inc. invests in Indigenous history awareness

Nova Scotia Power Inc . (NSPI) and its parent company, Emera, have recently committed to investing $50,000 over the next five years in the Downie Wenjack Fund, an organization dedicated to providing resources to educators across Canada to help teach students about the legacy of residential schools Through this collaboration, NSPI is also installing a Legacy Space at its head office in Halifax to provide employees, clients, and guests the opportunity to learn about Mi’kmaw culture and the true history of Indigenous Peoples in Canada

Ontario Power Generation Invests in John Wesley Beaver Scholarship Awards

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) awarded six scholarships to talented and deserving Indigenous students in 2022, which marked the second year of a three-year agreement, whereby Indspire has assumed the administration of OPG’s annual John Wesley Beaver Scholarship Awards (JWBSA) As part of the agreement, OPG contributed $100,000 for the JWBSA through Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships and Awards program OPG’s investment with Indspire activates a fund matching program by the Government of Canada, raising the JWBSA fund to a total of $200,000 OPG’s strategic partnership with Indspire allowed OPG to increase the JWBSA from $5,000 to $10,000 per award and will increase the number of scholarships annually awarded to Indigenous students, from two to six both 2021 and 2022 and eight awards in 2023 –for a total of 20 awards over three years

Ontario Power Generation invests in Indigenous education

In October 2021, OPG made a $5-million investment in its decade-long partnership with Durham College and Ontario Tech University . This funding will assist in recruiting and retaining under-represented students, such as women and Indigenous Peoples, to build a diverse pipeline of graduates for the energy sector in skilled trades, science, engineering, and technology Future initiatives are a one-week camp in 2023, Minds Over Metal (MOM) for Secondary Schools students with a goal to fund all Indigenous MOM camps with support from OPG’s Corporate Citizenship Program As well as establish formal relationships with Indigenous Law Student Associations to develop summer work experience and articling opportunities

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SaskPower undertakes Indigenous awareness training

SaskPower employees from across the company engaged in Indigenous Awareness Training sessions throughout 2021-2022 More than 300 employees participated in the full-day training offerings The interactive sessions provided education on Indigenous terminology, myths and truths of Indigenous communities and aimed to break stereotypes . Participants learned the journey and challenges faced by First Nation and Métis people . SaskPower business divisions can continuously take part in training as ongoing professional development . In addition, SaskPower invested more than $150,000 toward Indigenous education opportunities in 2022 .

TC Energy supports youth education

The University of Calgary is known for its research, engineering and business programs and supports Indigenous students via the Indigenous Students Circle, Office of Indigenous Engagement, and the Native Centre . TC Energy partnered with the University with its sponsorship of their Ótáp ímisskaan Youth Leadership Program, Indigenous Graduation Celebration, and Indigenous Student Emergency Financial Support In addition, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology supports Indigenous students with a tailed upgrading program, the Indigenous Students Alliance, and through the Chinook Lodge Resource Centre TC Energy also sponsors their Career Trades Program and Metis Education Fund TC Energy provides funding to enable tutorial assistance and a tutoring program, student success seminars, student emergency funding, and sponsored luncheons at the Chinook Lodge and the Indigenous Student’s Centre

TC Energy invests in pre-apprentice programs

TC Energy sponsors the Trade Winds to Success’ Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program, which provides Indigenous Peoples access to pre-apprenticeship training and shop experience in construction trades TC Energy is also a supporter of the Canadian Indigenous Science and Engineering Society (caISES), which provides networking, peer support and mentorship to Indigenous students pursuing careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers In addition, the company sponsors the caISES National Gathering and the caISES 2021 Partnership Agreement

TransAlta partners with Indigenous communities on education

Each year, TransAlta provides $30,000 in bursaries and scholarships for Indigenous postsecondary students In addition, TransAlta has partnered with the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity to facilitate educational opportunities through the Indigenous Leadership Programs, a partnership that has been in existence for almost 40 years . TransAlta’s commitment to making education the focus of their relationship-building initiatives is a two-way road, providing opportunities to Indigenous communities while creating awareness about these communities and their unique culture to staff .

