Conference promotes conservation for First Nations

Thunder Bay, ON – The Conserve the Light conference, which started today at the Valhalla Hotel, has attracted over 200 First Nations leaders, community representatives and Métis to Thunder Bay from across Ontario.

This conference is part of the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Measures for Aboriginal Communities (EEMAC) program developed by Charles Fox Consulting Inc. (Thunder Bay) and funded by the Ontario Power Authority. The main goal of the program was to introduce and implement energy efficiency and conservation measures throughout all 134 First Nations communities in Ontario. This program consisted of four main components: the Conserve the Light Gathering conference, Education and Awareness, Energy Conservation Kits, and the Energy Retrofit Pilot.

For the past two days, First Nation Elders who follow both Christian and traditional teaching, and

Métis Elders have met on Animiki wadjiw (Mount McKay) sharing ceremonies and traditions for the purpose of developing the opening message for the Conserve the Light conference. The Elders will make recommendations to the conference delegates on what needs to be done to help preserve Mother Earth.

he Elder’s Presentation on Energy Conservation in First Nation and Métis Communities will lead off the first day of the Conserve the Light conference. The luncheon speaker will be Mr. Angus Toulouse – Regional Chief of Ontario with a keynote address by George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure who will speak at a traditional feast, is the final session of the day.

Sessions over Thursday and Friday include: an Overview of The Energy Efficiency & Conservation Measures for Aboriginal Communities (EEMAC) Programs; a Review of the EEMAC Energy Efficiency Education Curriculum; and Reports on Energy Kits and Energy Audit Retrofit Pilot Projects, the Green Energy Act and First Nations.

Other Speakers include: Chief Peter Collins – Fort William First Nation, President Gary Lipinski – Métis Nation of Ontario, Mayor Lynn Peterson – City of Thunder Bay, Grand Chief Stan Beardy – Nishnawbe Aski-Nation, Grand Chief Randall Phillips – Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians, and Ogichidaakwe Diane Kelly – Grand Council Treaty #3,. From the Ontario Power Authority, Paul Shervill the Vice President of Conservation and the organization’s CEO Colin Andersen will be speaking.

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