Transcript: Indigenous Power Struggle | Apr 25, 2016

Steve stands in a university auditorium, in front of a panel that reads "W.G.S.I., Waterloo Global Science Initiative." He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and striped blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Indigenous power struggle."

Steve says WELCOME, EVERYBODY,
TO THE PERIMETER INSTITUTE HERE
IN WATERLOO, ONTARIO, FOR THE
FIRST OF THREE PROGRAMS WE'RE
GOING TO DO HERE THAT TAP INTO
THE GLOBAL CONVERSATION ABOUT
WHAT IT WILL TAKE TO MAKE
MODERN, RELIABLE ENERGY
ACCESSIBLE TO THE BILLIONS OF
PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD WHO
CURRENTLY DON'T HAVE IT.
TONIGHT WE START HERE AT HOME.
MORE THAN HALF THE COMMUNITIES
IN CANADA -- YOU MAY NOT BE
SURPRISED TO HEAR -- THAT ARE
NOT CONNECTED TO THE POWER GRID
ARE INDIGENOUS.
THEY'RE VERY OFTEN REMOTE.
SOME FACING HEART-BREAKING
CHALLENGES, MADE EVEN WORSE BY
ENERGY POVERTY.
JOINING US NOW FOR A LOOK AT THE
ENERGY CHALLENGE FOR INDIGENOUS
COMMUNITIES HERE IN THE PROVINCE
OF ONTARIO, WE WELCOME: ISADORE
DAY, HE IS ONTARIO REGIONAL
CHIEF FOR THE CHIEFS OF ONTARIO.

Isadore is in his late forties, with short gray hair and a soul patch. He's wearing a gray suit and blue shirt.

Steve continues JUDITH SAYERS, FORMER ELECTED
CHIEF OF THE HUPUCASTH FIRST NATION IN B.C. NOW A PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA
FACULTY OF LAW.

Judith is in her fifties, with short brown hair. She's wearing glasses, a printed red and black shirt, and a silver necklace.

Steve continues CYNTHIA WESLEY-ESQUIMAUX VICE PROVOST
FOR ABORIGINAL INITIATIVES AT
LAKEHEAD IN UNIVERSITY THUNDER BAY.

Cynthia is in her fifties, with wavy gray hair. She's wearing a black blazer and pearl earrings.

Steve continues CHRISTOPHER HENDERSON, PRESIDENT
OF LUMOS ENERGY AND A CLEAN ENERGY ADVISOR TO NUMEROUS
ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES IN CANADA.
HE'S ALSO THE AUTHOR OF ABORIGINAL POWER.

Christopher is in his late fifties, clean-shaven, with receding gray hair. He's wearing a gray plaid suit, and a white shirt.

Steve continues AND MITCHELL DIABO, SECRETARY
TREASURER AT THE KASABONIKALAKE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION.

Mitchell is in his late forties, with short gray hair shaven at the temples and a trimmed moustache. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit and a blue shirt.

Steve continues I WOULD ASK OUR
FRIENDS HERE AT THE MIKE
LAZARIDIS THEATRE OF IDEAS TO
WELCOME OUR GUESTS TO WATERLOO
TODAY.

[applause]

Steve continues THANK YOU.
JUST LET ME ADD MY WORDS OF
WELCOME AS WELL EVERYBODY,
PARTICULARLY JUDITH, YOU CAME
ALL THE WAY FROM BRITISH COLUMBIA TO BE WITH US TODAY.
THANK YOU SO MUCH.
LET'S JUST PUT SOME FACTS ON THE
TABLE HERE THAT WILL SORT
OF SET THE TABLE FOR OUR
DISCUSSION TO COME.
SHELDON, IF YOU WOULD, THIS
GRAPHIC, PLEASE.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Off the grid."

Steve reads from the slate and says
THERE ARE ABOUT 300 COMMUNITIES
IN CANADA THAT ARE NOT CONNECTED
TO THE NORTH AMERICAN ELECTRICAL
GRID. AND OF THOSE 300,
175 ARE INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES, MANY OF WHICH RELY
ON DIESEL GENERATORS FOR THEIR POWER.
TWENTY-FIVE OF THOSE OFF-GRID
INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES ARE HERE
IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, TO
WHICH CHIEF DAY RECENTLY SAID,
OUR PEOPLE ARE LIVING IN
SUBSTANDARD LIVING CONDITIONS.
WE NEED TO BRING OUR COMMUNITIES
INTO THE 21ST CENTURY.
SUBSTANDARD IS NOT A
STANDARD WE CAN LIVE WITH ANY LONGER.
CHIEF DAY, JUST BEFORE I POSE MY
FIRST QUESTION TO YOU, LET USACKNOWLEDGE THAT WE ARE HERE
ON THE TRADITIONAL TERRITORY
OF THE PEOPLE.
SO WE ACKNOWLEDGE THAT FOR
EVERYBODY IN THIS AUDIENCE AND
FOR OUR VIEWERS AT HOME AS WELL.
WHAT RELATIONSHIP DO YOU SEE
BETWEEN THE LIVING
CONDITIONS IN OFF-GRID
COMMUNITIES AND THE LACK OF
RELIABLE ENERGY?

The caption changes to "Energy poverty in Canada."
Then, it changes again to "Isadore Day. Chiefs of Ontario."

Isadore says STEVE, THANK YOU FOR HAVING
US AND THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
I REFLECTED ON THIS SOME WEEKS
BACK AND I LOOKED AT THE ISSUE
OF WATER, FOR EXAMPLE, WHAT
WATER IS TO THE HUMAN BODY.
WE KNOW THAT'S WHAT ELECTRICITY
IS TO SOCIETY.
WE'RE NOW SEEING MORE AND MORE,
AS YOU INDICATED IN YOUR OPENING
REMARKS, THAT MANY COMMUNITIES
THAT ARE INDIGENOUS ARE IN FACT
LIVING WITHOUT ELECTRICITY.
AGAIN, YOU KNOW, TO THE COMMON
PERSON THAT LIVES IN THE
MAINSTREAM THAT HAVE MAYBE
SECOND, THIRD GENERATION ACCESS
TO ELECTRICITY, THEY DON'T KNOW
THE CURRENT STRUGGLES THAT ARE
BEING FACED IN THE NORTH.
TODAY, FOR EXAMPLE, WE'RE STILL
REELING FROM THE FIRE THAT TOOK
THE LIVES OF 9 PEOPLE IN
PIKANGIKUM FIRST NATION, ONE OF
THE REMOTE COMMUNITIES, AND ONE
OF THE CENTRAL ISSUES AND CAUSES
IS THE FACT THEY'RE NOT ON THE
GRID.
THEY DON'T HAVE ELECTRICITY.

Steve says I'M GOING TO GO TO
CYNTHIA ON THAT VERY CASE.
IN PIKANGIKUM, FOR EXAMPLE, THEY
GET THEIR POWER THROUGH DIESEL.
HOW DOES THAT AFFECT THE
COMMUNITY, THE FACT THEY HAVE TO
GET POWER FROM DIESEL?

The caption changes to "Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux. Lakehead University."

Cynthia says IT AFFECTS IT GREATLY.
ONE OF THE THINGS WE WERE TRYING
TO DO AFTER THE CORONER'S REPORT
CAME OUT IS ACTUALLY GET WATER
TO THE COMMUNITIES INSIDE THE
HOUSES.

Steve says THIS IS THE
CORONER'S REPORT ON...

Cynthia says PIKANGIKUM IN 2008.
WHEN WE ACTUALLY GOT THEM UP
THERE, THE GENERATORS WERE TOO
OLD TO BE ABLE TO ACCOMMODATE
THAT.
HERE WE HAVE THE FACILITY TO
MAKE IT HAPPEN, THE GENERATORS
ARE OLD, WE CAN'T BE REPLACED,
AND WE'RE NOT HOOKED UP TO RED
LAKE ABOUT 80 KILOMETRES AWAY.
WHY NOT?
THAT'S A BIG QUESTION CANADA HAS
TO ANSWER.

Steve says WE'RE GOING TO
EXPLORE SOME OF THOSE QUESTIONS
IN OUR HOUR TONIGHT.
MITCHELL, YOU LIVE IN ONE OF
THOSE COMMUNITIES.
WHERE IS KASABONIKA LAKE?

Mitchell says IT'S ABOUT 500 MILES NORTH.

Steve says THAT'S NOT GOING TO
HELP TOO MANY PEOPLE.
NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO?

Mitchell says YES, NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO.

Steve says NORTH OF THUNDER BAY.

Mitchell says THAT'S CORRECT.
500 MILES NORTH OF THUNDER BAY.

Steve says THAT'S UP THERE.
HOW DOES YOUR ENERGY PREDICAMENT
AFFECT HOW YOU'RE ABLE TO LIVE
YOUR LIFE THERE?

The caption changes to "Mitchell Diabo. Kasabonika Lake Community Developlemnt Corporation."

Mitchell says BEING ON DIESEL GENERATED
POWER, AT LEAST WE HAVE A
RELIABLE DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
THERE, HYDRO ONE IN REMOTE
COMMUNITIES THAT WE WORK WITH.
WHAT WE SUFFER FROM WOULD BE
BLACKOUTS, BROWN-OUTS, AND LOAD
RESTRICTIONS.
WHEN THE DIESEL PLANT IS MAXED
OUT, THERE'S NO MORE GROWTH IN
THE COMMUNITY.
NOTHING MORE CAN BE HOOKED TO
DISTRIBUTION.
WE'RE JUST ON A PERIOD FROM 2007
TO 2015, NO NEW HOUSING, NO NEW
BUILDINGS, NO NEW ANYTHING.
YET THE POPULATION GROWTH
CONTINUES.
FAMILIES ARE FORMED.
AND OVERCROWDING CONTINUES.
THAT'S THE REALITY OF MAXIMUM
CAPACITY OF DIESEL POWER.

Steve says CHRIS, YOU'VE LOOKED
AT IT IN YOUR BOOK "ABORIGINAL POWER."
HOW DOES IT AFFECT PEOPLE'S
LIVES ACROSS THIS COUNTRY IF
THEY'RE OFF THE GRID?

The caption changes to "Christopher Henderson. Lumos Energy."

Christopher says IT AFFECTS THEM IN UNIQUE AND
POWERFUL WAYS, NEGATIVE WAYS.
SOCIALLY IT MEANS THE COMMUNITY
DOESN'T HAVE THE POWER FOR
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.
JOBS ARE HARD TO CREATE OR
MAINTAIN OR EVEN HAVE.
YOU HAVE HEALTH EFFECTS.
AS A RESULT YOU HAVE AIR QUALITY
ISSUES, RESPIRATORY ISSUES.
ECONOMICALLY, WHEN YOU DON'T
HAVE THAT POWER, YOU CAN'T OFFER
A PLACE WHERE COMPANIES CAN GET
ESTABLISHED BECAUSE THEY DON'T
KNOW IF THE POWER IS GOING TO BE ON.
YOU CAN'T KEEP YOUR COMPANY
OPERATING SO COMPANIES DON'T GET
ESTABLISHED.
ENVIRONMENTALLY, STEVE, DIESEL
FUEL IS BAD FOR CLIMATE CHANGE.
IT EMITS HEAVY GREENHOUSE GAS
EMISSIONS.
THIS IS A TRIPLE WHAMMY FOR
THESE COMMUNITIES THAT ARE
SOCIAL WILL HE, ECONOMICALLY,
AND ENVIRONMENTALLY NEGATIVE.

