Some communities in the Northwest Territories will share more than $8 million in funding for eight clean energy projects, the federal government announced Tuesday.
The projects are meant to help reduce Indigenous communities' reliance on diesel for heat and power, and generate cleaner energy.
In the statement announcing the funding, Michael McLeod, MP for the Northwest Territories, said the community-led projects will support new local economic opportunities while advancing Indigenous participation in a clean energy future.
Among the projects are $1.7 million for the Town of Inuvik to install a biomass heating system to replace the diesel boilers that are currently used for heat and provide freeze protection for the municipal water reservoir.
Inuvik Mayor Natasha Kulikowski said the funding aligns with the town's energy plan.
"[It] signifies another important step that will strengthen the town's ability to create a holistic water distribution system while promoting renewable energy and reducing [greenhouse gases]," she said in the statement.
The funding also includes $500,000 to the Délı̨nę Got'ı̨nę Government to create a community energy plan that will increase energy efficiency and reduce diesel use.
Tim Tutcho, Délı̨nę's energy advocate, said in a statement that the funding helped build his community's local clean energy capacity as it installed a 30 kilowatt solar panel system for the community's Grey Goose Lodge hotel.
"This is the first hotel in the North that is 100 per cent owned and operated by the self-government and will now be powered by clean, renewable energy," he said.
The six other projects are:
$2.6 million to the Tulita Land Corporation to install biomass boilers to heat seven municipal buildings and to establish a forest-based value chain to produce wood chips to fuel the boilers.
$2.25 million to Nihtat Energy Ltd. for three projects aimed at replacing diesel-fuelled boilers with biomass-heating systems in six public buildings.
$797,000 to the Arctic Energy Alliance to build community capacity and energy literacy to support and direct their local Community Energy Planning process.
$184,000 to Inuvialuit Regional Corporation to promote energy literacy in the community, renew Inuvialuit dialect and culture, and promote cross-generational learning between elders and youth on traditional practices, language and sustainability.
Minister of Infrastructure for the Government of the Northwest Territories Diane Archie said in the statement that the initiatives advance the objectives of the territorial government's 2030 Energy Strategy and 2030 NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework that looks to cut emissions by 30 per cent based on 2005 figures.
The funding announcement is the latest in a series of announcements by the federal government in recent weeks for the territory. They included funding related to COVID-19, food security and for vulnerable populations.