Renewables in Remote Communities

Banner for Renewables in Remote Community 2022

Renewables in Remote Communities Supporting the advancement of Indigenous-led clean energy projects

Apr. 25, 2022 8:00am to Apr. 28, 2022 5:00pm Whitehorse, YK conference - Public event

Advancing the business case for clean energy in remote communities

Conference details

RiRC2022 is a four-day event at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre, Whitehorse Yukon from April 25 to 28, 2022. The two-day main conference, supplemented by activities on the pre-conference and post-conference days, focuses on the collaboration, climate and energy policies and the financial pathways for renewable project proponents necessary to advance the business case and further accelerate an Indigenous-led clean energy transition in remote communities across Canada.

The Pembina Institute will produce and disseminate research on progress to date on reducing remote community reliance on diesel as a source of power , measuring reductions against targets; updates on energy policies as they affect remote communities; updates on reforms made to the costing structures used by utilities; and a summary and assessment of financial policies and opportunities to attract private sector financing through government policy action. All materials will be forwarded to participants prior to the conference and will help facilitate discussion and collaboration.


The 2022 RiRC conference will bring together stakeholders, decision makers and leaders working in and with clean energy projects in remote communities. With the goal of accelerating an Indigenous-led transition to clean energy in remote communities, key areas will be covered including:  

  • Financial opportunities for private financing and private/public investment strategies
  • Climate and energy polices as they affect remote communities
  • The regulatory changes required for more flexibility in costing structures that inform power purchases
  • Actions required to strengthen the business case for sustainable investments in renewables

The conference will highlight the importance of social and economic reconciliation as central to a just energy transition and the ways in which the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) can advance Indigenous leadership in clean energy.


Presentations, panel discussions and round-table collaboration will take place over two plenary days of the four-day conference. These sessions will allow participants to share knowledge, expertise, and lessons learned from their work in clean energy.  Topics of discussion will cover opportunities to attract private financing through sound and consistent climate and energy policies and ways to accelerate the clean energy transition using market-based approaches that enable ownership and leadership opportunities for Indigenous communities.

Days one and four are dedicated to providing space  for Indigenous leaders, project proponents, clean energy companies, utilities, academia, government and interested parties to host informal discussions and offer presentations on topics of their choosing. Sessions will be held at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre. A Call for Proposals for these sessions will be issued in late December and the schedule will be announced in March 2022.

Conference objectives

  1. Network, share, collaborate and build relationships among stakeholders from a broad range of backgrounds and fields of expertise in the energy sector.
  2. Recognize and celebrate the successes of Indigenous-led clean energy projects and learn more about remote communities and their path to clean energy.
  3. Explore how better financial approaches, funding models, energy policy and regulatory changes will accelerate the transition to clean energy  in remote communities and attract investment.
  4. Highlight enduring policies that prioritize Indigenous sovereignty and open new opportunities to Indigenous communities. Establish practical next steps and forecast how best to build on  momentum in support of accelerating the clean energy transition in remote communities

Conference outcomes

  • Continue to build collaborative, strong relationships
  • Conference proceedings summarizing the information shared at the conference
  • Further collaboration mechanisms and a plan to develop a roadmap for a continued reduction in the use of diesel

NEW THIS YEAR! You can also attend RiRC 2022 virtually

All the sessions taking place during the two-day plenary will be livestreamed. Some of the sessions and presentations offered on the day before and the day after the plenary will also be hosted virtually. Attendees will be able to access the sessions online through our Whova platform which includes interactive features to allow participants to still feel connected to the conference and engaged with the activities and discussion. Our hope is to increase accessibility to the conference by extending it to anyone unable to travel due to COVID-related or any other challenges.

Conference tickets are available now!

COVID policy

In light of the ongoing COVID situation we will be putting in place several measures in compliance with orders from the Government of Yukon and the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre’s COVID policy. Proof of vaccination and masks will be required for entrance into the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre. Other safety measures and specifics will be announced as the situation evolves. Read our COVID protocol here.


The RiRC2022 conference materials that will be distributed prior to the conference will provide an in-depth consideration of the following issues:

Diesel reductionIndigenous clean energy progress and aligning with Canada’s climate commitments — How far have we come, how far do we have to go and how are we tracking against Canada’s commitments to reduce diesel dependency in remote communities?

