Renewable energy relies on the natural flows of wind, running water, sunshine, growing plants, and heat from the Earth, which are inherently inexhaustible.  These forms of energy are only increasing in use as societies across the world recognize the catastrophic results and inherent lack of sustainability of extractive fossil fuel and nuclear energy development.   The technologies available for saving energy and utilizing renewable sources are efficient, affordable, and deployable, and public opinion is strongly pushing electric utilities and governments to pursue 100% renewable energy planning agendas. 

Renewable energy can be designed to serve a large range of Indigenous energy needs and circumstances.  Solar panels, small wind turbines, and micro-hydroelectric systems with accompanying battery banks, can allow for rural electrification, bringing power to the most remote parts of the Nations.  Larger scale renewable energy development and microgrid development can provide all of the energy needs of the Nation, while producing honorable, ethical, and well paying jobs, and also offer a potential income opportunity.   Indigenous nations are actively pursuing energy efficiency and renewable energy development to strengthen the resilience of the Nations in the face of climate change, to become energy self-sufficient, to save money, and uphold our spiritual responsibilities to the land, our communities and families.  

Even though renewable energy produces no pollution as it generates electricity, the manufacture of turbines, photovoltaic (solar electric) panels, batteries, and wiring is not benign, and requires the mining, or at the very least expensive recycling, of Earth’s minerals.   Electricity production will always require the use of Earth’s minerals and other nonrenewable resources to manufacture the systems, so we should always plan on first reducing electricity use in every way

Backwoods Solar

Resource for Solar, Wind, and Microhydroelectric parts, consulting, installation

Real Goods Solar

Resource for solar equipment including solar water pumps

Resource for micro-hydro supplies and information

DIY Renewable Energy Information Clearinghouse

Primer on Small Wind Turbines


Indigenous Training Organizations:

Native Renewables

Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center

Non-Indigenous Training Organizations:

Solar Energy International

Top Renewable energy training organization, covering solar electric, solar thermal, and micro-hydroelectricity

Grid Alternatives

Fond Du Lac Tribal College, Minnesota

Program: Clean Energy Systems Technician

Program: Electric Utility Technology

Navajo Technical College, Arizona

Program: Energy Systems

Lac Courte Oreilles Community College, Wisconsin

Program: Renewable Energy

8th Fire Solar

Solar thermal panel installation and construction

Solar Bear

Photovoltaic design and installation for residential and commercial applications


Map of Indigenous Energy Projects


Indigenous Clean Energy

The 20/20 Catalysts Program, providing the skills, tools, and resources to maximize the social and economic benefits their community gains through participation in clean energy projects.

Solar Energy International

Gridworks Solar and Electrical

Indigenous owned and operated solar electric and EV company specializing in commercial and residential applications.  Certified training resource.

First Nations Infrastructure Institute

Development partner for water and other infrastructure

Sen’ti Indigenous Services

Green Arrow (Montana First Nation)

W Dusk Group

Gridworks Solar and Electrical

Indigenous owned and operated solar electric and EV company specializing in commercial and residential applications.  Certified training resource

Sacred Earth Solar

Aki Energy

W Dusk 

Indigenous Clean Energy

First Nations Power Authority  (AB, SK)

 Non-profit organization that facilitates First Nations-led power projects

Aki Energy

Transformation International

Ulnooweg Development Group

Swiilawiid Sustainability Society

This is a small nonprofit organization on Haida Gwaii who is working to support renewable energy and energy efficiency use on Haida Gwaii.  They have published an energy toolkit for their region and feature maps of projects, inspiring stories, and organizing information. 

Nova Scotia Solar Energy Resources

Antigonish Energy Cooperative

Ideas for model affordable renewable energy development  

Growing Indigenous Power: A Review of Indigenous Involvement and Resources to Further Renewable Energy Development across Canada

Jurisdictional Review of the Regulation of Indigenous Utilities in Canada, July, 2019

Survey of British Columbia First Nation Renewable Energy Projects and Engagement

Green Municipal Fund

Northern REACHE Program - to implement renewable energy/energy efficiency projects in off-grid Indigenous and northern communities that rely on diesel and other fossil fuels to generate heat and power

 Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada First Nation Infrastructure Fund

Infrastructure Canada Small Communities Fund

Alberta Indigenous Solar Program (AISP)

Alberta Indigenous Energy Efficiency (Retrofit) Program (AIEERP) 

B.C. Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative

List of IESO Indigenous related Funding Programs

Aboriginal Renewable Energy Fund (ON)

Business Development Bank of Canada: Aboriginal Banking

Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

 Northern Affairs Canada Indigenous Innovation Demonstration Fund

The Aboriginal Banking Unit at Bank of Montreal 

Project financing for solar farms. The program also offers on-reserve home renovation loans for folks who are looking to implement energy-efficiency upgrades. These loans can range from $5,000 to $25,000.

Stonebridge Financial Corporation

Stonebridge has offered project financing for many types of renewable energy developments (including solar), and it does so in ways that are project-specific. In general, the corporation offers limited or non-recourse financing that is repaid using the project’s profits. Its features include fixed and variable rate options and fixed long-term interest rates.

The corporation has offices in Toronto, Oakville, and Quebec, and it can be reached by phone in Toronto at 416-364-3001.

Nova Scotia Cooperative Council

The Nova Scotia Cooperative Council has a Renewable Energy Program that supports cooperatives that wish to finance renewable energy developments. If a cooperative is desired, business development officers throughout Nova Scotia can offer guidance around the program.