Indigenous Relations

Electricity Canada is committed to engaging Indigenous Peoples to nurture meaningful, long-term relationships.

Electricity Canada and its members are committed to engaging Indigenous Peoples of Canada to nurture meaningful, long-term relationships and enhance mutually beneficial economic and business opportunities. These engagement efforts go beyond project-specific consultations and are centered on the recognition and respect for the history, uniqueness, and traditional ways of Indigenous Peoples from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

The Canadian electricity industry is committed to building strong, mutually beneficial relationships that advance economic reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report (TRC report) released in 2015 and fully supported by the Government of Canada, outlines 94 ‘Calls to Action’ urging all levels of government and the corporate sector to work together to change policies and programs in a concerted effort to repair the harm caused by residential schools and move forward with reconciliation.

Specifically, Section 92 calls upon the private sector to commit to:

• Meaningful consultations;

• Respectful relationships;

• Provide equitable access to employment and training; and

• Educate management and staff on the history of Indigenous Peoples.

In 2016, Electricity Canada and its members developed a set of national engagement principles through Electricity Canada’s Indigenous Relations Committee to build more positive, mutually beneficial relationships with the Indigenous communities in which they operate based on these recommended commitments.

  • Education/ Training Initiatives

Electricity Canada members offer many education-related opportunities for management, staff as well as Indigenous Peoples. Various companies are implementing Indigenous-based cultural competency guidelines and training into their corporate framework.

  • Employment Initiatives

Electricity Canada member companies regularly provide employment and training opportunities to local Indigenous communities through grants, Indigenous-specific job boards and more.

  • Business/Economic Initiatives

Electricity Canada member companies have showcased their dedicated engagement and involvement within Indigenous communities and commitment to seek early and ongoing meaningful engagement whenever possible. These projects also ensure long-term sustainable benefits for the Indigenous communities. The electricity industry is a major economic driver for many Indigenous communities across Canada.

  • Capacity building initiatives

Electricity Canada member companies also embark in Indigenous relationship building, investments and principles that transverse across business, education, and employment opportunities.

Moving forward to net zero

According to Accelerating Transition, a recent report by Indigenous Clean Energy, there are nearly 2,500 Indigenous-affiliated clean energy projects in operation or in planning stages, including 197 medium- to-large renewable generation projects. Looking ahead, the Conference Board of Canada estimates that the electricity industry will need to invest roughly $1.7 trillion by 2050 to ensure a resilient, low carbon energy future. This unprecedented investment the industry must undertake represents a tremendous opportunity for Indigenous communities.

Without meaningful Indigenous engagement, it will be impossible to achieve our climate goals. We need to continue to invest in initiatives to raise awareness of Indigenous cultural values and ways of decision-making, education, training and employment. Most importantly, we need to make efforts to enable their full economic participation through access to capital.


Support Business Partnerships

Governments at all levels should “enable” business partnership arrangements between electricity companies and Indigenous communities through their policy and regulatory structures that would drive economic development, access to clean energy, employment, and supply chain opportunities.

Provide Funding Support

The federal government should partner with electricity companies interested in building infrastructure in remote and northern communities to advance clean energy solutions and achieve Canada’s Net-Zero by 2050 target.

Consult Industry on the UNDRIP “Action Plan” Process

The federal government should consider establishing sector-specific dialogues on issues that could have implications for industry engagement with Indigenous communities.


For further information, please contact Channa S. Perera, Electricity Canada's Vice President of Regulatory and Indigenous Affairs.