Energy-efficiency Upgrades for Athabasca Chipewyan

Alberta has partnered with Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency and lower utility expenses.

L-R: Coun. Raymond Cardinal, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Chief Allan Adam, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Minister Feehan, Coun. Michele Voyageur, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation  and workers from the project.

With support from Alberta’s Indigenous Energy Efficiency (Retrofit) Program, a new local grocery store and six much-needed family homes will be built with upgraded energy-efficiency features. These features will prevent up to 90 tonnes of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere each year and save the community up to an average of 25 per cent in electricity and heating costs per year over the next 25 years.

“The Alberta Indigenous Energy Efficiency (Retrofit) Program is making life better and more affordable for Indigenous peoples and communities while helping to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas Alberta produces. Our government is proud to support this project and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation’s rich history of environmental leadership.”

~Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations

“Being able to build these projects to be energy-efficient will save our community money and help combat climate change. Energy-efficient homes will lower the cost of utilities and an energy-efficient grocery store will reduce operating costs. Those savings can be reflected in prices so people can eat healthy for less, which hasn’t always been possible in our remote community.”

~Allan Adam, Chief, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation

As a result of the grant, the new grocery store will have LED lighting, better insulation and a high-efficiency refrigeration system that will recycle heat back into the building. The new homes will have spray foam insulation, high-quality windows and doors, programmable thermostats, low-flow plumbing and Energy Star appliances.

Alberta’s Indigenous Energy Efficiency (Retrofit) Program is a new provincial grant initiative to help Indigenous communities reduce their energy expenses and reduce greenhouse gases. Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation is one of many Indigenous communities and organizations that will become more energy-efficient with support from the program.

The $636,460 grant is part of $35 million in funding available this fiscal year through various streams, including the Alberta Indigenous Energy Efficiency (Retrofit) Program, to meet the needs of Indigenous communities tackling climate change. Panel discussions, dialogue with Indigenous leaders, workshops and feedback from two successful pilot programs helped inform the development of the program.

These initiatives support the Alberta government’s commitment to implement the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.