Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve
-Education and awareness
-Sharing of ideas between community partners and other stakeholders
-Strenghtening partnerships between communities and with government, industry, and academic institutions
-Networking and facilitating connections between students, community members, and relevant industry and government representatives to promote educational and employment-related opportunities.
-Inspiration and mentorship for youth
-Facilitating the collaborative development and sharing of capacity development models and industry-specific knowledge and skills
-Identification of current and future energy needs from community stakeholders to integrate into our institutional approach to community partnership building
-Increased cultural support for student transitions to industry
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
Facilitating education and awareness around community-based renewable energy and conservation projects, as well as traditional ecological knowledge. Promoting continuous knowledge-sharing and an ongoing venue for career and service-learning connections in this field. Sharing visions, best practices, barriers, and challenges around renewable energy initiatives, programs, research, and innovations.
Over the past 3 years we have had over 350 attendees from all over Vancouver Island, the province and as far away as Alberta. There have also been over 20 First Nations represented by chiefs, councillors, and energy and resource project managers. We have also had Indigenous youth attendees from Cowichan Tribes, LA,WALNEW High School, Esquimalt High School, and the Saanich Adult Education Centre.
What is your projected impact over the next five years?
To advance this initiative by integrating broader and more diverse representation from regions across Canada. To build on the groundwork laid in the past 3 years by expanding this initiative beyond a two-day event into an ongoing, interactive medium for knowledge-sharing, research and investment, and networking and employment in the fields of renewable energy. To incorporate a greater focus on building career connections and service-learning opportunities with the aim of supporting student transitions out of post-secondary and into culturally-relevant work experiences in their fields of interest. To support communities in identifying their renewable energy needs and interests, building capacity, and facilitating connections with relevant research, industry, and government representatives.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
This event has been extremely well-received by collaborators and attendees in the past, with students, community-members, and industry representatives expressing strong interest in its continuation. The primary barriers impacting the success of this initiative include the need for adequate funding to carry out the organization and delivery of the symposium in a respectful and culturally-appropriate way.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Deliver a community-driven forum on First Nations Renewable Energy initiatives
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Expand initiative into ongoing First Nations Renewable Energy network and online community