2021 First Nations Energy Symposium

2021 First Nations Energy Symposium - Empowering First Nation Energy Leaders - November 4, 2021


The IESO is committed to working closely with Indigenous people and organizations to build local energy capacity. Developing skills and pursuing opportunities in the electricity sector can play an important role in helping them achieve economic, environmental and social objectives.

Our 2021 First Nations Energy Symposium will focus on empowering First Nation energy leaders. Scheduled for November 4, this online, interactive event is intended for representatives from First Nation communities and organizations across Ontario.

Attendees will hear about project development, partnership models, energy efficiency programs, emerging technologies, and efforts to expand the Indigenous energy economy. They will also have the chance to learn from three current Community Energy Champions, who will share their ideas, experiences and tips on how to achieve success.

November 4, 2021


Agenda Item

9:00 am –  9:30 am                               

Opening Prayer by Grandmother Francine Payer

Opening Remarks by IESO President and CEO Lesley Gallinger

Lesley will speak to the IESO’s commitment to our relationships with Indigenous peoples, and our focus on building individual and community capacity for meaningfully participation in Ontario’s electricity sector.

9:30 am -  10:15 am        

Emerging Opportunities for Indigenous Participation in Energy Projects by
Chuck Farmer, IESO Vice-President, Planning, Conservation and Resource Adequacy; and Candice Trickey, IESO Director, Corporate Affairs

Chuck and Candice will provide some background and context to Ontario’s future system needs. In addition to discussing changing demand patterns, emerging technologies, infrastructure needs and engagement requirements, they will also identify some opportunities for increased Indigenous involvement in the sector, including planned electricity resource procurements.

10:15 am – 10:30 am



10:30 am – 11:00 am

Indigenous Energy Project Case Study

Darryl Hill, Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation will speak about the development of the solar photovoltaic net-metering project at the community bingo hall from project conception to completion. In addition to celebrating the success of this community-led initiative, they will also include some of the challenges and pitfalls faced along the way.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

New First Nation Energy Efficiency Programs 

In this session, the IESO’s Energy Efficiency team will present the new suite of programs available to First Nations customers, including the First Nations Community Building Retrofit Program, the Remote First Nations Energy Efficiency Program and the Energy Affordability Program.

12:00 pm -  1:15 pm

Lunch Break

1:15 pm - 1:30 pm

Keynote Speaker: Grand Chief Derek Fox, Nishnawbe Aski Nation

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Panel Discussion: Community Energy Champions 
Three Community Energy Champions will discuss the importance of energy efficiency in their respective communities and describe how they engage with their members to promote the practice. They will also elaborate on some of the steps they’ve taken to make their community more energy-efficient. Our panellists are:

  • Harri Makivirta, Temagami First Nation
  • Mitch Diabo, Kasabonika Lake First Nation
  • Alyssa Warren, Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation

2:30 pm –  2:45 pm 

Closing Remarks by Carla Nell, IESO Vice-President Corporate Relations, Stakeholder Engagement and Innovation (10 minutes)

Carla will provide her thoughts on the key themes and takeaways from the day as well as her vision for advancing Indigenous leadership in Ontario’s energy sector.

Closing Prayer by Grandmother Francine Payer