Canada Invests in Clean Energy Projects in the Northwest Territories

News release

September 22, 2020                                              Inuvik, Northwest Territories                             Natural Resources Canada      

As Canada’s North continues to experience the impacts of climate change, many Indigenous communities have identified clean, reliable energy as key to a resilient future. This is why the Government of Canada is investing in clean energy projects across the territories, so that, together, we can work to achieve Canada’s commitment to transition Indigenous communities away from diesel by 2030 while prioritizing reconciliation, self-determination, and community-led clean energy projects.

Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories, on behalf of Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, today announced over $8 million for eight community-led clean energy projects in the Northwest Territories that will support communities to build a cleaner future by reducing their reliance on diesel fuel for heat and power while creating jobs.

These investments are:

  • $184,000 to Inuvialuit Regional Corporation to promote energy literacy in the community, renew Inuvialuit dialect and culture, and promote cross-generational learning between Elders and youth on traditional practices, language and sustainability;
  • $797,000 to the Arctic Energy Alliance to build community capacity and energy literacy to support and direct their local Community Energy Planning process;
  • $1.7 million to the Town of Inuvik to install a biomass heating system to replace the diesel boilers that are currently used for heat and provide freeze protection for the municipal water reservoir;
  • $2.6 million to the Tulita Land Corporation to install biomass boilers to heat seven municipal buildings and to establish a forest-based value chain to produce wood chips to fuel the boilers;
  • $500,000 to the Deline Got’ine Government to create a community energy plan that will increase energy efficiency and reduce diesel use, generate local green jobs, introduce a 30kWh solar system for the community’s Grey Goose Lodge hotel and respond to increasingly limited access to the winter road; and
  • $2.25 million to Nihtat Energy Ltd for three projects aimed at replacing diesel-fueled boilers with biomass-heating systems in six public buildings and engaging with Aklavik and other Gwich’in communities in the Northwest Territories to test methods of integrating renewables into isolated grids while maintaining Indigenous participation and building community knowledge on energy planning processes.

The first four projects are funded through Natural Resources Canada's Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities program. This six-year, $220-million program aims to reduce reliance on diesel in rural and remote communities by deploying and demonstrating renewable energy, encouraging energy efficiency and building local skills and capacity. It is part of the Government of Canada’s Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, a more than $180-billion investment over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

The fifth project is funded through Impact Canada’s Indigenous Off-diesel Initiative, a $20-million initiative aimed at generating new opportunities by reducing diesel reliance in remote Indigenous communities. Developed in collaboration with Indigenous Clean Energy Social Enterprise and the Pembina Institute, the initiative will support communities to develop ambitious clean energy plans and to break ground on their first clean energy projects.

Nihtat Energy Ltd.’s projects are funded through the Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities program and the Indigenous Off-diesel Initiative.

Canada believes in building a clean energy future for all Canadians. By working together, we are building healthier, greener and more energy-resilient communities for future generations.


“These communities are fighting climate change by taking control of their energy futures and being leaders in the clean energy economy.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

“The North is feeling the effects of a changing climate more than anywhere else in Canada. These community-led projects will support new local economic opportunities while advancing Indigenous participation in a clean energy future.”

Michael V. McLeod
Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories

“These projects demonstrate how Indigenous communities and businesses, the Northwest Territories Power Corporation and federal and territorial governments can work collaboratively and creatively as partners and lead the way toward a more sustainable energy future.”

Chief Robert Charlie-Tetlichi
Nihtat Energy Ltd.

“Tulita Land Corporation welcomes Natural Resources Canada’s support of our community. The Bioheat project will help our community reduce its reliance on diesel, and create long-term employment opportunities for our members.”

Rosalee Andrew
Manager Trainee, Tulita Land Corporation

“This significant contribution of 1.7 million dollars will allow for the installation of a biomass heating system to replace the diesel boilers at the water reservoir. This aligns with our Community Energy Plan and signifies another important step that will strengthen the Town’s ability to create a holistic water distribution system while promoting renewable energy and reducing GHGs.”

Natasha Kulikowski
Mayor, Town of Inuvik

“We appreciate the support from the Government of Canada. Community energy planning is an important step for northern communities to determine for themselves how they use energy and how they can move toward cleaner sources of energy that save northerners money and help to fight climate change. The Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities program is allowing that to happen and is building local capacity and leadership in NWT communities.”

Mark Heyck
Executive Director, Arctic Energy Alliance

“Mahsi Cho to Natural Resources Canada for the funding provided to the Deline Got’ine Government and the 14 other community projects supported under the Indigenous Off-diesel Initiative. This program provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to reduce our reliance on diesel power for our remote community. The additional support provided by the Indigenous Clean Energy Social Enterprise and the Pembina Institute through this program helped to build our local clean energy capacity in the community, and we were able to install a 30 Kw solar PV system for the community’s Grey Goose Lodge hotel. This is the first hotel in the North that is 100-percent owned and operated by the Self-Government and will now be powered by clean, renewable energy”

Tim Tutcho
Deline Gotine Government Energy Champion

“Making language resources available on current issues is essential for ensuring Inuvialuktun continues to revitalize and evolve as a working language. That is why we have been working with Inuvialuit language experts to develop resources that are culturally relevant, timely and accessible to all age groups and communities across our entire region. Our latest publication, Siqiniqmin Aullan, will allow entry to basic concepts and support engagement in discussions that are fundamentally important to our collective future as Inuvialuit.”

Duane Ningaqsiq Smith
Chair and CEO, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation

“These initiatives are great examples of governments, utilities and Indigenous organizations collaborating  to improve our energy system by investing in proven renewable energy technologies. The initiatives have the added bonus of advancing the objectives of our 2030 Energy Strategy and 2030 NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework, as well as stabilizing energy costs and reducing our reliance on diesel in our remote communities.”

Diane Archie
Minister of Infrastructure, Government of the Northwest Territories

Associated links


Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations

Ian Cameron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

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