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THUNDER BAY, ON: Matawa First Nations today welcomed federal investments for a Renewable Energy Readiness Assessment (RERA) project as announced by The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for FedNor. The investment is provided through the Northern Ontario Development Program.

More than $240,000 from the Government of Canada will help the Matawa First Nation communities of Aroland, Constance Lake, Eabametoong, Ginoogaming, Long Lake $#58, Marten Falls, Neskantaga, Nibinamik and Webequie First Nations to explore a renewable energy production approach forward to address high fuel prices, get off diesel, prioritize planning with industry and establish sustainable community energy loads that integrate renewable energy into the landscape, and allow each community to benefit.

With Matawa First Nations as no exception, renewable energy is becoming increasingly popular among Indigenous Peoples because it aligns with cultural beliefs and relationship to the land. It allows energy sources to return to working for the people and the environment in a reciprocal net-zero relationship. In Ontario, there are over 80 renewable energy projects that are ongoing.

The RERA will be overseen by the Matawa Energy Planning Committee made up of representatives from the nine (9) Matawa First Nations. Their work will include engaging with their communities and experts in the field to make recommendations and develop an action plan. The RERA is expected to be completed by spring 2018.

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