Steve says WE'RE GOING TO TALK
ABOUT HEALTH IMPACTS AS WELL.
JUDITH, BEFORE WE DO THAT, I DO
WANT TO GET YOUR SENSE OF HOW IT
IS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA AS WELL.
WE'VE BEEN SORT OF TALKING ABOUT
ONTARIO EXAMPLES UP UNTIL NOW.
HOW DOES IT AFFECT PEOPLE IN
BRITISH COLUMBIA?

The caption changes to "Judith Sayers. University of Victoria."

Judith says THE SAME WAY.
THERE ARE MANY COASTAL
COMMUNITIES THAT DO NOT HAVE
ACCESS TO THE GRID, MANY THAT
ARE FAR AWAY FROM THE GRID,
ISOLATED COMMUNITIES,
COMMUNITIES THAT YOU HAVE TO FLY
INTO OR THERE MAY BE SNOW ROADS.
BUT, YOU KNOW, NOISE IS ONE OF
THOSE ISSUES.
I THINK THAT PEOPLE HAVE TO LIVE
WITH A NOISY GENERATOR.
THE FEAR OF DIESEL SPILLS INTO
PRECIOUS LAKES OR SACRED SITES.
AND JUST FEELING LIKE, YOU KNOW,
YOU'RE LIVING IN SECOND CLASS
CONDITIONS OR THIRD WORLD
CONDITIONS.
WHY ARE YOU DIFFERENT THAN A
COMMUNITY 100 MILES DOWN THE ROAD?

Steve says LET'S TRY TO SEE IF
WE CAN ANSWER THAT QUESTION.
CHRIS, AGAIN, WORKING ON YOUR
EXPERTISE ON THIS.
DOES THIS SITUATION PERSIST FOR
TECHNICAL REASONS OR POLITICAL
REASONS?

Christopher says THE SIMPLE ANSWER IS BOTH.
IF THE POLITICAL WILL WAS THERE,
WE'D PROBABLY SOLVE THE
TECHNICAL REASONS.
GENERATING POWER FROM RENEWABLE
SOURCES OR SOURCES OFF DIESEL IS
NOT EASY TO DO.
BUT THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS IT
TAKES INVESTMENT.
LIKE A LOT OF THINGS IN THE
NORTH, INVESTMENT IS NOT THERE,
IT HAS NOT BEEN THERE BY AND
LARGE TO CONVERT DIESEL
COMMUNITIES TO RENEWABLE ENERGY.
SO I THINK YOU NEED BOTH: YOU
NEED POLITICAL WILL TO MOVE AND
YOU NEED A TECHNICAL WILL AND
THE KNOW-HOW TO PROVIDE THE
SOLUTIONS.

The caption changes to "Source of the problem."

Steve says IF YOU WERE ABLE TO
BRING THOSE THINGS TO BEAR, HOW
LONG WOULD IT TAKE TO KIND OF
TAKE SOME STEPS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION?

Christopher says A LOT FASTER THAN PEOPLE THINK.
YOU CAN MAKE A VERY QUICK IMPACT
IN A YEAR OR TWO WITH MANY
COMMUNITIES WITH IMPROVED ENERGY
MANAGEMENT, ENERGY PLANNING AND
EFFICIENCY.
OVER THE MEDIUM TERM, TWO,
THREE, FOUR, FIVE YEARS,
RENEWABLE OPTIONS FOR
COMMUNITIES AND BRING THOSE
ONLINE.
IF WE BRING THE POLITICS AND
ECONOMICS TOGETHER, GREAT THINGS
CAN HAPPEN.

Steve says CHIEF DAY, DID YOU
WANT TO ADD SOMETHING?

Isadore says CERTAINLY.
I THINK THE POINT IS WELL-TAKEN.
WHEN WE LOOK AT INVESTMENT, I
BELIEVE IT'S MORE THAN JUST THE
MONETARY SENSE OF INVESTMENT AND
IT'S ABOUT THE PLANNING AND
ENSURING THAT, YOU KNOW, PERHAPS
EVEN THE JURISDICTIONAL
SITUATION THAT EXISTS IN THE
SOUTH MAY NOT BE THE SAME THAT
IS NEEDED IN THE NORTH.
FOR EXAMPLE, YOU HAVE
ATTAWAPISKAT FIRST NATION WHO
RIGHT NOW NOW HAS AN ENERGY
THROUGH THE FIVE NATIONS ENERGY
LINE THAT WENT UP A NUMBER OF
YEARS BACK.
BUT WHAT THEY DON'T HAVE IS THEY
DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO THE WEALTH
THAT THE DIAMONDS THEY'RE
PULLING OUT OF THE REGION.
SO THIS WHOLE NOTION OF
EXPLOITATION POLICY THAT'S BEEN
AROUND FOR OVER 60 YEARS, YOU
KNOW, IF THINGS HAVE CHANGED
HERE IN SOCIETY AND, YOU KNOW,
YOU CANNOT HAVE THE MUNICIPAL
MODEL IN THE NORTH WHERE FIRST
NATIONS ARE PRESENT.
WHAT YOU HAVE TO BE LOOKING AT
IS HOW DOES THE FIRST NATION FIT
INTO THE ISSUE OF JURISDICTION,
HOW CAN THEY TAKE THE WEALTH
FROM THE TERRITORIES AND
ACTUALLY BUILD AND SUSTAIN
COMMUNITIES?

Steve says CYNTHIA?

Cynthia says WELL, ALSO, I THINK PART OF
THE PROBLEM WE HAVE AS A COUNTRY
IS WE NEVER REALLY RECOGNIZED
THOSE COMMUNITIES THE WAY THEY
SHOULD HAVE BEEN RECOGNIZED.
THE ESTABLISHED ARTIFICIAL
COMMUNITIES AND THEY'VE SAID,
YOU KNOW, THESE PEOPLE HAVE TO
LIVE UP HERE AND THEY'RE NOT A
PART OF CANADA IN THE SAME WAY
THAT EVERYBODY ELSE IS.
WE MANAGED TO POPULATE THIS
ENTIRE COUNTRY FROM EAST TO WEST.
THERE'S ABSOLUTELY NO REASON WE
CAN'T GO NORTH TO SOUTH AS WELL.
WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE
BRING THEM INTO THE COUNTRY.

Steve says PROFESSOR SAYERS?

Judith says I JUST WANTED TO MENTION THAT
INDIAN AND NORTHERN AFFAIRS
CANADA, I GUESS INDIGENOUS
CANADA NOW, CUT OUT THEIR REMOTE
COMMUNITY PROGRAM.
SO B.C. HYDRO DID THE SAME
THING, ALTHOUGH THEY HAVE AN
OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE SERVICE TO
EVERYBODY IN BRITISH COLUMBIA.

Steve says WHAT IS THAT PROGRAM?

Judith says THE REMOTE COMMUNITY
ELECTRIFICATION PROGRAM.
THE FEDERAL AND PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENT CUT IT.
NO POLITICAL WILL, NO POLITICAL
FINANCES.
AND WITHIN THE PROVINCE OF
BRITISH COLUMBIA, THERE'S ALSO A
POLICY THAT YOU CAN'T USE NEW
TECHNOLOGY UNLESS IT'S BEEN USED
FOR THREE YEARS, SOMEWHERE UNDER
THREE PROJECTS.
IF WE WANTED TO BRING IN
SOMETHING LIKE KITE TECHNOLOGY
TO THESE REMOTE COMMUNITIES,
UNLESS IT'S BEEN TESTED TO THE
EXTENT B.C. HYDRO LIKES IT, THEY
CAN'T DO IT.
WE NEED A CHANGE IN POLICY.
WE NEED POLITICAL WILL TO OPEN
UP POLICIES SO WE CAN BRING
POWER INTO REMOTE COMMUNITIES A
LOT EASIER.

Steve says CYNTHIA, YOU
MENTIONED THE CORONER'S REPORT.
I WANT TO DO A QUOTE HERE FROM
THE FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF CORONER
FOR THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO.
HE IS THE AUTHOR OF THAT 2011
CHIEF CORONER'S REVIEW OF 16
YOUTH SUICIDES THAT OCCURRED
BETWEEN 2006 AND 2008 IN
PIKANGIKUM.
HE TOLD US RECENTLY...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Electricity and well being." The quote reads "[Pikangikum's] ability to evolve and develop is curtailed by the fact they don't have this necessary resource... Having a good source of electricity is integral to having improved quality in their lives."
Bert Lawers, as quoted on TVO.org, April 2, 2016.

Steve says ACCESS TO RELIABLE
AND ABUNDANT ENERGY.
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN FOR THE
DAY-TO-DAY QUALITY OF LIFE IN
OFF-GRID INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES?
MITCHELL, WHY DON'T YOU START US
OFF ON THAT?

The caption changes to "Impact of unreliable energy."

Mitchell says WELL, WE WOULD BE ABLE TO
DEVELOP A LOCAL ECONOMY.
I SEE ELECTRICITY SUPPLY AS AN
ECONOMIC FOUNDATION TO OUR
ECONOMY, AND WITHOUT IT, WE'RE
STAGNANT.
SO WE CREATE INFRASTRUCTURE, WE
CREATE FACILITIES, WE CREATE
HOUSING, BUT IN DOING ALL OF
THAT, WE'RE CREATING JOBS, WE'RE
CREATING OPPORTUNITIES, AND
WE'RE ALSO CREATING LOCAL
CAPACITY WITH THE TECHNOLOGY.
WE'RE NOT LOOKING FOR SOLUTIONS
TO BE FLOWN IN TO US TO BECOME
THE BENEFICIARIES OF A SOLUTION
THAT'S FOREIGN.
WE WANT TO BE PART OF THE
SOLUTION.
WE WANT TO BE ENGAGED IN THE
PROCESS.
AND WE WANT TO BE SEEN AS
PARTNERS IN FINDING SOLUTIONS TO
MEET OUR ISSUES AND OUR
COMMUNITIES.

Steve says CHRIS, EVEN IN
PLACES AS REMOTE AS PIKANGIKUM,
EVEN IN PLACES THAT ARE SO MUCH
FURTHER NORTH THAN EVEN MOST
PEOPLE DOWN SOUTH EVEN IMAGINE,
YOU THINK THAT ACCESS TO
RELIABLE ENERGY CAN HAVE A
POSITIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EFFECT?

Christopher says ABSOLUTELY.
BUT LET ME GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE.
ATLIN IS A BEAUTIFUL COMMUNITY
IN BRITISH COLUMBIA.
WE NEED POLITICAL KNOW-HOW AND
COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP.
IN THAT COMMUNITY YEARS AGO THEY
SAID CAN WE REPLACE DIESEL POWER
WITH THE SMALL HYDRO RESOURCE WE
HAVE?
THEY'VE BEEN DOING THAT.
IT'S BEEN RUN 3 YEARS.
COMPLETELY OWNED BY THE FIRST
NATION.
THEY BUILT THEIR OWN CAPACITY TO
DO IT.
OVER THAT TIME, THEY'VE ADDED 20
JOBS IN THE COMMUNITY, WHICH IS
HUGE FOR A SMALL COMMUNITY.
THEY ARE STABLE, PROVIDING THEIR
OWN POWER THAT IS REDUCED
ELECTRICITY COSTS FOR THE
COMMUNITY, AND THEY'VE SEEN THE
MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENT BEEN
ADDED WHICH IS CONFIDENCE IN THE
FUTURE, HOPE IN THE FUTURE.
SO THE RESULTS SPEAK FOR
THEMSELVES.
WHEN YOU HAVE A COMMUNITY
CONVERT FROM DIESEL TO RENEWABLE
ENERGY, THINGS GET A LOT BETTER
FAST.
I THINK WE NEED TO DO MORE OF
THAT.

