Leading the way to sustainability : a First Nation's case study in self-sufficiency
Schultz, Kimberleigh Comars
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SubjectSustainability; Alternative energy; Native American studies; Self-Determination; Social-Economy; Social-Enterprise
Alderville is a First Nation community in southern Ontario, Canada. Recently, Alderville First Nation has emerged as a leader in clean energy. Guided by a shared community interest, Alderville has undertaken a large solar project, which is entirely owned by the community. The successful outcomes of the project to date has meant that Alderville First Nation is now positioned not only to expand their project, but also to consult with other First Nation communities regarding their own efforts to move towards sustainability. This research paper explores the movement towards sustainable community development in the First Nation community of Alderville, using a case study approach to answer questions about the ways in which these types of projects support capacity building and promote self-sufficiency in First Nations Communities. It was guided entirely by Alderville First Nation and showcases the contributions of Alderville in the field of sustainable community development. The resulting document includes a culturally relevant case study of Alderville First Nation’s solar farm that can be used to further support their own advocacy work and any work they undertake with other communities interested in moving towards similar sustainable development, as well as to provide evidence-based justification of positive outcomes that can be used to entice future investment in First Nations clean energy and other sustainable development projects. The research also shows that self-sufficiency for First Nations communities can be supported by appropriate investments in culturally relevant sustainable development models like clean energy social enterprises. The research also identified opportunities for better policy alignment to support First Nations and other Indigenous communities as they undertake sustainable community development approaches that are grounded in renewable energy.
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