CoPEH Canada Grad Course – Ecosystem Approaches to Health

CoPEH Canada has released an opportunity for graduate students to participate in an online/face-to-face course on Ecosystem Approaches to Health. The course is available starting in May, and further information is available here.

Students can participate in the full program at University of Northern British Columbia, Université du Québec à Montréal, or University of Guelph, or participate only in the webinars (which are also available to international students).

For more information (including a tentative list of webinar topics) check out CoPEH’s website.
For those interested in taking the course or following the webinar series, please contact CoPEH Canada directly at

A SHARED Future Update – February and March

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The HEC Lab is pleased to share our bi-monthly update for the A SHARED Future program. Follow the link below to see what the team has accomplished in February and March!

February and March Update for A SHARED Future 


New Manuscript from Team Member Peggy Smith: Bridging Gaps in Energy Planning for First Nation Communities

A SHARED Future team member, Peggy Smith, and colleagues at Lakehead University have recently published a new manuscript titled, “Bridging Gaps in Energy Planning for First Nation Communities“.


ABSTRACT: There is a link between energy security, economic prosperity, sustainability and sovereignty for indigenous communities in Canada. Geographically remote locations, absence of all-season roads, off-grid status, diesel dependency and lack of alternative energy access causes energy insecurities along with economic, social, and local environmental problems for the Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO) First Nation communities in northwestern Ontario. Being free of diesel dependency and scoping sustainable energy solutions are immediate priorities. Both are key motivational factors for effective community energy planning (CEP). However, most CEP is based on top-down decision making approaches which lack effective community engagement to design culturally appropriate, community-centeric energy plans. Such approaches fail to acknowledge local socio-cultural drivers as indicators of energy planning.

This article details the disconnects between theory and practice in energy planning for First Nation communities. The overarching purpose of this article is to bridge knowledge gaps regarding socio-cultural requirements, discuss the social costs in energy planning, and advance academic literature about indigenous perspectives on energy planning.

A literature review, key informant interviews and in-field observations in KO First Nation communities form the basis of our study. This article examines community insights on local energy planning to elicit drivers and determinants for a conceptual, bottom-up energy planning framework. It offers recommendations to integrate socio-cultural factors as part of a sustainable and functional energy planning approach for the KO communities. It provides justification that this process ensures multiple benefits such as buy-in by the communities, acceptance, and readiness for CEP implementation which fosters community ownership, self-determination, pride and empowerment. The research findings are timely. There is growing interest in ensuring local energy security amidst longstanding colonial treatment and marginalization of indigenous communities in the broader context of Canada’s greenhouse gas commitments.

For access to the manuscript, please contact Lead Author Roopa Rakshit or team member Peggy Smith to request a copy, or download from the citation:

Rakshit, Roopa, Chander Shahi, M.A. Smith, and Adam Cornwell. “Bridging Gaps In Energy Planning for First Nation Communities.” Strategic Planning for Energy and the Environment 37, no. 3 (2018): 17-42.

Call for Applications for Sustainable Engineering in Remote Communities (SERA) Graduate and Undergraduate Awards

The NSERC CREATE Training Program on Sustainable Engineering in Remote Areas (SERA) is targeted at graduate students and undergraduate Aboriginal students with an interest in renewable energy systems or sustainable and energy efficient buildings. Graduate students must be enrolled at one of the four participating institutions (Queen’s University, University of Manitoba, University of Ottawa and the Royal Military College of Canada) at the time of taking up the award. Undergraduate students from any institution may apply but they must hold their awards at one of the four institutions. Graduates of the SERA program will be well‐equipped to become leaders in their fields as a result of the unique training they will receive through seminars and workshops, high‐level research projects, industry internships and first hand visits to remote Indigenous communities. All applications must be received no later than 4:30 pm EST on March 3rd 2018.

See the full Call for Applications, 2018, here.

Ready to apply? Click here for the application procedure

NRCan Releases Summary of Workshop: Getting Off Diesel

Natural Resources Canada has released a summary of their workshop that took place in October, 2017, in Whitehorse, YK. The summary, titled Clean Tech Impact details the results of a gathering of 50+ stakeholders (Including Indigenous Peoples, utilities commissions, technology experts, academics, and National and International Governments) that came together to help address “critical barriers and drive breakthrough solutions for reducing diesel reliance in remote communities.” The full summary is available, here:

Off Diesel Workshop Summary (EN) 

Off Diesel Workshop Summary (FR)