Market opportunitiesFinancial policies to improve the business case — Analysis of different policies to improve the economic reality of remote community projects, and how government policies can support greater access to capital. Separately, a report on how ESG, socially responsible, and impact investing from the private sector can support Indigenous-led clean energy projects. The report will also cover how government investment and policies support and attract new revenue streams.

levelized cost of electricityUtility business model reform — The business model employed by utilities is not aligned with Canada’s climate targets. How can the business model be reformed to enable remote communities to accelerate energy efficiency and renewable energy projects? Our research examines the changes needed in the utility sector and regulatory environment to support more Indigenous-led energy projects.


Registration is now available.

Ticket types and prices

Ticket prices

Register now button

If you have any questions regarding registration, please contact Madeleine Whitestone.


Agenda for the two-day plenary conference, plus the pre- and post-conference days, is available on our event platform.

Advisory Committee

For this year’s conference, we are pleased to be working with our seven-person Indigenous Advisory Committee. This committee brings great insight and knowledge on clean energy development in Indigenous communities.

Darrell BrownDarrell Brown
Darrell Brown is a Cree business owner based in Winnipeg. Darrell is President of Kisik Clean Energy and Kisik Commercial Furniture. He is a 2004 founding member and current chair of the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce based in Manitoba.

He holds an Advanced Diploma in International Business from Red River College in Manitoba and a Certificate of Indigenous Leadership, Governance and Management Excellence from the Banff Centre. Darrell holds the designation of ICD.D from The Rotman, Directors Education Program through The Institute for Corporate Directors. Darrell also holds a certificate in the 20/20 Catalyst program focusing on the Indigenous Renewable Energy Sector. Darrell is the newly elected chair of the Indigenous Clean Energy Network, a social enterprise to advance renewable energy for indigenous people across Canada.

Paul-Emile McNabPaul-Emile McNab
Paul-Emile is the vice president of Business Development and Membership Experience at  the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. Paul-Emile has been active in the field of research, consulting, fundraising and business development for the past15 years. In 2007, he completed his honours degree in history, political science and Canadian studies at the University of Toronto. In 2010, he completed his masters in environmental studies at York University with a focus on Indigenous knowledge and a major research paper titled The Traditional Rights of Ways on the Walpole Island First Nation. He has served as a member of the Research Advisory Committee with Canadian Energy Research Institute, the chair of the National Advisory Committee with ORIGIN Inc. and the current vice president of the board of directors for Aboriginal Legal Services. He currently resides in Toronto and is an avid follower of sports and business.

Grant SullivanGrant Sullivan
Grant Sullivan is the president of Nihtat Energy Ltd. Prior to that he was the Executive Director of Gwich’in Council International for 10 years, and he was employed by Beaufort Delta Health and Social Services as a Financial Controller. Grant has also owned and operated his own small business and enjoys the challenges of being a contractor. Grant attended primary and secondary school in Inuvik, NT then moved on to earn a Bachelor of Management with a Major in Finance, from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta. Although Grant was born and raised in Inuvik, NT, he presently resides with his family in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Kory WilsonKory Wilson
Kory comes to BCIT most recently from Vancouver Community College where she served as Director, Aboriginal Education and Community Engagement since 2011. Kory is Chair of the National Indigenous Education Committee of Colleges and Institutions Canada and a Global Access to Post-Secondary Education Ambassador. Kory has a law degree from UBC. With over 20 years of experience in post-secondary education, community development, and the legal profession, Kory’s passion lies “in ensuring success for Indigenous Learners and other multi-barriered learners”. She has a deep commitment to education and has dedicated her working life to ensuring that under-represented learners succeed, both within learning institutions and the larger community.

Kory is a member of the We Wai Kai Nation (Quadra Island) and is Musgamagw Tsawataineuk and Laich-Kwil-Tach. Both nations are part of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation, also known as the Kwak’wala speaking people.

Judith SayersJudith Sayers
Judith is the president of the Nuu-Chan-nulth Tribal Council and Adjunct Professor with the Gustavson School of Business and the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. She has been involved in the Clean Energy industry since 2001 when her First Nation undertook to develop clean energy and decided on the 6.5 MW China Creek Run of the River project. As Chief of her First Nation, she was instrumental in the development of that project. That project has been operational since 2005. Judith has been the Visiting National Aboriginal Economic Development Chair and an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Business and Law at the University of Victoria and in that role facilitated economic development with indigenous peoples and helped organize Clean Energy conferences.

Judith served fourteen years as Chief of the Hupacasath First Nation, located in Port Alberni, BC. As Chief of her First Nation, she focused on capacity building and sustainable development. She is also the Chair of the New Relationship Trust Foundation, Co-Chair of the Island Corridor Foundation, Co-Chair of the Joint Working Group on First Nations Heritage Conservation and on the board of the BC Achievement Foundation.