Steve says CYNTHIA, I'M GOING
TO PUSH BACK ON THIS BECAUSE WE
EVEN SAW OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF
WEEKS JEAN Chrétien, A FORMER
PRIME MINISTER, FORMER INDIAN
AFFAIRS MINISTER, A MAN WHO HAS
ADOPTED AN INDIGENOUS CHILD TO
BE PART OF HIS FAMILY, HE SAYS
SOMETIMES THESE COMMUNITIES ARE
NOT SUSTAINABLE AND YOU'VE GOT
TO MOVE.
ARE YOU SAYING THAT ACCESS TO
RELIABLE SOURCES OF ENERGY COULD
ACTUALLY BE THE SECRET TO
KEEPING PLACES LIKE PIKANGIKUM
AND ATTAWAPISKAT ALIVE AND WHERE
THEY ARE?

Cynthia says IT'S ONE PIECE OF THE PUZZLE.
IT'S NOT EVERYTHING.
I MEAN, THERE'S A LOT OF
INSECURITY UP THERE, WHETHER
IT'S ABOUT FOOD INSECURITY,
HEALTH INSECURITY, ENERGY
INSECURITY -- THERE ARE A LOT OF
THINGS THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED
UP THERE.
Chrétien NEVER LIVED IN THOSE
COMMUNITIES SO HE DOESN'T
UNDERSTAND WHAT THE COMMUNITY IS
ALL ABOUT AND WHY PEOPLE WANT TO
STAY.
THOSE ARE TRADITIONAL
TERRITORIES, ANCESTRAL
LANDS.
THEY SHOULDN'T BE REQUIRED TO
LEAVE.
WE ALSO KNOW ABOUT THE
DEVELOPMENT THAT HAS TO HAPPEN
IN THE NORTH, THAT'S KIND OF THE
FINAL FRONTIER OF CANADA'S
RESOURCE EXTRACTION AND WEALTH
AND THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE
LIVING UP THERE WHO MAY BE
PERCEIVED TO BE SOMEWHAT IN THE
WAY OF THAT DEVELOPMENT
HAPPENING.
WE'RE NOT SO NAIVE AS TO THINK
THAT WE JUST FORGOT TO GIVE YOU
SOME POWER AND WE FORGOT TO GIVE
YOU ADDITIONAL JURISDICTION, WE
GET THERE'S AN ARGUMENT HERE
THAT HAS TO BE ADDRESSED BY ALL
OF CANADIANS.
WE ALL HAVE TO AGREE THAT IT'S
IMPORTANT FOR THE INDIGENOUS
PEOPLES OF THIS LAND TO LIVE IN
THE TERRITORIES WHERE THEY'VE
LIVED FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS AND
THEY NEED THE KIND OF ASSISTANCE
NECESSARY TO MAKE IT POSSIBLE.
THANKFULLY RIGHT NOW WE HAVE A
GOVERNMENT THAT HAS SAID YES.
WE UNDERSTAND AND WE HEAR YOU
AND WE'RE GOING TO WORK WITH
YOU, NOT AGAINST YOU, TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Steve says MITCHELL?

Mitchell says I HAVE A LOT OF RESPECT FOR
JEAN Chrétien.
HE'S AN ELDER STATESMAN IN THIS
COUNTRY.
BUT TO COME UP WITH SOMETHING
LIKE THAT IS LUDICROUS.
IT'S A NON-STARTER.
IT'S NOT A DISCUSSION WE'RE
GOING TO HAVE IN OUR COMMUNITIES
TO ASK US TO CUT OUR SPIRITUAL,
OUR CULTURAL UMBILICAL CORD TO
OUR OWN LAND AND BECOME EXILES
IN THIS COUNTRY.
THAT'S RIDICULOUS.

Steve says I DON'T KNOW IF I'M
READING BETWEEN THE LINES BUT IT
SOUNDS LIKE YOU'RE SAYING THE
WHITE MAN IS CONSPIRING TO GIVE
US A DESIRABLE ENERGY SO THEY
CAN HAVE ACCESS TO OUR RESOURCES
IN OUR TRADITIONAL TERRITORIES.

Cynthia says IT'S A THOUGHT.

She laughs and then adds
IT'S BEEN THERE FOR A WHILE.

Steve says I'M NOT READING TOO
MUCH BETWEEN THE LINES THERE.
THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE SAYING?

Cynthia says THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THOSE
COMMUNITIES HAVE CREATED A HUGE
AMOUNT OF DAMAGE.
THOSE COMMUNITIES WHERE THEY'RE
ACTUALLY SITTING ARE ARTIFICIAL
COMMUNITIES.
THOSE ARE NOT THE HOMELANDS THEY
WOULD HAVE LIVED IF IT THEY HAD
THE CHOICE.
THEY WERE MOVED THERE IN THE
'50s, THEY WERE DISPLACED FROM
THEIR LOCATIONS FOR THE BENEFIT
AND THE CONVENIENCE OF THE
GOVERNMENT.
SO WE NEED TO DO IT DIFFERENTLY
NOW.
WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE THAT.

Steve says JUDITH?

Judith says WELL, IN 1969, JEAN Chrétien
AND PIERRE ELLIOTT TRUDEAU WROTE
THE WHITE PAPER AND IT WAS WITH
AN ASSIMILATION AGENDA THAT
TAKES THE INDIANS AND TAKES THEM
OUT OF THE RESERVE AND PUTS THEM
INTO SOCIETY.
THAT'S THE SAME THOUGHT THAT
STILL IS PREVALENT IN THE
GOVERNMENT, AND WE CANNOT BE
REMOVED OFF OUR LANDS AND WE
HAVE TO WORK WITH FIRST NATIONS
TO FIND ACCESS TO THE GRID,
SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS EDUCATION
AND HAVING ENOUGH POWER TO BE
ABLE TO EDUCATE OUR CHILDREN IS
REALLY CRITICAL TO SOME OF THAT
BASIC FOUNDATION.

Steve says LET ME PICK UP ON
THE HEALTH CARE ANGLE THAT WE
SORT OF TOUCHED ON TANGENTIALLY
A MOMENT AGO.
LET'S HIT IT ON THE HEAD NOW.
CHRIS, GETTING THESE RESERVES,
WHICH ARE OFF THE GRID, WHICH
ARE DEPENDING ON DIESEL RIGHT
NOW IN ORDER TO FUEL THEIR POWER
NEEDS, IF YOU COULD SOMEHOW TURN
THAT AROUND AND HAVE A MUCH MORE
SUSTAINABLE FORM OF RELIABLE
ACCESS TO ENERGY, WHAT WOULD
THAT MEAN FOR THE HEALTH CARE
CONCERNS OF THE PEOPLE LIVING IN
THESE PLACES?

Christopher says MOST OF THESE COMMUNITIES ARE
IN THE FAR NORTH OF CANADA,
INCLUDING ONTARIO.
IT'S COLD FOR A LARGE PART OF
THE YEAR.
WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT ENERGY YOU
ALSO HAVE TO TALK ABOUT HEAT.
THEY USE DIESEL FUEL TO HEAT
THEIR HOMES OR WOOD IF IT'S
AVAILABLE.
OFTEN IT'S NOT.
IF YOU HAD SUSTAINABLE SOURCES
OF POWER THAT COULD PROVIDE
ELECTRICITY AND HEAT, HAVING A
STABLE HEAT ENVIRONMENT IN A
COLD CLIMATE, YOU CAN UNDERSTAND
WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOUR HEALTH.
WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE IT, YOU KNOW
HOW DANGEROUS IT IS.
IF YOU'RE RELYING ON DIESEL FOR
HEAT AND POWER, YOU HAVE HEAVY
EMISSIONS THAT AFFECT
RESPIRATORY HEALTH.
IF A CHILD GETS RESPIRATORY
ILLNESS, THE COST IS 50,000 dollars.
APART FROM THE HUMAN COST TO
THAT CHILD AND THEIR FAMILY.
IF YOU'RE MOVING TO A MORE
RELIABLE SOURCE OF RENEWABLE
ENERGY AWAY FROM DIESEL, YOU
HAVE STABLE HEAT ENVIRONMENT,
STABLE POWER ENVIRONMENTS THAT
ALSO REMOVE SOME OF THE
EMISSIONS IN THE SYSTEM, LET
ALONE THE SPILLS THAT OCCUR FROM
TIME TO TIME IN COMMUNITIES.
YOU WOULDN'T TOLERATE THIS IN A
TOWN LIKE TORONTO OR OTTAWA.
WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT FOR
KASABONIKA OR PIKANGIKUM?

Steve says CHIEF DAY, A LOT OF COMMUNITIES
USE WOOD STOVES TO GET BY.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH IMPLICATIONS
OF THAT?

Isadore says OBVIOUSLY IT'S, FIRST OF ALL,
AN AIR QUALITY ISSUE, AND SECOND
OF ALL, IT'S A SAFETY ISSUE.
AGAIN, PIKANGIKUM, THIS WAS A
WOOD-BURNING FIRE SYSTEM IN THE
HOME THAT JUST KILLED -- THE
FIRE THAT JUST KILLED 9 PEOPLE.
SO OBVIOUSLY IT'S A SAFETY ISSUE
AND IT'S ONE WHERE, YOU KNOW,
THE MEANS TO ACTUALLY GO OUT AND
GET FIREWOOD IS STILL A
PRIMITIVE SITUATION IN THE NORTH
AND IT SHOULDN'T BE.
YOU KNOW, THIS IS THE 21ST
CENTURY.
OUR COMMUNITIES THAT ARE IN THE
NORTH ARE STRUGGLING BETWEEN TWO
WORLDS RIGHT NOW, YOU KNOW, THE
TRADITIONAL WORLD AND THE MODERN
WORLD WHERE THERE'S SO MUCH
AMBIGUITY THERE, WHICH WAY DO WE
GO?
WE HAVE ACCESS TO THIS AND WE
NEED EDUCATION, WE NEED
EMPLOYMENT, WE NEED AN ECONOMY,
YET THE ENERGY IS NOT THERE.
AND THE WOOD FIRE SITUATION, I
THINK PEOPLE WOULD BE QUITE
SURPRISED THAT THERE ARE MORE
FIRES THAT KILL FIRST NATIONS
PEOPLE IN THE NORTH THAN THE
NATIONAL AVERAGE.

Steve says LET ME DO A
FOLLOW-UP WITH YOU ON THIS.
WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE BASICS,
THAT EVERYBODY NEEDS TO SURVIVE:
HOUSING, CLEAN DRINKING WATER,
ACCESS TO PLUMBING, REGULAR
PLUMBING INFRASTRUCTURE.
RELIABLE ENERGY CAN DO WHAT TO
ADDRESS THOSE THREE BASIC NEEDS,
IN YOUR VIEW?

