February 10, 2023 — Indigenous and remote communities across Canada are leading the way in prioritizing cleaner, cheaper and more reliable energy sources as they continue to experience some of the deepest impacts of climate change. By investing in clean energy initiatives that support economic development and energy independence, we can make our air cleaner and build resilient, healthy communities — all while creating local jobs that residents can depend on. For Inuit and Northern communities, building community readiness based on Inuit knowledge and expertise is key to the clean energy transition in some of the most remote places in Canada.
Today, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced an investment of nearly $5.5 million from the Government of Canada for Tarquti Energy to build capacity for renewable energy in the Nunavik region of Quebec.
In Northern Quebec, Tarquti is acting efficiently by leading Nunavik’s clean energy transition in partnership with community stakeholders. In 2022, Tarquti signed an historic partnership with the provincial utility, Hydro-Québec, to advance community-led and -owned clean energy projects across the region. Tarquti’s grassroots approach depends on the involvement of all major players in the clean energy sector and most importantly Nunavik’s local and regional organizations, including landholding corporations and local cooperatives.
This funding will allow Tarquti to create the required tools and build capacity to develop and implement community engagement plans, establish a regional team, promote job creation and complete project studies and planning. Thanks to federal funding, Tarquti will increase its regional engagement by supporting local energy champions and creating energy planning in 12 communities, developing community clean energy projects tailored to local needs and priorities.
To support other Indigenous, rural and remote communities transitioning to clean energy, the Government of Canada has also created the Clean energy in Indigenous, rural and remote communities initiative, a single-window approach to access resources and energy funding.
This investment is another example of the Government of Canada’s commitment to meaningful participation, ownership and decision-making by Indigenous Peoples in the energy transition as they expand innovative clean energy solutions to develop their local economies, displace fossil fuels and further advance self-determination.
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“Indigenous communities are on the front lines in the fight against climate change and leading the way toward a net-zero future. Canada’s collaboration with Tarquiti Energy shows how meaningful partnerships can advance the clean energy transition across the North, helping to lower emissions, create jobs and build local resilience.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources
“Through the leadership of organizations such as Tarquti Energy, Inuit are leading the energy transition while growing their economies and building resilient communities. These efforts must be informed by local and traditional knowledge, and as the eyes and ears on the ground, Indigenous Peoples are uniquely positioned to lead the way using Indigenous knowledge systems and science. By working together in partnership, we’re taking necessary action to fight climate change.”
The Honourable Dan Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor
“Makivvik is committed to ensuring that Inuit-owned organizations have the financial support they need to grow and lead Nunavik into the future. The creation of Tarquti, through a joint venture between Makivvik and Ilagiisaq, is an example of the type of forward-looking enterprises that will drive economic development, create jobs and enable Inuit to continue to protect our environment, as we have since time immemorial. The investment from the Government of Canada means that Tarquti can move forward in the creation of innovative clean energy solutions by Inuit for Inuit.”
President, Makivvik Corporation
“Our region is ready to take charge of Nunavik’s energy transition, and the commitment of our local entities is essential in leading this change. There is a strong interest among our communities in building readiness and capacity based on Inuit knowledge and expertise, and Tarquti plays a key role in facilitating the process for us.”
- Tarquti is a Nunavik-owned company that carries out clean energy projects tailored to the needs and interests of the region’s Inuit communities. Recognized as a privileged partner of Hydro-Québec, Tarquti is leading Nunavik’s energy transition and building a better future for the region, one that respects the environment and Inuit values.
- Federal funding for this project is provided by Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities (CERRC) program, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs’ (CIRNAC) Northern Responsible Energy Approach for Community Heat and Energy (Northern REACHE) Program and the tri-agency College and Community Innovation (CCI) program’s Applied Research and Development grant, administered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
- NRCan’s CERRC program provided $3.35 million, CIRNAC’s Northern REACHE Program provided nearly $1.65 million, and the tri-agency CCI program’s Applied Research and Development grant administered by NSERC provided $450,000 for this project.
- In April 2022 the Government of Canada announced the creation of a single-window approach to access resource support and clean energy funding. As part of the new service model, the government also established the Indigenous Council to provide guidance and advice on project selection and policy development.
- The Clean energy in Indigenous, rural and remote communities initiative provides funding from NRCan’s Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities program and the Indigenous Off-Diesel initiative (IODI) and CIRNAC’s Northern Responsible Energy Approach for Community Heat and Energy Program.
- Supporting Indigenous leadership and co-developing solutions to reduce reliance on fossil fuels in Northern communities for First Nations, Inuit and Métis are central to advancing the reconciliation journey and self-determination.
- Tarquti Energy
- Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities
- Northern REACHE Program
- Clean energy in Indigenous, rural and remote communities
- Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau-Québec
- Makivik Corporation
Natural Resources Canada
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Dan Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor
Community Engagement and Communications Director
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