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Employment initiatives

The TRC Report also calls on the corporate sector to ensure that Indigenous Peoples have equitable access to jobs and training opportunities to ensure long-term, sustainable benefits from economic development projects . Electricity Canada member companies regularly provide employment and training opportunities to local Indigenous communities through grants, Indigenous-specific job boards and more . Below are a few examples of member employment initiatives .

BC Hydro working to increase its Indigenous workforce

BC Hydro’s goal is to increase Indigenous representation in its workforce by 25 per cent by 2026 . A dedicated Indigenous employment team works to create career awareness and provide pathways for Indigenous individuals to achieve employment with the company . Training specialists in the region are knowledgeable of the specific employment challenges, opportunities, and the capacity of communities, and they work with specific candidates to remove barriers to employment . BC Hydro also partners with regional educational institutions that offer programs that match with community needs . BC Hydro offers training and employment programs that span a multitude of candidates, from individuals who are three to five years from hire (Youth Hires and Try-a-Trade), to those that have completed all the required training and education and are ready to be hired (Indigenous Professionals In Development) . This program offers Indigenous Peoples with a post-secondary education, a one-year paid work and professional development placement with BC Hydro .

FortisAlberta employs Indigenous Peoples in maintenance work

FortisAlberta utilizes community members for liaison work when line maintenance work is being done . This includes line rebuilds, pole testing and replacement and vegetation management Its contractors also employ community members for temporary labour positions where required

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Hydro One working to remove barriers to Indigenous employment

Hydro One understands that a key to its success is building a workforce that reflects the communities in which they operate It has set out on a path to better understand how to attract and retain Indigenous employees, by identifying and removing the barriers that exist in current policies and practices To make meaningful progress it also believes it must start from the top . It is critical to have representation at the highest levels, and Hydro One is guided by the advice and knowledge from two strong Indigenous leaders on the Board of Directors . Hydro One has also established an Indigenous Peoples, Safety & Operations Committee of the Board to elevate the importance of strengthening partnerships with Indigenous communities

Hydro Quebec creates a dedicated team to attract Indigenous workers

The Indigenous Workforce team is a recent initiative by Hydro Quebec’s Indigenous Communities department The team’s mission is to promote the inclusion of people from Québec’s 11 Indigenous nations and support them throughout their careers at Hydro Quebec Their role is to ensure that the company takes into account any cultural differences that may be a barrier to the inclusion of people from Indigenous communities

More specifically, the four members of the team provide personalized support to employees, their managers and their teams at all levels of the hierarchy . The goal is to help evolve the company’s culture so that it takes into account characteristics specific to Indigenous Peoples . The team is also working on the best ways to provide Indigenous Peoples with a meaningful experience in order to attract, welcome and support them, so that their unique and rich expertise can contribute to the company’s development The team is also active before the hiring process begins, specifically by considering how the company can help bring Indigenous Peoples closer to the job market and generate interest in positions at Hydro Quebec .

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Manitoba Hydro supports Indigenous employment through the Keeyask Generation Project

The Keeyask Generation Project, a 695-megawatt (MW) hydroelectric generating station located in northern Manitoba, was developed by the Keeyask Hydropower Limited Partnership - a partnership between Manitoba Hydro and four Manitoba First Nations (Tataskweyak Cree Nation, War Lake First Nation, York Factory First Nation, and Fox Lake Cree Nation) . A wide range of measures were implemented to promote employment and training opportunities and to recruit project staff from within the four partner First Nations . Efforts included a pre-project training initiative, project employment preferences, the hiring of dedicated Job Seeker Managers in each community and community liaison workers at the worksite, the provision of on-site employee support services, as well as on-the-job and other on-site training and an employee-funded bursary program The Project well exceeded the employment targets set out in the partnership agreement, as well as those predicted in the project’s environmental assessment Forty percent of total hires were Indigenous people, with members of the four partner First Nations accounting for about 20 percent of total hires, and 50 percent of the total hires of Indigenous people On-the-job training opportunities also saw 344 Indigenous Peoples participating in site-based training in the designated (apprenticeship) and non-designated trades