Isadore says OBVIOUSLY, AGAIN, THE
SITUATION IN PIKANGIKUM, THERE
IS NO RUNNING WATER.
95 PERCENT OF THE HOMES AT
PIKANGIKUM DON'T HAVE RUNNING
WATER, SO THEREFORE, YOU'RE NOT
GOING TO SEE A FIRE HYDRANT
OUTSIDE.
YOU KNOW, THE ISSUE OF
EDUCATION.
ONE OF THE SITUATIONS WE'RE
SEEING SOME PROGRESS IN
PIKANGIKUM WHERE THEY'VE GOT A
SCHOOL THAT HAS THE CAPACITY
TO -- IT'S GOING TO BE COMING
ONLINE IN SEPTEMBER.
THEY CAN HOLD 800 STUDENTS.
THEY HAVE 3 PRINCIPALS.
AND IT HAS ITS OWN ENERGY
SOURCE.
SO THEY ARE MOVING AHEAD.
THERE ARE POSITIVE THINGS
HAPPENING AT PIKANGIKUM.
BUT AGAIN, THE CENTRAL PIECE
AGAIN IS JUST, LIKE THE HUMAN
BODY HAS ELECTRICITY IN IT, AND
IF ONE PART OF THE BODY DOESN'T
HAVE ELECTRICITY, IT'S GOING TO
FALTER AND IT'S GOING TO DIE.
IT'S THE SAME THING AS A
COMMUNITY.

Steve says MITCHELL, COULD WE
LEARN A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT
YOUR COMMUNITY?
YOU'RE 500 MILES NORTH OF
THUNDER BAY IN NORTHWESTERN
ONTARIO.
HOW MANY PEOPLE LIVE THERE?

Mitchell says THERE'S APPROXIMATELY 1100
PEOPLE THERE ON RESERVE.
WE'RE SITUATED ON A LITTLE
ISLAND, WHICH THE COMMUNITY WAS
FORCED TO RELOCATE TO IN THE
'60s FROM ITS TRADITIONAL
AREAS WHERE WE HAD A COMMUNITY
SETTING AND WE STILL MAINTAIN IT.
WE'RE A CREE COMMUNITY AND VERY
PROGRESSIVE IN TERMS OF
ADDRESSING OUR ISSUES DIRECTLY
AND LOOKING FOR SOLUTIONS,
LOOKING FOR PARTNERS, LOOKING
FOR THE RESOURCES WE REQUIRE TO
SOLVE OUR OWN ISSUES.
KASABONIKA DOESN'T SIT BACK AND
WAIT, THAT'S FOR SURE.

Steve says IS THERE ANYTHING
UNDER THE GROUND WHERE YOU ARE
THAT COULD HELP ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT IN YOUR AREA?

Mitchell says WELL, FOR SURE.
GEOLOGICALLY SPEAKING, WE SIT IN
THE RING OF FIRE GEOLOGICAL AREA
THAT'S BEEN IN THE MEDIA A FAIR
BIT AND ON EVERYONE'S TONGUES
PRETTY MUCH.

Steve says CHROMITE?

Mitchell says BASE METALS, DIAMONDS, YOU
NAME IT.
AS FAR AS WE'RE CONCERNED, WE
WANT TO BE THE LEAD IN LOOKING
AT MINERAL EXPLORATION OR MINE
DEVELOPMENT.
WHEN I TALK ABOUT BEING
PROGRESSIVE, WE LOOK AT TURNING
OVER A LOT OF STONES IN TERMS OF
POWER, WE'VE DONE A LOT OF
INVESTIGATIONS IN RENEWABLES:
WATER POWER SITE INVESTIGATIONS,
ROOFTOP SOLAR INSTALLATIONS ON
OUR WATER TREATMENT PLANT WHERE
WE HAVE OUR HIGHEST LOADS,
LOOKING AT THE SCHOOL NEXT,
SOLAR FARM WHERE WE WOULD SELL
POWER BACK TO THE MICROGRID WITH
OUR REGULATOR OR DISTRIBUTOR.
SO BASICALLY WE'RE TRYING TO
TAKE CHARGE OF LOOKING AFTER THE
CHALLENGES WE HAVE IN OUR
COMMUNITY.

Steve says CHRIS?

Christopher says STEVE, WHAT MITCH UNDERLINES
IS THE POWER OF PEOPLE IN THE
NORTH AND ALL ABORIGINAL
COMMUNITIES.
HE HASN'T TALKED ABOUT IN
KASABONIKA WHERE THEY TRIED A
FEW YEARS AGO WITH THE
UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO LOOKING
AT RENEWABLE ENERGY TO CREATE
HYDROGEN FOR THE COMMUNITY.
THERE IS A HUGE INTEREST IN
INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES TO NOT
ONLY SOLVE SOME OF THEIR
CHALLENGES BUT BE ACTIVE PLAYERS
IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A CLEAN
ENERGY ECONOMY, WHICH IS NOT
ONLY RELEVANT FOR THEIR LOCAL
ECONOMIES BUT ECONOMIES IN THE
WORLD.
NO BETTER ACTION WE COULD TAKE
IS TAKE THAT ENERGY AND GO
FORWARD WITH THE PEOPLE WHO WANT
TO CHANGE THEIR FUTURES.
EVERY TIME I WORK WITH
INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES, I SEE IT
TIME AND TIME AGAIN.

Steve says I THOUGHT I HEARD
SOMETHING ONCE UPON A TIME,
MITCHELL, ABOUT YOUR COMMUNITY,
WHERE YOU HAD SOME ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT PLAN THAT YOU HAD TO
SCUPPER BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T HAVE
ACCESS TO RELIABLE POWER TO MAKE
THAT HAPPEN?
DO I HAVE THAT RIGHT?

Mitchell says THERE WERE A NUMBER OF ISSUES
WE LOOKED AT WHERE WE DIDN'T
HAVE THE POWER.
WE HAD SMALL BUSINESS CENTRES
PLANNED FOR HOUSING SMALL
BUSINESS, ENTREPRENEURS,
INCUBATORS, AND HYDRO REFUSED TO
HOOK UP ANYTHING OR EVEN
ENTERTAIN A DISCUSSION OF
HOOKING UP ANYTHING.
SO A LOT OF OUR PROJECTS ARE ON
THE DRAWING BOARD.
NOW, WE FINALLY COMMISSIONED AN
UPGRADE TO THE DIESEL PLANT IN
DECEMBER 2015, SO NOW WE'VE GOT
ANOTHER WINDOW OF POWER AND I
WOULD SAY 5 TO 7 YEARS WE'LL BE
BACK IN LOAD RESTRICTIONS
DEPENDING ON HOW AGGRESSIVE WE
ARE.
WE CAN NOW UNLOCK SOME OF THOSE
OPPORTUNITIES IN OUR COMMUNITY.

Steve says CHIEF DAY?

Isadore says I THINK WHAT MITCH
UNDERSCORES AS WELL IS THE NEED
TO LOOK AT THE PARTICULAR REGION
THAT IS SUFFERING WITHOUT ENERGY
RIGHT NOW.
YOU KNOW, THE BIGGEST THING HERE
IS GOING TO BE, WHAT IS THE
PLANNING CONFIGURATION LOOK LIKE
FOR THE FUTURE?
LISTEN, IT'S NOT GOING TO BE, AS
IT IS IN THE MAINSTREAM IN
CANADA TODAY, THE NORTH IS IN A
VERY DIFFERENT SITUATION RIGHT
NOW.
WE'VE GOT CLIMATE CHANGE.
THE NORTH, IN WHICH MITCH IS
SPEAKING ABOUT, HAS GOT THE
SECOND LARGEST CARBON SINK IN
THE WORLD.
THERE'S THE CLIMATE CHANGE,
THERE'S THE CLEAN ECONOMY, AND
THERE'S RESOURCE EXTRACTION AND
DEVELOPMENT BUT YOU ALSO HAVE
UNDERDEVELOPED COMMUNITIES.
THIS IS REALLY GOING TO TAKE A
FOCUS IN TERMS OF WHAT THAT
POLITICAL WILL IS AND WHAT IS
THE SEQUENTIAL INVESTMENT THAT'S
GOING TO BE NEEDED OVER THIS
POLITICAL TERM, WHETHER IT BE
THE FEDERAL OR PROVINCIAL, BUT
WE REALLY NEED TO LOOK AT
PLANNING VERY CAREFULLY.

Steve says JUDITH, IF YOU COULD
GET EVERYBODY OFF DIESEL AND
ONTO SOMETHING GREENER, NEVER
MIND THE HEALTH EFFECTS THAT
WE'VE TALKED ABOUT, TALK ABOUT
THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS
OF BEING ABLE TO DO THAT.
WHAT WOULD THEY BE?

Judith says THE THINK THE ENVIRONMENTAL
IMPLICATIONS OF COURSE WILL BE
THE IMMEDIATE REDUCTION OF
GREENHOUSE GASES, THE NOISE
POLLUTION, ANY OF THE THREATS
WITH TRANSPORTING DIESEL,
WHETHER IT'S BY WATER, BY ROAD,
OR BY AIR.
I THINK THERE'S A LOT OF THOSE
ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS.

Steve says HOW FREQUENTLY DO WE
SEE SPILLS OF DIESEL OIL?

Judith says WE DON'T HEAR TOO MANY.
BUT THE THREAT IS ALWAYS THERE,
ESPECIALLY THOSE BARGING THROUGH
THE OCEAN.
AND, YOU KNOW, IT'S SOMETHING
YOU THINK ABOUT ALL THE TIME.
BUT I'D LIKE TO ADD ONE MORE
WORD TO YOUR CLEAN RELIABLE, AND
I THINK THAT'S AFFORDABLE
ELECTRICITY.
WE HAVE A LOT OF HOMES IN THE
NORTH THAT ARE HEATED BY
ELECTRICITY AND THEIR BILLS ARE
SO HIGH THAT THEY CAN'T AFFORD
TO PAY THEM AND THEY END UP
GETTING POWER CUT OFF.
WHATEVER SOLUTIONS WE COME UP
WITH, WE HAVE TO HAVE THEM, THAT
FIRST NATIONS CAN AFFORD AND
WITH THE LARGE AMOUNT OF
UNEMPLOYMENT IN OUR COMMUNITIES,
IT'S A REAL PROBLEM.

Steve says OKAY.
CYNTHIA, YOU WANTED TO ADD?

Cynthia says I ALSO WANT TO COME BACK TO
THE SOCIAL.
THESE ARE COMMUNITIES, AND I
KNOW THAT A LOT OF
REPRESENTATION THESE COMMUNITIES
GET IN THE MEDIA IS THAT THESE
PEOPLE ARE ALL SORT OF IN A BAD
WAY AND THEY'RE SUFFERING AND
ALL THESE PROBLEMS ARE
HAPPENING, AND IT'S TRUE.
BUT THERE'S ALSO AN INCREDIBLE
NUMBER OF PEOPLE LIVING IN THESE
COMMUNITIES THAT ARE DOING
REALLY GREAT STUFF, AND I THINK
THAT WE REALLY HAVE TO TRY TO
BALANCE THIS CONVERSATION.
IT'S NOT THAT WE WANT CANADA TO
FEEL SORRY FOR THE PEOPLE UP
THERE.
WE'RE JUST SAYING, LOOK, THERE'S
RESOURCE REVENUE-SHARING
OPPORTUNITIES HERE, THERE ARE
PEOPLE LIVING IN THESE
COMMUNITIES THAT ARE
WELL-EDUCATED AND ARE GOING BACK
AND FORTH BETWEEN TWO WORLDS ON
A REGULAR BASIS.
EXCEPT THEY DON'T HAVE WHAT WE
HAVE IN THE SOUTH.
I LIVE IN THUNDER BAY MYSELF.
BUT WE DON'T HAVE -- THEY DON'T
HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO JUMP IN
THE SHOWER EVERY MORNING AND TO
GIVE THEIR KIDS A BATH EVERY
NIGHT AND THE WATER SOMETIMES IS
OVERLOADED WITH BLEACH AND SO
THE KIDS GET SORES.
THEY DON'T HAVE THE THINGS THAT
WE TAKE FOR GRANTED, AND THEY
LIVE IN CANADA TOO.
BUT THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE
WORKING ON THEIR BEHALF, AND I
REALLY WANT TO MAKE THAT PLAIN,
THAT THERE'S 1500 PHDS OUT THERE
THAT ARE INDIGENOUS AND 8,000
MASTERS DEGREES, ALL TRYING TO
PUT THEIR ENERGIES TO BEAR ON
SOLVING THIS WITH THEIR OWN
COMMUNITIES.
IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE ASKING YOU
TO DO THIS FOR US.
I WANT TO BE VERY CLEAR ABOUT
THAT.
I THINK WE HAVE TO BE
UNDERSTANDING AND ACKNOWLEDGE
THAT THERE'S A HUGE HISTORY IN
THIS COUNTRY THAT HAS HAD THESE
EFFECTS, WHETHER WE GO ALL THE
WAY BACK TO CONTACT OR WE'RE
LOOKING AT THE RESIDENTIAL
SCHOOLS OR AT THE '60s SCOOP
AND FOSTER CARE AND
OVERINCARCERATION.
THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS GOING
ON THAT ARE ACTUALLY ASSOCIATED
TO THE SOCIAL, TO THE JUSTICE
AREAS, AND TO THINGS THAT WE ARE
ALSO AT THE SAME TIME EMBATTLED
BY.
SO ENERGY IS ONE THING.
BUT, BOY, WE HAVE A LOT OF WORK
TO DO AS A COUNTRY TO MAKE THIS
RIGHT.
I THINK WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND
THAT WE'RE ALSO WORKING VERY
HARD TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN.

