Brighter future initiatives for Indigenous youths
As Canada’s clean energy sector grows and transforms, the country has a tremendous opportunity to attract more young people, women and Indigenous workers and to pass knowledge and skills on to the next generation.
Paul Lefebvre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced $470,923 in funding toward projects in remote Ontario First Nations communities that focus on supporting and enhancing Indigenous youth participation in Canada’s clean energy transition. The investment includes:
- $262,700 for Matawa First Nations Management to build energy literacy in five remote Matawa First Nations communities. This project will increase community members’ skills and capacity, encourage them to pursue careers in clean energy and support the development of renewable energy projects and energy-efficient solutions in their communities. The project also includes career mentorship for youth; and
- $208,223 to Opiikapawiin Services LP, in partnership with the Independent Electricity System Operator, for its Plugged into a Brighter Future initiative — a youth-focused energy engagement initiative for First Nations communities with the Wataynikaneyap Power project. This initiative will bolster Indigenous youths’ knowledge of energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions so they may participate in future community energy planning.
“Lowering emissions is the best way to create good, well-paying jobs in Canada’s electricity sector. The projects announced today will help make sure youth and Indigenous peoples are in the best position to take advantage of these emerging opportunities.” Seamus O’Regan Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources
Funding is provided through Natural Resources Canada’s $220-million Clean Energy in Rural and Remote Communities (CERRC) Program that aims to reduce diesel reliance in rural and remote communities by deploying and demonstrating renewable energy, encouraging energy efficiency and building local skills and capacity.
PS Lefebvre made the announcements during a virtual event hosted by Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC). EHRC launched its new study entitled Generation Impact: Future Workforce Perspectives, whichoffers a clear picture of how Canada’s next-generation workforce views the electricity sector and insights into how to recruit and retain youth and women.
To date, the Government of Canada has provided $13.7 million to EHRC through Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC) Student Work Placement Program (SWPP). Through work-integrated learning opportunities, interested students benefit from a wide range of transferable skills and key research skills in the renewable energy industry. In total, these projects will help create more than 1,700 paid placements for students between 2018 and 2022.
The CERRC program is part of the Government of Canada’s more than $180-billion Investing in Canada infrastructure plan for public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes and Canada’s rural and northern communities.