Jordyn BurnoufJordyn Burnouf
Jordyn Burnouf is a member of Black Lake First Nation and from the Métis community of Île-à-la-Crosse, SK. Jordyn is Advisor to the vice president of the Métis Nation—Saskatchewan. With a strong passion for, and relationship with the land, Jordyn’s work is centred on clean energy and environmental initiatives with a focus on land-based teachings, cultural inclusion, and youth engagement.
Jordyn is a part of Indigenous Clean Energy’s national initiative, Bringing it Home’ to address the housing and energy needs of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities in Canada. Jordyn continues to advocate and create space for youth and women in the energy sector in Canada as Co-Chair of the SevenGen Indigenous Youth Council and co-founder of SevenGen’s newest mentorship and project development program, ImaGENation. Jordyn is a member of the Indigenous Clean Energy board of directors and Efficiency Canada’s governing council.

Mihskakwan James HarperMihskakwan James Harper
Mihskakwan James Harper is from Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation in Treaty 8, Alberta. He graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and holds a Master of Science in renewable energy from KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Ecole Polytechnique.

His master’s program featured research on climate action and access to affordable and clean energy for all, and how clean energy projects can act as a pathway towards sovereignty, economic empowerment, and climate action. He has also worked with the Yellowhead Institute on the interconnectedness of energy, health, and sovereignty. Mihskakwan James Harper continues to advocate for meaningful climate action through the lens of his Niheyaw upbringing, tying together clean energy, long-term community well-being, sovereignty, and empowerment. His recent work on co-hosting the Decolonizing Power podcast series furthers this passion to share inspiring stories about how clean energy and community well-being are deeply interconnected. He currently works as the Business Development Manager with an energy storage developer, NRStor Inc.

He loves his family and his community now and generations ahead, which inspires him to work on energy storage and renewable energy projects to build a future that is sustainable and empowers all.

Travel and hotel information

Indigenous travel support

We are pleased to offer support for Indigenous community members to attend RiRC2022; Indigenous travel is open and being booked. Please refer to our guidelines to see what is covered and how to apply, and reach out to Madeleine Whitestone if interested.

Hotel information

We have block codes with four of the main hotels in Whitehorse. Block rates expire March 24, 2022. Book your hotel room soon.

Best Western Gold Rush Inn

  • 411 Main Street Whitehorse, Yukon Territory Y1A 2B6
  • 867-668-4500,
  • Deluxe rooms available. 10 total
  • Block code 221144

Edgewater Hotel

  • 101 Main Street, Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2A7
  • 867-667-2572,
  • Standard and deluxe rooms available. 30 total
  • Block code 507

Raven Inn

  • 150 Keish Street (on 2nd ave), Whitehorse, YT
  • 867-466-7777,
  • Variety of rooms available, 28 total
  • Group name - Pembina Institute 2022

Sternwheeler Hotel

  • 201 Wood Street, Whitehorse, Yukon, Y1A 2E4
  • 867-393-9700,
  • Standard rooms available, 30 total
  • Ask for Pembina Institute at time of booking

Airline Discounts

Enter promotion codes at time of booking to obtain discount.

Air Canada
Promotion code: CBMXR6Y1

Customers will benefit from an instant online registration and enjoy a 10% discount on eligible fares. to qualify for the Meeting and Conventions special fares a minimum of 10 delegates is required travelling from various origins to the same destination within Air Canada’s extensive north American and international network.

Air North
Promo code: RRC2022

All delegates booking with this promotion code will receive a 10% discount off of the best GoYukon, Saver or Optimum fare available at the time of booking. Seat sale fares do not apply. The discount is valid for two weeks prior and two weeks after the convention/meeting dates so delegates can extend their stay.


Platinum+ sponsors

platinum sponsor government of Canada


Gold sponsor

gold sponsors


Silver sponsors

Silver sponsors


Bronze sponsors

Bronze Sponsors


Opening reception sponsor

ATCO logo


Closing reception sponsor

ATCO logo


Lunch sponsor

Yukon Energy logo


Snack sponsor

Yukon Energy logo


Indigenous travel support

Vancity and Barkley Project group


Sponsorship OpportunitiesWe are still seeking sponsorship support for this conference. See our Sponsorship Package and get in touch with Samantha Ward.

Contact us

Conference leadDave Lovekin

Conference communication leadVictoria Foote

Sponsorship and partnershipsSamantha Ward

Event planner and conference logisticsNadin Abuhalaweh and Madeleine Whitestone

Call for proposals – Madeleine Whitestone


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