Steve says WELL SAID.
I WANT TO GO INTO THIS AUDIENCE.
THEO, ARE YOU READY FOR ME NOW?
WHERE ARE YOU?
HERE WE GO.
THEO BLACKBIRD-JOHN JOINS US
HERE TODAY AS WELL.

He walks across the stage and up along the seats in the auditorium to a man in his twenties. Theo is clean-shaven, with short black hair shaven at the temples. He's wearing a flowery blue shirt and a khaki jacket.

Steve continues WE'RE GOING TO GET A CAMERA TO
COME UP HERE.
COME A LITTLE CLOSER TO ME, IF
YOU WOULD?
CAN YOU GIVE US AN EXPLANATION
OF YOUR NAME?

Theo says WELL, ACTUALLY, I'M FROM BOTH
SIDES OF THE CREEK.
MY FATHER IS GERMAN, MY MOTHER
IS NATIVE.
SO BLACKBIRD COMES FROM MY
ANCESTRAL HOMELAND IN NORTH
AMERICA, AND JOHN COMES FROM MY
ANCESTRAL HOMELAND IN GERMANY
AND SWITZERLAND.

The caption changes to "On-grid energy problems."

Steve says INTERESTING.
OKAY.
YOU'RE FROM WHERE?

Theo says WALPOLE ISLAND FIRST NATION
WHICH IS AT THE HEART OF THE
GREAT LAKES, ACTUALLY, ON THE
ST. CLAIR RIVER.

Steve says IF YOU ASKED
SOMEBODY FROM SAULT STE. MARIE
WHERE THE HEART OF THE GREAT
LAKES IS, THEY'LL TELL YOU
THEY'RE ON IT TOO.

[Laughter]

Theo says TRUE THAT.

Steve says SO THE HEART OF YOUR
GREAT LAKE IS WHERE?

Theo says IN BETWEEN LAKE HURON AND
LAKE SINCLAIR.

Steve says ALL OF WHAT YOU'RE
HEARING TODAY, ANY OF THIS RING
TRUE FOR YOU?

Theo says VERY MUCH SO.

Steve says HOW SO?

Theo says A LOT OF THE ISSUES WE FACE
REGARDING ACCESS TO ENERGY IN
NORTHERN COMMUNITIES, WE FACED
THE SAME ISSUES EVEN WHEN WE
HAVE ACCESS TO ENERGY.

Steve says YOU'RE ONE OF THE
SOUTHERN-MOST POINTS OF CANADA?

Theo says YES.
AND WE HAVE ACCESS TO ALMOST ALL
TYPES OF ENERGY AND CURRENTLY
RIGHT NOW WE HAVE A NATURAL GAS
PIPELINE COMING INTO OUR
COMMUNITY WHICH IS GOING TO
OFFSET THE COST OF PROPANE.
WE'LL BE SAVING APPROXIMATELY
200,000 dollars A YEAR ON PROPANE FOR
OUR WATER TREATMENT PLANT ALONE.
SO RENEWABLE ENERGY HAS A REALLY
IMPORTANT ASPECT TO ALL OF OUR
FUTURES.
NOT ONLY DOES IT ALIGN WITH OUR
TRADITIONAL VALUES AND BELIEFS,
BUT IT ALIGNS WITH, YOU KNOW,
ENSURING THE NEXT 7 GENERATIONS
HAVE A FUTURE, HAVE A PLACE TO
CALL HOME, SOMEWHERE TO LIVE
WHERE THEY WON'T GET SICK FROM
THE OUTPUTS OF DIFFERENT
INDUSTRY AND THINGS WE'RE
INTERESTED IN IN THIS DAY AND
AGE.

Steve says YOU'RE ON THE GRID,
YES, YOUR COMMUNITY?

Theo says YES, SIR.

Steve says WHAT'S THE COST OF
ELECTRICITY?

Theo says UNFORTUNATELY, WE ARE ON AN
ISLAND SO THERE IS A DELIVERY CHARGE.
IT'S ABOUT THREE TIMES HIGHER
DUE TO THE DELIVERY CHARGE
ALONE.

Steve says THREE TIMES HIGHER
THAN WHAT?

Theo says THAN THE TOWN 10 KILOMETRES
AWAY FROM US.

Steve says HOW DO YOU GUYS DEAL
WITH THAT?

Theo says WELL, WE HAVE TO MAKE A
CHOICE WHETHER WE'RE GOING TO
PAY OUR HYDRO BILL OR PAY FOR
FOOD, AND MORE OFTEN THAN NOT,
WE'RE CHOOSING TO FEED OUR
CHILDREN.

Steve says THAT'S PRETTY STARK,
THEO.

Theo says YES, IT IS.

Steve says WHAT DO YOU SEE THE
OPTIONS GOING FORWARD?

Theo says WELL, I SEE OPTIONS GOING
FORWARD IS HOPEFULLY WE CONTINUE
WITH THE MOMENTUM WE CURRENTLY
HAVE.
RIGHT NOW, THERE WAS 16 PROJECTS
IN ONTARIO LAST YEAR UNDER FIT
AND LRP PROGRAMS, AND 13 OF
WHICH HAD FIRST NATIONS
CONTRIBUTIONS ON SOME LEVEL, IN
PARTNERSHIPS.
SO MOVING INTO THE FUTURE, ABOUT
2 WEEKS AGO, THE PROGRAMS WERE
RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC.
LAST YEAR IT WAS 500 MEGAWATTS,
THIS YEAR IT'S 900, SO THE
OPPORTUNITY FOR PARTNERSHIPS IS
THERE AGAIN.
HOPEFULLY WE BECOME LEADERS AND
NOT JUST PARTNERS LIKE WORKING
AND BUILDING ON A LABOUR LEVEL
BUT ALSO LEADING THE WAVE.
NOW, WHEN TALKING ABOUT
LEADERSHIP, WE HAVE PEOPLE THAT
ARE BEING EDUCATED, THEY'RE
GOING TO SCHOOL, AND THEY'RE
GOING TO COME OUT AND THEY'RE
GOING TO BE A FORCE TO BE
RECKONED WITH.
ALSO, WE NEED TO ACKNOWLEDGE OUR
LEADERS THAT HAVE GROWN ON THE
LAND AND HAVE THOSE TRADITIONAL
VALUES AND BELIEFS INSTILLED
WITHIN THEM, BECAUSE RIGHT NOW
IN THIS DAY AND AGE IN THE WORLD
AND THE DIRECTION WE'RE HEADING
AS A SPECIES AND THE DIRECTION
WE'RE TAKING ALL SPECIES WITH
US, IT'S CRITICAL RIGHT NOW THAT
WE REALIZE AND WE SEE AND WE
UNDERSTAND AND WE MOVE TOWARDS
INDIGENOUS BELIEFS AND VALUES
FROM AROUND THE WORLD, WE
INCORPORATE INTO OUR ECONOMIC
MODELS, WE INCORPORATE IT INTO
OUR SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE.
IT'S MANDATORY THAT GOVERNMENTS
AROUND THE WORLD SEEK OUR
UNDERSTANDING AND WE CREATE THE
ENVIRONMENT WHERE WE CAN SHARE
THESE THINGS WITH EACH OTHER.

Steve says THEO, WE THANK YOU
FOR SHARING YOUR VIEWS WITH US
HERE TODAY IN WATERLOO, ONTARIO.
THANK YOU SO MUCH.
THEO BLACKBIRD-JOHN.

[APPLAUSE]

The caption changes to "TVO.org/current-affairs"

Steve says OKAY.
LET ME JUST DO A LITTLE BUSINESS
HERE WITH THE FOLKS AT HOME IN
CASE YOU'VE TUNED IN LATE.
WE'RE AT THE INSTITUTE FOR
THEORETICAL PHYSICS TO TAKE
PART IN -- PHYSICS TO TAKE PART
IN THE OPEN ACCESS SUMMIT.
WE'RE LOOKING AT THE CHALLENGE
TO GET POWER TO INDIGENOUS
COMMUNITIES, AND OUR GUESTS FROM
LEFT TO RIGHT, MITCHELL DIABO
FROM THE KASABONIKA DEVELOPMENT
CORPORATION, CHRISTOPHER
HENDERSON, AUTHOR OF ABORIGINAL
POWER, CYNTHIA WESLEY-ESQUIMAUX
FROM LAKEHEAD UNIVERSITY,
ISADORE DAY ONTARIO REGIONAL
CHIEF FOR THE CHIEFS OF ONTARIO,
JUDITH SAYERS FROM THE
UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA IN
BRITISH COLUMBIA.
LET'S CONTINUE ON NOW.
I WANT -- SHELDON, CAN WE BRING
UP THIS NEXT GRAPHIC, BOARD 4?
TALK ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENING TO
GET RELIABLE ELECTRICITY TO
OFF-GRID COMMUNITIES.
HERE'S SOME MORE INFO FOR YOU.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "The tide turning?"

Steve reads from the slate and says
THE 2016 FEDERAL BUDGET INCLUDES
11.9 BILLION dollars IN INFRASTRUCTURE
SPENDING OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS
AND 8.4 BILLION dollars OVER THE NEXT 5
YEARS TO HELP BRING ABOUT WHAT
THEY'RE CALLING TRANSFORMATIONAL
CHANGE FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLE.
IN MARCH THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT
ANNOUNCED A 13 MILLION dollar
INVESTMENT IN TWO INITIATIVES TO
HELP INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES
COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE, INCLUDING
8 MILLION dollars TO HELP SWITCH FROM DIESEL.
I WANT TO ASK OUR GUESTS AT THE
FRONT -- JUDITH, I'LL START WITH
YOU FIRST -- DO YOU GET THE
SENSE THE TIDE IS TURNING IN
TERMS OF GETTING OFF-GRID
COMMUNITIES INTO SITUATIONS
WHERE THEY'VE GOT ACCESS TO
RELIABLE, CLEAN, AFFORDABLE POWER?

