The Alberta Climate Leadership Plan and Indigenous Peoples

In 2015, the Government of Alberta (GoA) launched its first ever Climate Leadership Plan (CLP) to act on climate change and to protect the province’s health, environment and economy.  It is a made-in-Alberta strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while building communities and fostering new economic development opportunities.  The introduction of a price on carbon in January 2017, known as the ‘carbon levy’, is what funds the plan and its initiatives. Further information on the CLP can be found here.

A key component of the CLP is the Indigenous Climate Leadership Initiative (ICLI) which supports Indigenous participation in addressing climate change and advancing clean growth. ICLI is currently made up of seven grant funding programs that operate under a $150 million budget over three years (2017-2020). The program also supports the development of a joint governance structure between the GoA and Indigenous communities to administer the initiative.

The MSGC’s Climate Leadership Initiative is overseen by Charlene Holmes, the Climate Leadership Coordinator. The goal of the MSGC Climate Change Initiative is to offer support, raise climate awareness, build community capacity, create mutually beneficial relationships with all partners, and assure that the values of the Metis are built into every aspect of our climate change strategy.  This initiative will help to identify how we can reduce our carbon footprint and become more environmentally responsible while creating opportunities for our people and our communities.

To date, Charlene Holmes has secured over $250,000 in ICLI climate capacity and energy efficiency funding for MSGC and has assisted Settlements in preparing grant proposals for the Alberta Indigenous Climate Capacity Program and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s Indigenous Community Based Climate Monitoring Program. She co-hosted the 2018 Climate Leadership Summit and assisted with the coordination of the All Indigenous Leaders Apex on Climate.  Additionally, she coordinated an MSGC Climate Change Committee Environmental Conference in Calgary.  For more detailed information, click the MSGC Climate Leadership Initiative: Our Plan and Accomplishments link to the right.

Moving forward Charlene will continue to meet with GoA officials on behalf of the MSGC and sit on the Alberta Governance Technical Working Group and the Alberta Indigenous Electricity Technical Working Group. Her work will focus on advancing climate programming in the Settlements, project and proposal development, and the integration of the Metis into the provincial and regional low carbon economy.

MSGC Climate Leadership Initiative – 2019 Progress Report

Following the lead of the last elected Government of Alberta, the MSGC Climate Leadership has been focusing on researching, growing and promoting Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency initiatives. A part of reducing our carbon footprint (personal day-to-day emissions) and reducing Green House Gas Emissions(GHG’s), relies on innovative energy ideas that rely on the natural resources from MotherEarth.

The MSGC Head Office in Edmonton was awarded a1.07 Million Retrofit Energy Efficiency grant in January 2019. Many of our homes and buildings in the Settlements emit wasted energy by heat escaping through windows, doors, roofs to name a few. Energy wasted emits gas emissions, which in turn heats our Earth, which in turn changes the climate.

Repairing or retrofitting areas that emit wasted heat is a major component of energy efficiency and reducing our carbon footprint.

To date, the MSGC building has had all windows replaced with an R4Value.TheR4value essentially means that the heat from the sun against the windows will be resistant to heat, thus creating a cooler temperature and less reliance on air conditioning, thus reducing our emissions. In addition, the Air Conditioning handling units on the roof of the building were replaced which in turn is running more efficiently and reducing energy.

Currently there are other energy reducing projects on the go at our building which include lighting replacements and a solar project.

The MSGC building will be equipped with Phase1 of a solar project. The area of our roof on the building is quite vast and required applying for two separate phases of solar installation. Upon completion of Phase 1 installation, the MSGC solar project will produce 76.7KW of energy. Equating to 81,000KW hours per year and up to 15% of our energy consumption! This in turn reduces our electricity costs, our dependency on the electrical grid and our impact on the environment. Phase2 of the project was unfortunately not approved prior to Government change. Therefore, to enhance the continuation of renewable energy, our Climate Leadership initiative is currently in development with Provincial and Federal funding to continue our goal of energy resiliency. Working with Meridian Sustainability Partners, our hopes are to engage with all Settlements on a possible collaborative micro-generation solar project.

The completion of the retrofit and solar installation is expected in early Fall 2019. The MSGC will be hosting an Open House to showcase our accomplishments. All Settlement members are welcome to attend.

Many Settlements have implemented solar energy. These initiatives only enhance our goal of protecting our land and our future. Although it may seem small, every action is an important one to create change. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could live like our ancestors by depending on Mother Earth to care for us? If we continue to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy and self-love for our Earth we are caring for our Mother for generations to come.

Hiy Hiy! Charlene Holmes Director Climate Leadership