Nalcor Energy invests in Indigenous employment

Nalcor Energy has provided over $6 9 million in cash and in-kind contributions to the Labrador Aboriginal Training Program (LATP) since 2010 Through the support of LATP, over 1,100 direct and indirect positions related to Nalcor Energy’s Lower Churchill Project were filled by Indigenous Peoples Through the Lower Churchill Project Impact and Benefits agreement with the Innu Nation, a hiring protocol was established that provides first opportunity for employment to qualified members of Innu Nation during the construction phase of the project Nalcor has also agreed to work with Nunatukavut to develop a strategy to encourage access to employment opportunities as part of a community development agreement with Nunatukavut Community Council

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Nova Scotia Power Inc. employs Mi’kmaw to monitor and protect archaeology

Nova Scotia Power Inc . (NSPI) is in the process of refurbishing several legacy hydro systems including Gaspereau Dam and Tusket Dam These projects have presented an opportunity to work closely with the local Mi’kmaw communities to build capacity to participate in the projects . In 2021 the Tusket Dam’s reservoir was drawn down to allow construction activities This drawdown exposed Mi’kmaw archaeology along the shoreline and NSPI collaborated with Acadia First Nation to train and hire approximately 10 Mi’kmaw monitors to have a presence on the land to deter archaeological looting in the area . At the Gaspereau refurbishment (called Pasi’tuek in Mi’kmaw), a significant amount of Mi’kmaw archaeology has been found at or near the dam NSPI has been working with the Assembly of NS Mi’kmaw Chiefs and nearby Mi’kmaw communities to include onsite Mi’kmaw monitors and Mi’kmaw archaeological technicians to participate in the archaeological mitigation

Ontario Power Generation advances employment through the Indigenous Opportunities Network

The Indigenous Opportunities Network (ION) supports Ontario Power Generation (OPG)’s commitment to increasing the representation of Indigenous employees across the company In 2022, the ION program placed 24 candidates, exceeding the original goal of 20 placements The program is working to place a minimum of 8 Indigenous candidates in the Introduction to Millwrighting (ITM) course being offered at Chalk River for Millwright Local 1410 OPG continues to work with Kagita Mikam Aboriginal Employment and Training, based in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, to help identify and assess potential ION candidates and provides support to address barriers to employment (e g , transportation costs, PP&E, union dues, additional training, and childcare) The current Labour Market Availability (LMA) target for Indigenous employees across OPG is 2 3% Since 2021, the percentage of employees who self-identify as Indigenous increased from 1 9% to 2 1% as of October 2022

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Business / economic initiatives

The TRC Report recommends that the corporate sector ensure Indigenous Peoples have equitable access to long-term, sustainable benefits from economic development projects . It notes that these partnerships should result from a process of meaningful consultation and obtaining the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples before proceeding with projects . Electricity Canada member companies have showcased their dedicated engagement and involvement within Indigenous communities and commitment to seek early and ongoing meaningful engagement whenever possible Below are a few examples of business/economic initiatives

BC Hydro provides direct procurement opportunities to Indigenous communities

Guided by its Indigenous Procurement Policy, BC Hydro continues to provide direct procurement opportunities to Indigenous communities in support of their community agreements As of October 2022, the value of direct contracts issued to Indigenous designated businesses in the 2023 fiscal year is over $160 million; and a cumulative value of over $1 billion since 2015 Several Indigenous designated businesses have successfully pre-qualified for contracts related to BC Hydro activities, such as civil underground, line services, and vegetation management The company also offers introductory training to Indigenous businesses to gain an understanding of BC Hydro’s procurement, construction and contract management practices In addition, BC Hydro is also looking at other economic opportunities, including potential for Indigenous ownership of electrical infrastructure such as new radial transmission lines and customer connections .