Judith says I DO.
AND I THINK A LOT OF THIS ALSO
COMES FROM LEADERSHIP AROUND THE
WORLD.
YOU KNOW, WE SAW AT THE PARIS
SUMMIT.
EVERYBODY CAME OUT, MAKING
COMMITMENTS TO 100 percent RENEWABLE
POWER IN THE WORLD.
IF WE DON'T ACT NOW, WE DON'T
ACT FAST, WE'RE NOT GOING TO BE
ABLE TO SURVIVE.
AND I THINK THAT THAT POLITICAL
COMMITMENT AT THAT LEVEL IS
GOOD.
SO WE'RE SEEING IT REFLECTED
HERE, BUT WE MAY NEED MORE THAN
WHAT'S BEEN COMMITTED.

Steve says LET'S SEE IF
EVERYBODY ELSE IS AS OPTIMISTIC.
CHIEF DAY, HAS THE CORNER BEEN TURNED?

The caption changes to "Hope on the horizon?"

Isadore says I HAVE CONDITIONAL OPTIMISM I
JUST WANT TO POINT OUT HERE,
STEVE.
I AS WELL FEEL CONFIDENT THAT
THERE HAVE BEEN SOME MOVES MADE
BY BOTH THE FEDERAL AND
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT.
BUT WE RECENTLY SIGNED A
POLITICAL ACCORD LAST AUGUST
WITH THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT, AND
THE REASON WHY WE'VE DONE THAT,
STEVE, IS BECAUSE THE REAL
PROBLEM THAT EXISTS IS ONE OF
RELATIONSHIPS.
WHERE DO FIRST NATIONS FIT IN
TERMS OF THE DECISION-MAKING, IN
TERMS OF THE ABILITY TO PLAN OUR
OWN DESTINY FORWARD?
I NEED TO HIGHLIGHT THAT WE ARE
DEALING WITH ONE CULPRIT HERE
AND IT'S THE INDIAN ACT.
THIS IS CANADA'S APARTHEID.
THIS IS GOING TO BE THE CRUX OF
SOME MAJOR CHALLENGES THAT ARE
GOING TO EXIST IF WE DON'T START
DEALING WITH THE FACT THAT FIRST
NATIONS NEED SELF GOVERNMENT
MODELS.
WE NEED TO BE AT THE TABLE, NOT
AFTER THE FACT.
SO, FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE COP 21
AND THE FIRST MINISTERS MEETING
THAT WAS TAKING PLACE IN
VANCOUVER ABOUT A MONTH OR SO
AGO.
YOU KNOW, YES, WE'RE AT THE
TABLE, BUT IT'S SOMEWHAT AN
AFTER-THOUGHT SOMETIMES AND
FIRST NATIONS NEED TO BE PART OF
CONFIGURING THE WAY FORWARD.
YOU KNOW, EXACTLY TO THE POINT
THAT JUDITH RAISES.
WE'RE OPTIMISTIC, BUT WE NEED TO
GO ALL THE WAY IN TERMS OF WHERE
DO FIRST NATIONS FIT IN THIS
COUNTRY?

Steve says CYNTHIA, I WANT YOU
TO HELP PAINT THIS PICTURE FOR
SOME OF OUR VIEWERS WHO MAY BE
QUESTIONING WHY THE EXISTENCE OF
THE INDIAN ACT PREVENTS
INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES FROM
HAVING ACCESS TO CLEAN,
AFFORDABLE, RELIABLE POWER.

Cynthia says THE INDIAN ACT GOES BACK TO
1876 SO WE WOULD CALL THAT A
PRETTY ANTIQUATED DOCUMENT.
IT HAS IN IT VERY LITTLE THAT
ACTUALLY SUPPORTS THE
DEVELOPMENT AND PROGRESSION OF
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES ANYWHERE, AND
WE DO HAVE TO EITHER GET RID OF
IT AND CHANGE IT OR PUT THE
UNITED NATIONS DECLARATIONS
RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IS
READY TO ROLL AND WE NEED TO
REPLACE THAT WITH THAT.
WE NEED TO UPDATE IT AND WE'RE
IN 2016 AND WE'RE MOVING FORWARD
IN A GOOD WAY AND WE NEED TO
HAVE THAT GONE.
I THINK I HEARD THE MINISTER OF
INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS SAY THAT SHE
IS WITH THAT TOO.
THE INDIAN ACT HAS TO GO.
WE'RE HEADING IN THE RIGHT
DIRECTION.
STRIKE WHILE THE IRON'S HOT.
LET'S GET IT DONE.

Steve says CHRIS, WE DON'T WANT
TO LEAVE THE IMPRESSION WITH OUR
VIEWERS THAT THINGS ARE ALL
HORRIBLE ALL OVER THE PLACE,
UNLESS THAT'S THE CASE.
IS THAT THE CASE?

Christopher says NO, IT'S NOT.
I'M NEITHER OPTIMISTIC NOR
PESSIMISTIC, BUT I AM REALISTIC.
AND ONE OF THE REASONS I WROTE
MY BOOK "ABORIGINAL POWER" WAS
TO TALK ABOUT THE REALISTIC.
IF WE'RE GOING TO ADDRESS ENERGY
IN ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES, WE'RE
GOING TO NEED COMMUNITY
LEADERSHIP.
COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP HAS TO
DRIVE THIS.
SECONDLY, WE NEED COLLABORATION
WHICH CAN BE WITHIN CANADA AND
GLOBALLY.
IF WE DO THAT, IF WE CREATE
COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP WITH THE
SUPPORT OF GOVERNMENTS AND WE
COLLABORATE AMONGST COMMUNITIES
IN THIS COUNTRY AND GLOBALLY,
THEN I WILL BE REALISTICALLY
OPTIMISTIC.

Steve says HOW MANY YEARS HAVE
YOU BEEN ON THIS?

Christopher says ABOUT 20 YEARS.

Steve says 20 YEARS.

Christopher says YEAH.

Steve says THINGS HAVE GOTTEN
BETTER OVER 20 YEARS?

Christopher says YES.
BUT I WANT IT TO GET BETTER
FASTER.

Steve says YOU WANT IT BETTER
FASTER.
MITCHELL, WHERE ARE YOU ON THIS?

Mitchell says I'M OPTIMISTIC AS WELL.
I BELIEVE WE HAVE THE ATTENTION
OF BOTH LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT, I
BELIEVE WE HAVE THE ATTENTION OF
REGULATORS, WE HAVE THE
ATTENTION OF THE CAPITAL MARKETS
THROUGH INDUSTRY, AND ONE OF THE
PROJECTS I'M PARTICIPATING IN
FROM KASABONIKA'S PERSPECTIVE IS
A TRANSMISSION COMPANY, 20 FIRST
NATIONS OWN LINE IS ONE OF THE 20.
THERE ARE PRIORITIES FOR
UPGRADED TRANSMISSION AND WE'RE
GOING AFTER THOSE PROJECTS.
THE FIRST ONE IS A PHASE 1,
DOUBLING THE LINE UP TO PICKLE
LAKE FOR GOLDCORP'S MINE TO HAVE
RELIABLE POWER BECAUSE THEY'RE
STARTING TO BULK UP WITH DIESEL
GENERATION.
SO THERE'S NOTHING STOPPING
COMMUNITIES, AND CERTAINLY NOT
THE INDIAN ACT, FROM
PARTICIPATING IN INDUSTRY
SECTORS OUTSIDE OF THE
COMMUNITY, AND THAT'S WHAT WE'RE
DOING.

Steve says DO YOU HAVE ANY
GUESS AS TO WHEN THAT POWER LINE
WILL COME TO YOUR COMMUNITY?

Mitchell says THERE'S QUITE A FEW HURDLES.
WE HAVE INDUSTRY PARTNERS.
REZ CANADA AND FORTIS ONTARIO ON
OUR TEAM, OF COURSE.
WE'RE DOING ALL THE PLANNING WE
NEED TO DO TO GET THROUGH THE
REGULATORS AND GET LEAVE TO
CONSTRUCT THE ENVIRONMENTAL
ASSESSMENTS.
IT'S GOING TO BE CHALLENGING.
WE'RE CROSSING HOMELANDS OF
BROTHER AND SISTER COMMUNITIES
AND NOT NECESSARILY ALL OF THEM
ARE ON BOARD AND I THINK THAT'S
GOING TO BE A HURDLE.

Steve says MITCHELL, THIS
SOUNDS LIKE IT'S NOT GOING TO
HAPPEN TOMORROW.

Mitchell says DEFINITELY NOT.
BUT IF WE DON'T GET STARTED, IT
WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

Christopher says IT'S A REALLY IMPORTANT
PROJECT FOR ONTARIO.
IT COULD TAKE 21 OF THOSE REMOTE
COMMUNITIES AND CONNECT THEM TO
THE GRID.
WE DO HAVE BOTH THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT AND THE ONTARIO
GOVERNMENT WANTING TO TAKE THIS
FORWARD.
THAT COMBINATION HAS NOT
OCCURRED BEFORE.
THE TIMING IS FANTASTIC.
WITH MITCH THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF
US SUPPORTING THIS.
IF WE CAN DO IT, IT'S GOING TO
MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE.

Steve says CHIEF DAY?

Isadore says I AGAIN WANT TO BE
OPTIMISTIC, BUT I ALSO WANT TO
BE A REALIST AS WELL.
AND THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS,
AS OF MAY 1ST, THE HYDRO RATES
IN ONTARIO ARE GOING TO GO UP.
THE REASON ISN'T BECAUSE OF
DEMAND.
IT'S GOING TO BE BECAUSE OF THE
FACT THAT THERE WAS LESS
CONSUMPTION OVER THE LAST YEAR
AND WHO'S GOING TO BEAR THAT IS
THE CONSUMER.
YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE INDIVIDUALS
IN THE AUDIENCE, JOHN BLACKBIRD
JUST TALKED ABOUT THE DELIVERY
CHARGE.
WE ALSO NEED TO LOOK AT THE
REALITY OF, WHAT IS THE CURRENT
COST OF ENERGY IN ONTARIO RIGHT
NOW?
FROM THE PROVINCIAL JURISDICTION
OF ONTARIO AND Québec, IT'S VERY
DIFFERENT.
WE HAVE AN ONTARIO PREMIER NOW
WHO IS LOOKING OUTSIDE OF THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO TO LOOK AT
WHAT THE COST OF ENERGY IS.
SO THE REALITY IS, YES, IN A
PERFECT WORLD, WE'VE GOT THIS
ASSET THAT'S BEING PLANNED IN
TERMS OF THE TRANSMISSION LINE,
BUT HOW IS THAT GOING TO BE
SUSTAINED?
AND WHAT IS THE INITIAL STARTING
POINT?
WHAT ARE THE ECONOMICS BEHIND
ENERGY?
VERY COMPLEX QUESTIONS.

Steve says WHILE YOU HAVE THE
FLOOR, THE WATAI ENERGY PROJECT.
TELL THIS AUDIENCE WHAT IT IS?

Isadore says IT'S A TRANSMISSION LINE IN
THE NORTH THAT'S ACTUALLY GOING
TO JOIN 21 COMMUNITIES ONTO THE
GRID, AND THIS IS THE CRUX AND
THE CHALLENGE THAT MANY
COMMUNITIES ARE FACED WITH IS
THE FACT THAT THEY ARE NOT
HOOKED ONTO A GRID.
YOU KNOW, THOSE 21 COMMUNITIES
ARE LOOKING TO THIS OPPORTUNITY
TO FINALLY BE ABLE TO HAVE
ACCESS TO A GRID BUT WE ALSO SEE
OTHER COMMUNITIES, YOU KNOW,
THAT ARE CONSIDERING THE COST
AND HOW WILL THAT GET SUSTAINED?
INDUSTRY IS LOOKING AT THIS,
GOVERNMENT IS LOOKING AT THIS.
WE'RE ALSO SEEING A CHANGE,
STEVE, IN THAT SOME OF THE
MICROGRID SOLUTIONS THAT WILL
ACTUALLY MAKE COMMUNITIES
SUSTAINABLE AMONG THEMSELVES
SHOULD ALSO BE FACTORED IN.

