A 200-MW wind project: a partnership between nine Innu communities and Boralex on the traditional territory (Nitassinan) of the Uashat mak Mani-utenam First Nation
From: Indigenous Services Canada
March 20, 2023
Today, the Innu communities of Ekuanitshit, Essipit, Pessamit, the Pekuakamiulnuatsh First Nation, Pakua Shipi, Uashat mak Mani-utenam, Matimekush-Lac John, Nutashkuan, and Unamen Shipu, under the umbrella of the Société en commandite Apuiat (S.E.C. Apuiat) in collaboration with Boralex and with the contribution of Indigenous Services Canada, announce the development of a major 200-MW wind farm. The Apuiat project will be located on the public land of the traditional territory (Nitassinan) of the Uashat mak Mani-utenam First Nation.
This large wind farm project will create a long-term clean energy source and generate sustainable economic and social benefits for Innu communities. In addition, nearly 300 jobs will become available during the construction phase, along with approximately 10 permanent jobs for the wind farm’s operations.
Thanks to Indigenous Services Canada’s Community Opportunity Readiness Program (CORP), S.E.C. Apuiat received a contribution of $3 million to support its financial involvement in the wind farm project. The Innu communities and Boralex each hold 50% of the votes on the Apuiat Wind Farm’s Board of Directors.
Today’s announcement demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting Indigenous communities in their economic prosperity.
“The Innu First Nation of Uashat mak Mani-utenam is proud to welcome the Nation’s first major project on its Nitassinan. Apuiat is a first in terms of direct participation in a major project, and many lessons have already been learned. We are ready to consider the Nation’s future projects, and we thank the Government of Canada for recognizing and taking part in its funding.”
Chief Mike Mckenzie
Uashat mak Mani-utenam
“The Pekuakamiulnuatsh First Nation is proud to be able to continue developing its energy sector as part of the Nation’s project. After investments in small hydroelectric power projects and as a minority investor in a wind project, Apuiat allows us to take a step forward and see a future where no option can be rejected outright.”
Chief Gilbert Dominique
“The Essipit Innu First Nation is proud to take part in the implementation of the Apuiat wind project. The milestones achieved to date have demonstrated that our technical teams were able to take us to important partnership milestones and create the right environment for success. All of the Nation’s communities have an opportunity to learn the lessons that will allow them to fully appreciate the value of future opportunities in a world where decarbonisation is key.”
Chief Martin Dufour
“I’m very pleased that our Department can support a project like Apuiat—a project that will create a healthy cycle for the sustainable economic prosperity of Quebec’s Innu communities. First Nations have always had ecological and sustainable considerations but do not always have the opportunity to fully benefit from resources of their territory. With today’s announcement, the economic benefits of this wind farm project located on the traditional territory of Uashat mak Mani-utenam will promote the financial autonomy of Quebec’s Innu by significantly increasing their level of own-source revenue and by enhancing their opportunities to develop green and sustainable business and infrastructure projects such as the Apuiat Wind Farm.”
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services
- S.E.C. Apuiat has chosen to partner with Boralex, a major player in renewable energies, based in Kingsey Falls, Quebec, specializing in four sectors of activities: wind, solar, hydroelectric, and storage.
- The nine Innu communities and Boralex each hold 50% of the votes on the Apuiat Wind Farm’s Board of Directors.
- The Community Opportunities Readiness Program provides project-based funding to First Nation and Inuit communities for a range of activities to support communities’ pursuit of economic opportunities.
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor
Indigenous Services Canada