Capital Power partners with Indigenous communities on power projects

Capital Power has a strategic agreement with Siksika Resource Development Limited (SRDL) to jointly develop power projects on the Siksika Nation Reserve in Alberta The land provides an excellent opportunity to develop solar, wind and natural gas projects, while providing business and employment opportunities for Siksika Nation-owned companies and members Capital Power has also partnered with First Nations businesses for the 142 MW Quality Wind Project, where Capital Power undertook extensive discussion with several Indigenous groups regarding its construction located near Tumbler Ridge in northeastern British Columbia Capital Power used an inclusive procurement process to award six contracts to Indigenous companies, which provided almost 50 per cent of the labour during the first year of construction . Among the Indigenous-owned companies engaged were Duz Cho Construction and Dunneza Ventures, both of which have extensive knowledge of local geotechnical and surface conditions, leading to a significant improvement in road design and erosion, and sediment control methodologies

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Elexicon Energy engages Indigenous partners in transformer construction

Elexicon Energy recently constructed its first ever Municipal Transformer Station and Indigenous partners were vital partners throughout the process The major project is over six years in the making and over ten Indigenous communities were involved in its completion The Municipal Transformer Station will provide an energy supply and connection capacity for renewable energy resources to a community of over 20,000 residences . In the early phases of the project, Indigenous communities participated in the Environmental Assessment specifically around archaeological field work and were instrumental in the report reviewing and commenting process In later stages of the project, Indigenous communities continued to be vital partners in the project by supplying construction monitors

Evolugen partners with the ’Namgis First Nation on the Kokish facility

The Kokish facility is located on the traditional lands of the ’Namgis First Nation . Evolugen worked with the ’Namgis to form Kwagis Power LP, a joint partnership that allowed both parties to be equally involved in all aspects of the project, from planning and permitting to construction and operations Now that the facility is fully commissioned, a portion of the revenue generated by its operations will be directed into a ’Namgis Community Benefit Fund Approximately 250 people were employed during the two-year construction period (including 12 ’Namgis members), with local subcontractors hired to work on-site Of the total capital cost of approximately $200 million, about $30 million was spent locally on heavy industry, food and accommodations

Hydro One introduces new equity partnership model

In September 2022, Hydro One announced its new industry-leading equity partnership model with First Nations on new capital transmission line projects with a value exceeding $100 million Hydro One's new equity model will offer First Nations a 50 per cent equity stake in all future large scale capital transmission line projects and will transform the benefits of infrastructure development for First Nation communities for generations to come This announcement followed the signing of an agreement in the spring with eight First Nations represented by Gwayakocchigewin Limited Partnership (GLP) for the Waasigan Transmission Line project As an example of the new partnership model, this agreement provides the First Nations represented by the GLP with the opportunity to invest in an equity stake in the project . In total, nine First Nations will have the opportunity to invest in 50 per cent of the Waasigan Transmission Line project, which will bolster capacity and support economic growth in northwest Ontario . This model will also apply to the five transmission lines Hydro One is developing in southwest Ontario

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Hydro Quebec signs agreement with Tarquti Energies Inc.

Hydro Quebec operates close to 20 thermal power plants in order to supply electricity to communities that are too remote to be connected to the main grid While these plants account for a very small portion (less than 1%) of Hydro Quebec’s total production, they are nevertheless responsible for approximately 43% of its greenhouse gas emissions . Hydro Quebec plans to convert 80% of its off-grid systems to renewable energy supplies by 2030 With this in mind, the company has reached an agreement with Tarquti Energy Inc to become the preferred and exclusive partner for renewable energy projects in Nunavik . As a result, clean energy is destined to replace a significant portion of the 33,569 kW produced from fossil fuels to power the region’s off-grid systems . This unique partnership is an important step for the Nunavik Inuit, who are already developing the tools and skills needed to develop their own renewable energy projects that respect the environment and reflect Nunavimmiut values More renewable energy sources will power Nunavik communities into the future, and many jobs will be created both locally and across the region This partnership is expected to reduce the amount of fuel used to produce energy in Nunavik by over 200 million litres .

