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 Dun Culture 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 acceleratet 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 Dun Culture 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


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

Diesel reductionDiesel reduction progress — How far have we come, how far do we have to go and how 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 s, 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 currently not aligned with climate targets. What government, regulator, and utility reform is needed to enable remote communities to accelerate energy efficiency and renewable energy?


If you have any questions regarding registration, please contact Nadin Abuhalaweh at

Program (Preliminary)

The two-day main conference will be supplemented by activities on the pre-conference and post-conference days. Stay tuned for program details.

Advisory Committee

For this year’s conference, we are pleased to be working with our five-person Indigenous Advisory Committee that brings years of insight and combined 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 re-joined the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business as Director, Business Development and Strategic Initiatives on October 31, 2016. Prior to that, he was active in the field of Research, Consulting and Business Development for fifteen 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 is a Métis scholar who has been published in numerous books, articles and magazines. He has served as a Member of the Research Advisory Committee with Canadian Energy Research Institute, a Member of the Leadership Advisory Circle for the Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship with the City of Toronto and the Chair of the National Advisory Committee with ORIGIN Inc. He is of Métis descent with ancestors attached to Métis Scrip applications and currently resides in Toronto.

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.

Travel and hotel information

We will provide information on support for Indigenous attendance, airline discounts and hotels when dates and location are finalized.


Platinum Sponsors

platinum sponsor government of Canada


Gold Sponsors

gold sponsors


Silver Sponsors

Silver sponsors


Bronze Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

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

Contact us

Conference leadDave Lovekin

Conference communication leadVictoria Foote

Sponsorship and partnershipsMathew Hupfield

Event planner and conference logisticsNadin Abuhalaweh

Call for proposals – Madeleine Whitestone


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