Building Futures: Indigenous-led Energy Transitions in Alberta

  • Author / Creator
    Miller, Andrea
  • Transitions towards renewable energy at all scales are urgently needed to meet current targets for climate action and renewable electricity generation. Indigenous communities across Canada are increasingly investing in clean energy initiatives, energy efficiency measures, and renewable energy projects that centre community members as project planners, managers, owners, and beneficiaries. This research explores the landscape of Indigenous-led and owned renewable energy in Alberta. The work presented here shares the findings of a community-based participatory research partnership with members of Enoch Cree Nation, Maskêkosihk, in Treaty 6 territory. With the support of Community Advisors and together with the Community Research Partner, we develop an understanding of how Enoch Cree Nation members imagine community-level energy transitions within the Nation, and how they envision the role for Enoch Cree Nation in the province’s emerging clean energy economy. Community-specific findings are situated within the context of interviews with key informants from the fields of Indigenous renewable energy and community generation, who shed light on the roles that Indigenous communities are playing in Alberta’s energy transition and how project ownership can support further Indigenous involvement and control in Alberta’s renewable energy sector. We find that equally important to equity ownership are the ways that community members are involved in project design and decision making, through youth engagements, creative approaches to communicating projects within communities, and in building and rebuilding relationships with energy players. We demonstrate how Indigenous communities are leading their own energy transitions, and in light of barriers to Indigenous renewable energy in the Alberta context, how communities like Enoch Cree Nation are taking active steps to participate in energy transitions at all scales as a means of gaining community benefits and actualizing a vision for an alternative energy future.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2022
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.