Hydro-Québec creates a new procurement strategy for Indigenous businesses

Hydro Quebec has had lasting business relationships with Indigenous entrepreneurs since the 1970s . As a result of these collaborations, a number of Indigenous businesses have been created and developed as part of the company’s hydroelectric projects and to operate its facilities, particularly at James Bay and in the Côte Nord region Conducting business with Hydro Quebec remains a major challenge for many Indigenous businesses, which are still unfamiliar with the company’s practices and regulatory framework

Hydro Quebec has therefore launched its first Indigenous procurement strategy in order to strengthen its presence in Indigenous entrepreneurship; keep the company on the lookout for contracts that can be awarded to Indigenous businesses in promising, value-added niches; be proactive and creative in designing and implementing its business models; and provide guidance, support and training to Indigenous businesses and its teams working with them at every stage of the procurement process

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Manitoba Hydro works with Indigenous communities and businesses to hire Indigenous workers

Manitoba Hydro’s efforts to increase Indigenous opportunities on transmission projects have gained traction, with Indigenous hiring on recent transmission projects ranging between 40 to 65 per cent of total hires . These numbers are the direct result of the steps Manitoba Hydro and its contractors are taking to encourage Indigenous employment, training, and economic development opportunities, including significant efforts and time put into fostering strong relationships with Indigenous communities and contractors . Manitoba Hydro’s procurement process encourages the participation of Indigenous businesses, and it is pleased to see Indigenous contractors successfully bid on transmission construction contracts . For example, the contract for the Birtle Transmission Project, a 46 km, 230-kilovolt line from Birtle, Manitoba to the Manitoba-Saskatchewan boundary, was tendered and awarded to a joint venture partnership between the Indigenous community of Birdtail Sioux First Nation and Forbes Bros Inc The project achieved an average of 50 per cent Indigenous employment throughout construction

Ontario Power Generation’s Reconciliation Action Plan to grow Indigenous partnerships

In October 2021, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) released its first Reconciliation Action Plan The plan will serve as a roadmap for how the company will work with Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners to meaningfully advance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples Key to the plan is a commitment to grow OPG’s economic impact for Indigenous communities and businesses to $1 billion by 2031 and to increase the representation of Indigenous employees at all levels of the company . OPG is focused on raising awareness and advancing progress on the commitments under the Reconciliation Action Plan’s Economic Empowerment pillar In 2022, OPG participated in numerous Indigenous events to network with new businesses and to introduce them to existing suppliers and to our procurement processes and opportunities . The first Indigenous Vendor of Record Request for Proposal (RFP) is in progress and will introduce Tier 1 Indigenous businesses into its existing Renewable Generation (RG) General Contractor pool

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SaskPower enters into power purchase agreements with First Nations Power Authority for solar projects

SaskPower entered into two power purchase agreements (PPA) for two 10-megawatt (MW) solar projects that were brought forward by First Nations Power Authority (FNPA)  These two solar projects will be located near Weyburn and Regina, generate revenue for First Nations and provide enough clean, renewable energy to the grid to power more than 5,000 Saskatchewan homes Pesâkâstêw Solar, a partnership between George Gordon First Nation, Star Blanket Cree Nation and Natural Forces, will develop, own and operate the 10 MW solar project near Weyburn . This 20-year project will provide revenue to the two Nations as well as create employment and training opportunities . Awasis Solar, a partnership between Cowessess First Nation and Elemental Energy, will develop, own and operate the second project, which will be located near Regina In addition, SaskPower recently awarded a 200 MW wind project opportunity to be constructed in southern Saskatchewan The successful proponent includes Renewable Energy Systems (RES) Canada and their partner, Cowessess First Nation in the new venture called the Bekevar Wind Project