Steve says CHRIS, I WANT TO GO
TO YOU ON -- WE HAVE HERE IN THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO SOMETHING
CALLED THE I.E.S.O., INDEPENDENT
ELECTRICITY SYSTEM OPERATOR,
THAT DOES JUST WHAT THE NAME
says, IT PLANS TRANSMISSION
LINES AND SO ON.
I'M TOLD THAT THEY ARE IN THE
WORKS RIGHT NOW, CONSIDERING
CONNECTING 21 OF 25 REMOTE FIRST
NATIONS COMMUNITIES IN THIS
PROVINCE THAT WOULD, OVER TIME,
SAY OVER FOUR DECADES, SAVE A
BILLION DOLLARS AT THE END OF
THE DAY.
HOW?

Christopher says WELL, IF YOU THINK OF THE
COST OF DIESEL POWER, IF YOU
LOOK AT A COMMUNITY LIKE
MITCH'S, SOMETIMES THEY HAVE TO
FLY DIESEL FUEL ON PLANES IN
ORDER TO POWER IN THE WINTER.
OR YOU HAVE A COMMUNITY WHERE
YOU HAVE AN ICE ROAD WHERE YOU
HAVE TO TRANSPORT FUEL 400 OR
500 KILOMETRES.
YOU HAVE TO DO THAT YEAR IN AND
OUT.
THAT'S A VERY EXPENSIVE SOURCE
OF POWER.
IF YOU WERE ABLE TO REDUCE THAT
BY CONNECTING TO THE GRID, WHICH
IS MUCH CHEAPER, THEN YOU START
TO SEE THE METRICS WORK.
WHETHER OR NOT THE NORTHERN
TRANSMISSION LINE IN ONTARIO TO
CONNECT 21 OF THE REMOTE
COMMUNITIES IS GOING TO SAVE A
BILLION DOLLARS, I DON'T KNOW
FOR SURE YET.
I DON'T THINK ANYONE DOES KNOW
FOR SURE.
THAT'S THE PLANNING PROCESS
UNDERWAY.
THERE'S A PROSPECT IT COULD SAVE
A LOT, AND THAT'S WHY THEY'RE
LOOKING AT IT HARD.
THAT TRANSMISSION POWER WHEN YOU
CONNECT IT VERSUS TRANSPORTING
DIESEL IS CHEAPER, DO THE
NUMBERS WORK?
WE'RE CROSSING OUR FINGERS AND
HOPE SO.

Steve says MITCHELL, WHEN YOU
LOOK AT IT, WHAT DO YOU THINK
THE IMPACT ON KASABONIKA WOULD
BE IF THEY COULD PUT THIS
TOGETHER?

Mitchell says LET ME SAY THIS.
THE RATE PAYERS OF ONTARIO IN
THIS ELECTRICITY MARKET WOULD
WANT TO SUPPORT US GETTING
CONNECTED TO THE GRID.
RIGHT NOW ON DIESEL GENERATOR
POWER IT COSTS THE DISTRIBUTION
COMPANY 46 CENTS TO GENERATE ONE
KILOWATT HOUR.
OUR RESIDENTS PAY 8.8 CENTS AND
11.3 CENTS FOR THE NEXT
1500 KILOWATTS.
WHO IS SUBSIDIZING THAT?
THE ONTARIO RATE PAYERS ARE TO
HYDRO ONE REMOTE COMMUNITIES.

Steve says IT'S IN EVERYBODY'S
INTERESTS TO MAKE IT HAPPEN?

Mitchell says THAT'S RIGHT, THAT'S RIGHT.
HOWEVER, I DO HAVE A BIT OF
CAUTION IN THAT.
I SEE IN THE GRID-CONNECTED
COMMUNITIES YOU PAY TIME-OF-DAY
USE BILLING AND YOU'RE PENALIZED
OR YOUR BEHAVIOUR IS MODIFIED IF
YOU USE ELECTRICITY DURING
CERTAIN HOURS AT A HIGHER RATE
SO YOU DO IT ON THE SHOULDERS.
THAT'S GOING TO COME TO OUR
COMMUNITIES WHEN WE GET
CONNECTED TO GRID AND THAT
CONCERNS US.

Steve says CYNTHIA, IF I'VE GOT
THIS RIGHT, THE PROJECT WE'VE
BEEN TALKING ABOUT IS OWNED BY
FIRST NATIONS; IS THAT RIGHT?
IS THIS THE RIGHT TYPE OF MODEL
THEN IN ORDER TO GO FORWARD,
BALANCING INDIGENOUS SELF
GOVERNMENT WITH PROVINCIAL AND
FEDERAL SUPPORT?

Cynthia says ABSOLUTELY.

Steve says THAT'S THE WAY TO GO?

Cynthia says ABSOLUTELY.
AND IN EVERY SINGLE AREA.
WE'RE NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT
THIS, AGAIN, WHEN YOU'RE TALKING
ABOUT HEALTH, YOU HAVE TO ENGAGE
THE INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY IN THE
CONVERSATION AROUND THE KIND OF
HEALTH NEEDS THAT THEY HAVE.
WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT
EDUCATION, WE HAVE TO HAVE THE
FIRST NATIONS COMMUNITIES, THE
Métis COMMUNITY, THE INUIT
COMMUNITY INVOLVED IN THE
CONVERSATION ABOUT WHAT KIND OF
EDUCATION THEY WANT TO HAVE FOR
THEIR KIDS.
IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT THE
CONVERSATION IS.
THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THEY
HAVE BEEN LEFT OUT OF THE
CONVERSATION FOR THE LAST 600
YEARS.
WE'RE ONLY COMING TO THAT
CONVERSATION.
I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO SEE A
REAL CHANGE.
THINK OF THE KINDS OF THINGS
THAT WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO
BRING THIS COUNTRY.
WE'VE ALREADY BROUGHT YOU FOOD
AND MEDICINES AND CLOTHING,
WE'VE BROUGHT YOU ALL KINDS OF
THINGS.
WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO DO
THAT.
I THINK WE HAVE TO DO THAT
TOGETHER.

Steve says JUDITH, IN BRITISH
COLUMBIA, ANY SENSE OF – GO AHEAD.

Judith says IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, 125 OUT
OF 203 FIRST NATIONS ARE
INVOLVED IN CLEAN ENERGY
PROJECTS IN SOME WAY, AND THAT'S
FROM OWNERSHIP ALL THE WAY DOWN
TO RESOURCE ROYALTY SHARING.
OFF-GRID COMMUNITIES DON'T HAVE
THAT OPPORTUNITY.
YOU KNOW, THEY WOULD LIKE TO BE
ABLE TO DO A CLEAN ENERGY
PROJECT THAT NOT ONLY POWERS
THEIR COMMUNITY, BUT THEY COULD
PUT ON THE GRID AND MAKE MONEY,
BUT THERE'S NO OPPORTUNITY
BECAUSE THERE'S NO GRID THERE.
THE BIGGEST ISSUE THAT WE FACE
IN BRITISH COLUMBIA RIGHT NOW IS
OPPORTUNITY.
B.C. HYDRO HAS DECIDED AND THE
B.C. GOVERNMENT HAS DECIDED TO
BUILD SITE C THAT'S GOING TO
HAVE HUGE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS,
AND THEY DON'T WANT TO BUY CLEAN
ENERGY, SO THEY'RE PURCHASING
JUST A FEW PROJECTS EVERY YEAR
AND SO THOSE FIRST NATIONS THAT
WERE PLANNING WIND ENERGY AND
BIOMASS AND AN INDUSTRY THAT
WE'VE EMBRACED IN BRITISH
COLUMBIA HAS NOW BEEN STYMIED TO
A FEW PROJECTS.
SO THAT'S ALSO A PROBLEM.
THE DEMAND FOR POWER, AS CHIEF
DAY HAS SAID, HAS DECREASED IN
BRITISH COLUMBIA.
YOU KNOW, DEMAND SIDE
MANAGEMENT, PEOPLE PUTTING IN
THEIR OWN SOLAR PANELS...

Steve says A LOT OF DOWNTURN IN
THE ECONOMY DOESN'T HELP EITHER.

Judith says NO LNG PROJECTS GOING AHEAD,
THOSE KINDS OF THINGS.
THERE'S THAT REALITY AS WELL
THAT WE HAVE TO FACE.

Steve says YOU'VE RAISED AN
INTERESTING QUESTION ABOUT
OPTIONS GOING FORWARD.
CHRIS, LET ME GO TO YOU ON THIS.
GIVEN YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE
GEOGRAPHY, WHAT'S KIND OF GOING
TO WORK THE BEST?
ARE WE TALKING WIND, SOLAR,
GEOTHERMAL?
WHAT?

Christopher says I'M GOING TO SAY A REALLY
BRILLIANT ANSWER.
IT ALL DEPENDS.
IT DEPENDS ON WHAT THE GEOGRAPHY
OR WHAT THE MOTHER EARTH OFFERS
YOU.
IN SOME CASES YOU WILL HAVE A
SOLAR RESOURCE.
THE GOOD NEWS IS MOST PLACES
HAVE SOME SOLAR AND SOLAR ENERGY
IS GETTING CHEAPER.
YOU WILL SEE THE MAIN DEFAULT
POSITION OF RENEWABLE ENERGY FOR
REMOTE COMMUNITIES BE A SOLAR
STORAGE COMBINATION.
A FEW COMMUNITIES HAVE HYDRO
RESOURCE, BUT NOT AS MANY AS YOU
THINK.
A FEW ALSO HAVE WIND.
IN FACT WHAT YOU'RE POINTING TO,
STEVE, IN YOUR QUESTION IS, IT'S
GOING TO BE AN INTEGRATED
APPROACH THAT WORKS.
IF YOU LOOK AT A REMOTE
COMMUNITY AND LOOK AT ENERGY
OPTIONS, YOU LOOK AT ALL
OPTIONS.
THE FIRST IS NOT TO NEED POWER
IN THE FIRST PLACE.
YOU LOOK AT CONSERVATION,
EFFICIENCY, BETTER HOMES, BETTER
FACILITIES, AND YOU CLIMB THAT
LADDER TO THEN LOOK AT YOUR
RENEWABLE OPTIONS WITH WHAT
YOU'RE OFFERED.
NOT ALL COMMUNITIES ARE GOING TO
BE ABLE TO REPLACE ALL THE
DIESEL POWER.
MANY COMMUNITIES WILL RELY ON
SOME.
IF YOU CAN MAXIMIZE THE AMOUNT
OF RENEWABLE ENERGY ALONG WITH
EFFICIENCY, THAT'S THE SOLUTION
WE'RE LOOKING FOR.

Steve says MITCHELL, YOU'VE GOT
WIND WHERE YOU ARE.

Mitchell says WE HAVE SOME DEMONSTRATION
TURBINES THAT HYDRO ONE HAD PUT
UP IN THE PAST.

Steve says IS IT WORKING?

