The Prince Albert Grand Council is hoping to address energy issues its communities are facing at a conference in Saskatoon.

The PAGC is holding the Braiding Knowledge for Clean Energy conference this week with discussions around sustainability, net-zero initiatives, and clean energy sources.

Conference organizer Ty Roberts, who is also the Land Manager for the Lac La Ronge Indian Band, says he hopes communities can bring forward ideas and learn from each other to grow this field for First Nations.

“This conference gives everyone an ability to hear some challenges and successes when it comes to clean energy,” said Roberts in a conversation with MBC Radio News. “I just want to be able to share with other nations. If something works for us it might not necessary work for other nations, but they can still learn from our experience and that’s what it is all about – communication and sharing.”

Government mismatch on climate change initiatives hurdle for First Nation ideas in clean-energy

In a conversation with MBC Radio News, PAGC Grand Chief Brian Hardlotte brought forward an area of concern around working with governments.

Hardlotte says often the provincial and federal governments are at odds with each other over climate change action making them less likely to listen to indigenous voices on the issue.

“Indigenous people can lead on this matter and we say to them this is very important… it’s about our future generations, it’s about our livelihood, it’s about the world itself,” said the grand chief.

The Grand of the Prince Albert Grand Council says its time for governments to start listening to Indigenous ideas on clean energy and climate change.

“It’s really up to them to open their ears,” he said.

Hardlotte added that many discussions took place at the conference around different initiatives First Nations can adopt for clean-energy. Among them were solar, wind, and nuclear – specifically referring to small modular reactors.

The conference will conclude on Wednesday.

(PHOTO – file photo of PAGC Grand Chief Brian Hardlotte.)