Yukon Energy Corporation signs collaboration agreements with partners

In fall of 2021, Yukon Government (YG), Yukon Energy Corporation (YEC), and Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) established a working group to guide the development of a suite of agreements related to energy projects within the Traditional Territory of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations The agreements are based on a shared recognition of the need for established processes to guide the three parties in working together on existing projects such as the Aishihik Generating Station, as well as broader interests related to energy The parties acknowledge that the agreements set the stage for a new relationship moving forward that is more inclusive and solutions-focused A key agreement is the Collaboration Agreement that was signed between CAFN, YG and YEC on July 21, 2022 . The Collaboration Agreement provides structure to the ongoing processes for raising interests, addressing issues, and working together on solutions . The agreements have already influenced improvements to the water use license application, responses to interventions, and other information in supplementary filings . The processes outlined in the agreements will also help guide future regulatory submissions and hearing responses

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Capacity building initiatives

Electricity Canada member companies also embark in Indigenous relationship building, investments and principles that transverse across business, education, and employment opportunities . Below are a few examples of member capacity building initiatives

BC Hydro supports energy conservation and electrification in communities

BC Hydro’s Indigenous Energy Management program provides funding, training and other resource support to grid-connected First Nations or Indigenous organizations to hire a designated Energy Manager to help plan, implement and evaluate electricity conservation and low carbon electrification-related initiatives It works closely with these partners to support the planning, management, and implementation of their work plans Currently, the company is also funding or co-funding six positions; some positions are co-funded with FortisBC where the outcomes support the objectives of both utilities Additionally, BC Hydro provides funding support for the network of Climate Action Coordinators in off-grid communities through the Coastal First Nations/Great Bear Initiative

Emera Partners with the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre

In 2022, Emera partnered with the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre to invest in Every One Every Day, a program to provide a shopfront space to bring together people from different parts of Halifax’s North End neighbourhood to create and learn from one another . One of the goals of this neighbourhood shopfront is to provide a building block for inclusive social and economic development and a hub for community innovation and co-creation while fostering a sense of belonging for all Nova Scotians to thrive in a more diverse and resilient society

FortisAlberta works to identify community workforce capabilities

FortisAlberta recognizes the need to identify workforce capabilities in each of the Indigenous communities in which we operate (e g ., vegetation management) . Once the opportunities are identified, the pre-qualification requirement process will be completed, which then allows the communities the opportunity to be included in the Request for Proposals (RFP) process .

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Hydro One works to empower Indigenousowned businesses

Hydro One is committed to empowering Indigenous-owned businesses to foster an equitable and sustainable economy To that end, Hydro One partnered with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) to empower Indigenous Businesses through the Hydro One Indigenous Entrepreneurship Grant Program . This program aims to further empower Indigenous businesses by awarding 28 recipients with direct financial support . This partnership is a part of Hydro One's commitment to direct 20 per cent of its corporate donations and sponsorships to Indigenous communities and organizations that benefit Indigenous communities Hydro One is also committed to increasing its Indigenous procurement spend to 5 per cent of the company's purchases of materials and services by 2026 .

Hydro Quebec reaches agreement to power Kitcisakik

Kitcisakik is an Anishnabe (Algonquin) community of a few hundred people, located in the Réserve faunique La Vérendrye, a wildlife reserve one hour south of Val-d’Or . The public infrastructure is served by a diesel generator for electricity, while the population uses portable generators and wood for heating In May 2022, Hydro Quebec and the Kitcisakik Anicinapek Council announced a project to electrify the existing village, located on the edge of the Dozois reservoir The project is called Animiki Ickote, which means “electricity” in Anishnabe, and should be completed in 36 to 48 months

The project involves the construction of a 25 kV transmission line connecting the Louvicourt substation to the village, as well as a local distribution network within the community This major undertaking will require several months of engineering, design and construction . All the equipment design and construction costs, which are still not known at this time, will be borne by Hydro Quebec . Plans are underway to relocate Kitcisakik in a few years, but they will in no way be affected by the project to electrify the community Village residents will be able to count on a supply of electricity that will provide sufficient comfort until the community moves to its new location .

