Connect with us

Anishinabek News

Persevering with economic development objectives key to success

Published

on

Pat Chilton, Five Nations Energy Inc. CEO, delivered the keynote presentation on Day 2 of the inaugural annual Anishinabek Nation Economic Development Opportunities Forum held in Sault Ste. Marie from October 24-26. – Photo by Laura Barrios

By Rick Garrick

SAULT STE. MARIE — Five Nations Energy Inc. CEO Pat Chilton stressed the importance of persevering with economic development objectives on the second day of the inaugural annual Anishinabek Nation Economic Development Opportunities Forum 2023. Chilton highlighted how the three James Bay First Nations of Fort Albany, Kashechewan, and Attawapiskat persevered with their concept of building a transmission line on the James Bay coast to get rid of diesel-operated generators in the communities even though the federal and provincial governments and Ontario Hydro said it was not possible during his keynote at the Forum, which was held by the Anishinabek Nation Economic Development Department from Oct. 24-26 at the Quattro Hotel and Conference Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.

“Thirty-seven times we were told, ‘It can’t be done’, ‘You’re not going to do it’ — but we kept going. Eventually, we got the financing in place, we had the engineers, we talked to a lot of lenders, we talked to Indian Affairs,” Chilton says. “Indian Affairs came on side eventually. We went through what they called the avoided cost funding model, that’s basically identifying what the cost would be for the next 25 years to operate those diesels in those communities and transport [fuel] and that type of thing. We weighed them against the environmental damage the diesels were doing in our communities, so they finally came on board and they gave the money that fronted the whole thing.”

Chilton says Fort Albany and Kashechewan were connected to the provincial power grid in 2001 by the Five Nations Energy power line, and Attawapiskat was connected in 2002.

“It was quite a feat actually just doing that, there were a lot of naysayers,” Chilton says, noting that one woman stood up in a community meeting about the power line and told the men to leave so the women could talk. “An hour and 20 minutes later, they came out and said: ‘You’re going to build that line, it’s for the best for everybody. Then we can power up, we can do whatever we want with electricity, no more diesel, no more noise, no more pollution.’”

Chilton says they set up independent power authorities in the three communities to manage the power lines within the community.

“My (Five Nations Energy) board wants to make sure that our message gets out to encourage First Nations to be part of the energy industry to make things work for them,” Chilton says.

Chilton says one of the challenges they have to deal with is climate change and how it impacts the power line.

“We had one pole where the frost is coming out and pushed the pole up, and then it started to lean,” Chilton says. “There’s erosion problems, flooding problems.”

Chilton says they took over the former DeBeers Victor Diamond Mine power line that connected the mine to the provincial power grid near Fraserdale, which now provides them with a twin line to the provincial power grid.

“The good thing about twinning that line is that we had redundancy,” Chilton says. “We used to worry about if a pole went down or if there is some sort of major issue, our communities would lose power. The good thing about this is if we shut off one line, the other line is operational and everybody has power. Any power outages there on the coast for Five Nations Energy are measured basically in minutes, not hours, sometimes seconds.”

Chilton adds that the DeBeers power line includes a fibre-optic line up to Attawapiskat, which enables them to track outages and to provide fibre-optic services to the communities.

“It works out pretty good, fibre right to the homes, it helps with the healthcare system,” Chilton says, noting that they can provide tele-ophthalmology, tele-mammography, and other services through the fibre-optic line. “We even went so far as, and we helped with this, purchasing a portable MRI, the only one of its kind in Canada right now.”

The Forum also featured keynote presentations by Mike Jacobs, co-chair at Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and CEO at Cambium Indigenous Professional Services, and Dawn Madahbee Leach, general manager at Waubetek Business Development Corporation and chair at the National Indigenous Economic Development Board, as well as Joint Venture, Funding EcDev, and Business Development panels; EcDev Foundations, Resource Development and Economic Opportunities in Energy presentations; Energy and Resource Roundtables; and Networking and Tradeshow plenaries.

Continue Reading

Anishinabek News

Administrative Coordinator

Published

on

By

Continue Reading

Anishinabek News

Executive Assistant to the Vice-President Academic and Research (VPAR)

Published

on

By

Continue Reading

Anishinabek News

Mikinakoos Children’s Fund launches $15,000 fundraiser for GivingTuesday

Published

on

By

Mikinakoos Children’s Fund aims to raise $15,000 to provide vital winter clothing to 18 First Nations, collaborating with the KO First Nations, Keewaytinook Internet Highschools, and Fort Hope First Nation on GivingTuesday on November 28, 2023. – Photo supplied

THUNDER BAY (November 22, 2023) — Mikinakoos Children’s Fund, an Indigenous children’s charity providing essentials to youth in remote First Nations in Northwestern Ontario, is announcing the launch of a special fundraiser in recognition of GivingTuesday.

In alignment with the global GivingTuesday movement, Mikinakoos Children’s Fund aims to raise $15,000 to provide vital winter clothing to 18 First Nations, collaborating with the KO First Nations, Keewaytinook Internet Highschools, and Fort Hope First Nation. The initiative seeks to purchase over 1,500 coats for children in these regions, ensuring they are equipped to brave the harsh winter months.

“The winter season can be particularly challenging in the remote areas we serve, where many children lack access to proper winter gear,” said Mikinakoos Executive Director Emily Shandruk. “Mikinakoos Children’s Fund believes that every child deserves the warmth of hope during the colder months. With this in mind, we’re launching this crucial campaign to make a positive impact.”

Recent support from TD Canada Trust’s Ready Commitment Funding, a $50,000 grant over two years, is boosting Mikinakoos Children’s Fund’s Warm Clothing initiatives, of which this initiative is a part. With growing requests from various communities and organizations, Mikinakoos’ GivingTuesday funding alone wouldn’t have sufficed. Thanks to the extra support, the charity can now ensure that no child is left without essential resources.

GivingTuesday, which falls on November 28, marks the opening day of the giving season—a global movement encouraging people to come together for a day of generosity and positive change. Mikinakoos invites individuals and organizations alike to join in the effort to make a difference.

Here’s how you can contribute:

Donate: Your contribution, regardless of size, will bring Mikinakoos Children’s Fund closer to its $15,000 goal. Every dollar counts. GivingTuesday falls on November 28; however, this fundraiser will run until December 31.
Spread the Word: Share our campaign on social media, with friends, family, and colleagues. Together, we can make a wider impact.

“The remoteness of the communities we serve presents challenges in shipping and distributing necessities, such as food, sporting equipment, and winter gear, especially with the absence of permanent roads,” said Shandruk. “Climate change has further exacerbated the inconsistency of ice road conditions, making the delivery of essential items even more difficult.”

Please consider contributing to Mikinakoos Children’s Fund’s GivingTuesday campaign through this link or by texting “WARMCOATS” to 807-500-1522. Interviews with spokespeople from Mikinakoos Children’s Fund are available upon request.

About Mikinakoos Children’s Fund

Mikinakoos Children’s Fund is a charity created to address poverty by providing basic amenities, such as food, clothing, and shelter to First Nations children residing in remote communities. Join us on this journey to create positive change and secure the safety and wellbeing First Nations children. Engage with Mikinakoos Children’s Fund on social through #FirstNationKidsFirst.

Contact:

Victoria Belton
Senior Consultant
Media Profile
Tel: 416-992-5179

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2023 5039589 Ontario Inc.