Episode 5 – Imagining Clean Energy Futures: Indigenous Youth Leadership, Energy Sovereignty, and a Sustainable Greenhouse
According to Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE), over the past two decades, Indigenous communities, governments, and businesses have become among the most powerful clean energy proponents across Canada, on par with utilities and renewable energy development companies. ICE is a leader in this work, as a not-for-profit platform aiming to advance Indigenous inclusion in Canada’s energy futures economy. For our final episode, we are in conversation with ICE’s ImaGENation program, a mentorship program supporting Indigenous youth in bringing their clean energy projects to life. We are joined by Alexandra Thomson, the program manager at ImaGENation, as well as Tikkan Morisseau and Sara Fontaine, ImaGENation cohort members and leaders of a sustainable greenhouse project, as they share their visions for clean energy futures.
Tikkan Morisseau (she/her) is an Anishinabekwe from Sagkeeng First Nation. Tikkan works as an Educational Assistant at the local elementary school. She was a square dancer for the community’s local group, travelling to other communities to compete and entertain. Tikkan has been a volunteer with the Sagkeeng Youth Group since 2019. She along with Sagkeeng Youth Group started a garden initiative at the Junior High and High School which has transformed into this greenhouse project. Tikkan now has a passion to work in the clean energy field.
Sara Fontaine (she/they/them) is an Anishinabekwe also from Sagkeeng First Nation. Sara has participated in Canada World Youth, a 6-month exchange program where she went to Kenya. They have participated in many youth summits and conferences. They have also been a youth volunteer with Sagkeeng Youth Group since 2019. She also sits on the Environmental Community Liaison Committee for Sagkeeng First Nation. Sara is hoping to continue bringing clean energy projects into the community.
Alexandra Thomson (she/her) is a Nakoda woman mixed with French descent, belonging to Carry the Kettle (Cega’kin) First Nation, Treaty 4 Territory. Alexandra holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan. A community driven individual, Alexandra strives to apply her education in combination with Indigenous ways of knowing to solve issues that impact Indigenous communities as it relates to energy, infrastructure, sustainability, and socioeconomics. Alexandra’s goal is to empower Indigenous communities to establish sovereignty through community-based project work and capacity building initiatives. She hopes to nurture an interest in STEM amongst Indigenous women and youth, as it is her belief that Indigenous knowledge can largely contribute to an evolving holistic framework in the field that will ultimately provide meaningful, tangible, and long-lasting solutions for Indigenous communities.
Connect with ImaGENation:
If you are interested in learning more about clean energy and energy sovereignty, check out the podcast Decolonizing Power hosted by Mihskakwan James Harper and Freddie Huppé Campbell, and produced by Indigenous Clean Energy: https://anchor.fm/decolonizing-power
Hosted and edited by Emiko Newman and Megan Pham-Quan.
With gratitude to Hilary Inwood of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and Stephen Hurley of VoiceEd Radio for their indispensable support and encouragement.