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)

Alyssa Aiello Wins First Prize in Poster Competition

The HEC Lab is proud to announce that former A SHARED Future trainee, Alyssa Aiello, was awarded first prize for her poster presentation at The Canadian Association of Geographers – Ontario Division Annual Conference. Alyssa, along with co-authors Rob Stefanelli, Chad Walker, and Heather Castleden, presented “Partners,​ ​Participants,​ ​and​ ​Protesters:​ ​An​ ​Analysis​ ​of​ ​Canadian​ ​News​ ​Media​ ​on​ ​the​ ​Portrayal of​ ​Indigenous​ ​Leadership​ ​in​ ​Renewable​ ​Energy​ ​Projects”.

You can view Alyssa’s poster in full, here


Undergraduate student Elissa Bozhkov returns from feast at ELA

Student Blog – By Elissa Bozhkov

Recently, I had the opportunity to join Heather on a trip to the IISD Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) for their annual Community Fall Feast. We began the day with a tour of the facilities: Deputy Director Pauline Gerrard and Head Research Scientist Vince Palace showed us around the beautiful grounds and labs where many student researchers were hard at work. The research ELA conducts is vital in studying the impacts of human activities on freshwater lakes, educating the public and informing environmental policy. They spoke of one ongoing project where small amounts of mercury are added to a lake to mimic and better understand real life situations of atmospheric mercury contamination from industrial sources.

Later on in the afternoon we were joined by local First Nations in the area from Eagle Lake and Whitefish Bay where we had discussions about water, air and land issues. People from all different backgrounds shared their own personal concerns, stories and thoughts with the group. I had the pleasure of sitting beside one of the Elders during the sharing circle and as he was speaking to everyone and sharing the knowledge that one can only have from truly growing up and living on the land, he looked over at me and said something that really resonated with me: “I hope that in the future, your children and your grandchildren will be able to look up at the trees surrounding them, breathe the fresh air and drink clean water.”

I also had a chance to speak with Elders Margaret and Clarence as we sat around the fire sprinkling tobacco onto the flames, a common practice during feasts. Margaret shared with me an old saying she had learned from her grandfather: “If you listen child, you will live.” She told me how she grew up around Eagle Lake and used to listen for all the animals near her, especially the red-winged blackbird. Now in the springtime, she doesn’t hear the birds songs anymore or the frogs’ croaks down by the water. Sitting around the fire with the Elders was my favourite part of the weekend, because we didn’t talk science or politics. We talked solely about the life all around us; the very land, air and water that continuously provides for us and takes care of us. Clearly, Indigenous people are great knowledge holders of their land around them yet often are not included in the discussion, especially involving issues of the environmental impacts surrounding resource development. This experience was very enlightening and gave me a lot to think about in terms of developing my honours thesis project on reconciliation and healing at ELA.