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Manitoba Hydro collaborates with Indigenous communities to addresses mercury levels in fish

Fish are an important part of a healthy Indigenous diet . As a result of past experiences with hydroelectric development, the issue of mercury levels in fish and human health has been raised as a primary concern in relation to hydroelectric development . As part of the Keeyask Generation Project, Manitoba Hydro and the partner First Nations - Tataskweyak Cree Nation, War Lake First Nation, York Factory First Nation, and Fox Lake Cree Nation – are working together to holistically study the issue of mercury levels in fish and human health

A Mercury and Human Health Implementation Group (composed of the four partner First Nations, Manitoba Hydro, and provincial and federal health specialists) is leading efforts to build local understanding about mercury and the risks and benefits of eating fish Mercury Community Coordinators have been hired in each partner First Nation community to organize mercury and human health events Events include fishing derbies, education, and information sessions, and a “Know Your Number” campaign to offer voluntary hair sampling and food survey events

New Brunswick Power works to support meaningful consultations

New Brunswick Power (NB Power) has agreements to support engagement and consultative activities with representatives for New Brunswick First Nation communities . The agreements support the capacity required for meaningful, regular dialogue about proposed activities, construction, and operations by providing funding for jobs and studies Through regular dialogue, there has been collaboration for improving processes that meet mutual interests, such as environmental impact assessment filing and review, harvesting of materials of cultural value, and education and field monitoring

Nova Scotia Power Inc. provides capacity funding to enhance Indigenous engagement

Nova Scotia Power Inc . (NSPI) has an annual capacity funding agreement with Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn, an organization that works on behalf of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs This funding agreement allows the Mi’kmaq to develop capacity to engage with NSPI about concerns and opportunities related to NSPI projects and operations . NSPI also has a Mi’kmaw bursary program that provides support to Mi’kmaw students pursuing secondary education

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Ontario Power Generation supports return to in-person community events

In 2022, with support from the Ontario Power Generation (OPG) Corporate Citizenship Program, Indigenous organizations and communities were supported in adjusting to re-opening post-pandemic while ensuring the health and safety of community members and the public . There has been a return in 2022 to in-person programming and events, including Powwows and other traditional gatherings A mix of virtual and in-person programs will continue Indications are that in-person program delivery and events will increase further in 2023, approaching pre-pandemic levels . Year-to-date, OPG’s Corporate Citizenship Program has provided a total of $213,510 in community investment (donation and non-profit sponsorship) support to 46 Indigenous initiatives By year-end, it is estimated that Indigenous community investment will exceed $400,000 to more than 70 initiatives

SaskPower promotes Indigenous procurement

Since 2014, Indigenous procurement has resulted in over $400 million in contracts awarded to Indigenous suppliers This helps create economic development opportunities for Indigenous communities and businesses across Saskatchewan Indigenous suppliers address some of SaskPower’s most critical service needs These include, vegetation management, wood pole supply, and wood pole inspection and remediation Indigenous suppliers provide a wide range of services across the company In 2022, SaskPower contributed over $280,000 to Indigenous community partnerships and investment opportunities Sponsorships were presented to cultural events, northern community initiatives, sport programs, celebrations, and school activities .