Mitchell says YEAH, THEY GENERATE
10 KILOWATTS.
WE'RE BANKING ON SOLAR.
WE'VE GOT A STUDY ON A SOLAR
FARM AND WE'RE GOING TO PROCEED
WITH THAT.
WE HAVE ROOFTOP SOLAR
INSTALLATION.
SO WE ARE INJECTING SOME
RENEWABLES INTO OUR MICRO GRID.

Steve says THE WIND THAT'S
GETTING YOU 10 KILOWATTS RIGHT
NOW, IS THAT DOING MUCH FOR YOU?

Mitchell says NO, IT'S NOT EVEN A DENT IN
THE SYSTEM.

Steve says YOU KNOW WHAT?
SHELDON, LET'S PLAY THIS CLIP
RIGHT NOW.
ERIC BOMBICINO, THE GUY
PRODUCING THIS PROGRAM AND...
THE GUY THAT'S PRODUCING THIS
PROGRAM WENT UP TO PIKANGIKUM TO
REPORT ON THEIR ENERGY
CIRCUMSTANCES UP THERE, AND
WE'VE GOT A LITTLE CLIP HERE
ABOUT HIM TALKING ABOUT WHAT
RELIABLE ENERGY CAN AND CANNOT
DO IN TERMS OF OFFERINGS TO THE
COMMUNITY.
LET'S ROLL THAT CLIP.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "Eric Bombicino. Producer. April 4, 2016."
In the clip, Eric speaks with Steve in The Agenda studio. Eric is in his early thirties, with very short black hair and a stubble. He's wearing rounded black-framed glasses and a gray sweater.

He says THE ISSUES IN PIKANGIKUM ARE
MULTI-LAYERED AND COMPLEX.
SO THERE WAS A CORONER'S REPORT
ON 16 YOUTH SUICIDES BETWEEN
2006 AND 2008 IN PIKANGIKUM, AND
THEY LOOKED AT EVERYTHING FROM
COLONIALISM TO RESIDENTIAL
SCHOOLS TO THAT TRAUMA THAT
REVERBERATES INTO THE PRESENT.
YOU HAVE INFRASTRUCTURE
DEFICITS, YOU HAVE GOVERNANCE
DEFICITS, YOU HAVE SOCIAL
ISSUES -- YOU HAVE ALL THESE
PROFOUNDLY COMPLEX ISSUES IN
SUICIDE AND YOU HAVE THIS KNOCK,
THIS POSITIVE FEEDBACK LOOP.
ENERGY IS NOT A MAGIC BULLET.
IT CAN ALLOW A PLATFORM TO GROW
AND BUILD.
THEY HAVE 90 PERCENT
UNEMPLOYMENT IN THIS COMMUNITY.
THEY CAN'T BUILD ANY MORE
BUSINESSES BECAUSE DIESEL
GENERATORS ARE MAXED OUT.
THEY CAN'T GROW A NORTHERN
STORE.
THEY CAN'T HOOK UP NEW HOMES TO
POWER.
EVEN IF THEY PUT THE FUNDING
TOGETHER TO BUILD THEM, THEY
CAN'T.

The clip ends.

Steve says ENERGY IS NOT THE
MAGIC BULLET, ERIC SAYS.
CYNTHIA, DO YOU AGREE?

Cynthia says IT'S ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL BUT
IT'S NOT GOING TO CURE ALL THE
PROBLEMS AND MAKE IT ALL RIGHT.

Steve says YOU KNOW, IT GETS
YOU DOWN THE ROAD; IS THAT WHAT
I'M HEARING?

Cynthia says ABSOLUTELY.
I THINK EVERYBODY HAS SAYING
ABSOLUTELY IT WILL GET PEOPLE
DOWN THE ROAD, IT WILL GET
PEOPLE HEALTHIER, PROVIDE
CHILDREN WITH THE CARE THEY
NEED, THE SCHOOLS THEY NEED.
YES.

The caption changes to "Not a magic bullet?"

Steve says I WOULD LIKE TO IN
OUR REMAINING MOMENTS FINISH UP
ON SOMETHING AS CONTROVERSIAL AS
HELL.
SHALL WE?
HERE WE GO.
JONATHAN KAY, RECENTLY WRITING
IN A PIECE FOR THE
NATIONAL POS
CALLED "MOVE IS THE ONLY HOPE
FOR COMMUNITIES LIKE
ATTAWAPISKAT."
IN SPITE OF EVERYTHING WE'VE
TALKED ABOUT HERE TODAY, HE
WRITES THIS...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Moving is the only hope?" The quote reads "In most communities that have no jobs, people pack up and relocate. Whole regions of Atlantic Canada have fallen prey to this cycle of creative destruction. So has much of Detroit. While this process is sad and disruptive, it pushes families to areas where they can make a living and exist in dignity. But the Indian Act created a system that perversely discourages residents from leaving even the most appallingly impoverished reserves... This paradox lies at the heart of the cruelty we have inflicted on Aboriginal peoples. And it is why places such as Attawapiskat are doomed to exist in a hellish limbo."
Quoted from Jonathan Kay, National Post. April 16, 2016.

Steve says JUDITH, IS HE RIGHT?

Judith says NO.

Steve says TELL ME WHY.

Judith says HE'S NOWHERE CLOSE.
WHAT HE MISSES IS THE POINT OF
OUR CONNECTIVENESS TO OUR LAND.
WE ALL WANT TO LIVE IN OUR HOME
TERRITORIES WHERE WE CAN VISIT
OUR SACRED SITES OR WE CAN
EXERCISE OUR RIGHTS TO TRAP,
FISH, HUNT, GATHER.
WE WANT TO WALK WHERE OUR
ANCESTORS WALKED AND PICK THE
MEDICINES AND TO MANAGE OUR
TERRITORIES, BE STEWARDS OF OUR
TERRITORIES.
YOU CAN'T DO THAT WHEN YOU MOVE
AWAY FROM THE COMMUNITY.
THAT'S CRITICAL.
THE INDIAN ACT IS IRRELEVANT.
BUT WE'VE ALWAYS -- THE
GOVERNMENT HAS ALWAYS TRIED TO
REMOVE US FROM OUR LAND BECAUSE
THAT'S WHERE WE GET OUR STRENGTH
AND OUR POWER AND THAT I THINK
IS WHAT SCARES THEM.

Steve says CHIEF DAY, MANY,
MANY, MANY IRISH PEOPLE LEFT
THEIR HOMELAND BECAUSE OF A
FAMINE AND CAME HERE, AND YOU
HAVE TO SAY THAT THEY'RE ALL
BETTER OFF FOR HAVING DONE SO.
AND SOME PEOPLE WILL WONDER WHY
THAT'S NOT AN EXAMPLE FOR
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN THIS COUNTRY.

Isadore says I THINK THERE'S A LOT OF
REASONS WHY.
I THINK THAT'S A GENERAL
EXAMPLE.
HOWEVER, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE
HISTORY OF CANADA, WE HAVE A
SITUATION HERE WHERE THERE'S
UNFINISHED BUSINESS IN TREATIES.
WE WERE NOT A CONQUERED PEOPLE.
WE ENTERED INTO LEGALLY BINDING
AGREEMENTS CALLED TREATIES, AND
I WOULD ACTUALLY ASK THE VIEWERS
TO CONSIDER THIS, THAT WE ARE ON
THE CUSP OF ACTUALLY A NEW
FRONTIER.
WE ARE IN TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE
IN TERMS OF CLIMATE CHANGE,
WORLD ECONOMY, AND BASICALLY WE
ARE GOING TO SEE A CHANGE THAT
OCCURS WHERE TECHNOLOGY IS GOING
TO BECOME SO MUCH MORE ADVANCED
AND PREVALENT, INNOVATION IS
KEY.
THESE PEOPLE IN THE NORTH DON'T
HAVE TO MOVE.
I BELIEVE YOU CAN CREATE
ECONOMIES IN THE NORTH WITH
TRANSPORTATION NETWORKS THAT ARE
ELECTRIFIED.
YOU GET THE INTERNET INTO THE
NORTH.
YOU CREATE FOOD SECURITY.
EQUALIZATION IN TERMS OF ACCESS
TO WEALTH AND RESOURCE AND NEW
GOVERNMENT SYSTEMS?
I REALLY BELIEVE THAT THE NORTH,
WHERE THESE COMMUNITIES ARE, AND
THE FACT THAT THEY ARE RICH IN
RESOURCES, AS WELL AS HAVING A
CARBON SINK, I BELIEVE THAT THIS
IS A NEW AND POSITIVE CHANGE IN
THE FUTURE.

The caption changes to "Just move?"

Steve says CYNTHIA, CAN YOU
STILL GET YOUR STRENGTH FROM THE
LAND WHEN IT LOOKS LIKE THERE IS
SO MUCH DESPAIR IN THE LAND?

Cynthia says WELL, I DON'T THINK THERE'S
DESPAIR IN THE LAND.
PEOPLE DO LEAVE THE COMMUNITIES
AND THEY GO BACK AND FORTH ON A
REGULAR BASIS.
I MEAN, OUR PEOPLE ARE HIGHLY
ADAPTABLE.
THEY ADAPT TO ALL OF THE KINDS
OF THINGS THAT ARE AROUND THEM.
THEY MOVE INTO THE CITIES, BACK
TO THE RESERVE.
I LIVE IN THUNDER BAY RIGHT NOW
BUT I HAVE COME FROM THE RESERVE
FOR THE LAST 12, 14 YEARS.
THAT'S NOT THE POINT HERE.
I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT WE
UNDERSTAND THAT.
WHAT WE'RE SEEING IN THE
COMMUNITIES IS SOMETHING THAT
HAS BEEN CREATED BY EXTERNAL
FORCE AND AGENCY, AND WHEN WE
HAVE THE CAPACITY TO DEAL WITH
THAT OURSELVES, IT WORKS.
SO THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE TO DO.
YOU'RE NOT GOING TO DRIVE THOSE
PEOPLE OFF THE LAND.
THAT IS THEIR LAND.
RESOURCE REVENUE SHARING.

Steve says MITCHELL, I I'LL GIVE
YOU THE LAST 30 SECONDS ON THIS.

Mitchel says THANK YOU.
ALL OF OUR TIME IN OUR
COMMUNITIES HAS BEEN MARKED BY
EXPERIENCES AND PLACES ON THE
LAND.
ALL OF OUR ANCESTORS HAVE
RETURNED BACK TO OUR HOMELAND.
IS THAT THE ONLY SOLUTION THAT
OUR SOCIETY CAN COME UP WITH IS
TO DISPLACE US?
OUR COUNTRY IS ACCEPTING
REFUGEES FROM AROUND THE WORLD,
AND NOW THEY'RE LOOKING TO
DISPLACE US.
WHERE WOULD WE GO?
WHY WOULD WE GO?
IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

The caption changes to "Producer: Eric Bombicino, @ebombicino"

Steve says THAT'S WHERE WE'RE
GOING TO LEAVE IT TONIGHT.
MITCHELL, YOU GET THE LAST WORD.
MISS DIRECTOR, CAN YOU GO TO A
WIDE SHOT OF OUR PANEL SO WE CAN
THANK MITCHELL DIABO, CHRISTOPHER HENDERSON, CYNTHIA
WESLEY-ESQUIMAUXI, ISADORE DAY
AND JUDITH SAYERS. I HOPE THIS
AUDIENCE WILL JOIN ME IN
THANKING OUR FIVE GUESTS FOR COMING FROM NEAR AND FAR TO
HELP US WITH THIS PROGRAM
TONIGHT.
THANKS SO MUCH, EVERYBODY.

Watch: Indigenous Power Struggle