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Other initiatives

In addition to programs related to education, training, employment, business arrangements and capacity building, Electricity Canada member companies also have various other initiatives to advance Indigenous reconciliation Below are a few examples on those additional initiatives

BC Hydro works to incorporate the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

BC Hydro is working with First Nations to incorporate the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) into its business . To help guide its efforts, BC Hydro is developing an UNDRIP Implementation Plan in consultation with First Nations The goal of this plan is to identify the concrete actions BC Hydro will take to ensure our actions are aligned with UNDRIP

FortisAlberta works to promote meaningful engagement

When consultation is triggered FortisAlberta follows the guidelines as per the Alberta Government Policy on Consultation as a minimum standard . The company ensures it understands each of the individual communities’ timelines and protocols . This provides FortisAlberta the assurance that enough time is allowed for meaningful engagement with every project . Whenever possible FortisAlberta will accompany the consultation teams to the proposed work sites . This creates a strong relationship between the company and the communities and allows any concerns to be addressed on site

FortisAlberta raises awareness of residential schools

To create public and tangible accountability to this commitment, FortisAlberta has commissioned benches to be donated to spaces that foster coming together and reflecting upon the truth and impacts of the residential school system . These spaces are dedicated to respecting the intergenerational trauma and effects of colonization that still influence relationships today and will for many years to come

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Hydro One provides Beausoleil First Nation with additional capacity to power future facilities

Hydro One has been working for over six years with Beausoleil First Nation (FN) to bring 3-phase power to their community . While negotiations have been lengthy and challenging – with concerns raised about the project scope, timelines, and costs – in 2021 we successfully created a new plan, in close consultation with the community, which gained approval of the Chief and Council . This new installation will provide Beausoleil FN with additional capacity to power future facilities such as a water treatment plant, along with greater reliability against weather-related outages Hydro One has agreed to cover the costs of enabling internet to the community and recently chose an Indigenous vendor to complete approximately $1 6 million worth of construction work

Manitoba Hydro works to promote safe waterways

Manitoba Hydro has implemented a Waterways Management Program for over 20 years to contribute to the safe use and enjoyment of the northern waterways in Manitoba that have been affected by hydroelectric development . The Boat Patrol program is one of three major components of the Waterways Management Program (WMP), which also includes Debris Management and Safe Ice Trail programs Each year, from May to October, 21 boat patrol crews, made up of 42 seasonal employees from northern Indigenous communities, perform a variety of tasks to promote safety for traditional, commercial, domestic, and recreational boaters These community members bring a wealth of traditional knowledge and a valuable understanding of safe water travel Among other things, boat patrollers place route and navigational markers, clear in-water debris, help resource users and others travelling along local waterways, and provide support for community-based events . They are a daily presence on the waterways – and a welcome one

Ontario Power Generation takes an integrated approach to Indigenous relations

Ontario Power Generation (OPG)’s Indigenous Relations program in 2023 will continue to pursue an integrated, enterprise-wide approach to support meaningful engagement, capacity building and regional collaboration with Indigenous communities with the aim of strengthening relationships and fostering support for OPG’s operations and projects . OPG will also develop a suite of options to further enable Indigenous economic participation and community benefits with respect to new generation developments . The Indigenous Relations team’s focus remains on ensuring internal alignment, integration, and collaboration to advance the company’s reconciliation goals, implement the OPG Reconciliation Action Plan along with OPG’s growth strategy and to strengthen OPG’s position as a partner of choice for Indigenous communities .

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SaskPower promotes customer care

SaskPower created a permanent Indigenous Customer Care team intended to improve the Indigenous customer experience in 2022 The new team is led and delivered by a talented group of Indigenous customer experience professionals They are responsible for meeting with communities to assist with billing challenges, energy efficiency education, new service connection processes and a variety of other activities to improve relationships with SaskPower’s Indigenous customers

TC Energy establishes an Indigenous fleet fueling initiative

TC Energy has established an Indigenous Fleet Fueling Initiative across Canada to ensure its field employees are aware of and purchase fuel from Indigenous-owned gas stations near TC Energy’s assets . The initiative provides a direct benefit to Indigenous communities while generating cost savings for the company on fuel purchases to TC Energy . Within the first year, the initiative has already shown significant increases in Indigenous fuel spend TC Energy is expanding the Initiative into the United States and to include repair services from Indigenous owned repair facilities in Canada and the U S

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