Sustainability Reporting Initiative

People > Indigenous Partnerships

Building a better world where Indigenous communities prosper

Indigenous Partnerships

At Innergex, we take great pride in being a partner of choice for Indigenous communities across Canada on renewable energy projects. Our model is based on the belief that building lasting relationships and sharing the economic benefits of our projects not only creates wealth and future opportunities, but can be a path to reconciliation for many Indigenous communities.

A Path to Reconciliation

More than ever this year, Canadians have learned about the trauma and harm experienced by Indigenous peoples. We firmly believe not only that the private sector has a responsibility to participate in reconciliation, but also that ensuring resource sustainability depends on establishing viable partnerships with Indigenous communities, drawing on their expertise and knowledge of the territory. Innergex has grown as a business by listening and learning from our Indigenous partners who each have a unique story to tell. When developing long-term relationships, it is imperative that we understand and adapt to each community’s individual needs and socio-economic priorities. Designed with clear expectations, our partnerships are based on open lines of communication and respect, and often act as a catalyst for sustained prosperity.

In 2002, Innergex signed its first ever partnership with the Biigtigong Nishnaabeg in Ontario to develop the Umbata Falls hydroelectric project. The 20-year Power Purchase Agreement on this facility generates tangible and long-term economic benefits for the band. The $20 million the Biigtigong Nishnaabeg have accrued from the project to date has not only been used to fund new development opportunities but has been re-invested into community projects as outlined in the band’s strategic plan.

Several other projects today stand as testaments to our commitment of building strong relationships with our Indigenous partners to create shared prosperity. We co-own four facilities in partnership with Indigenous communities in Canada (Kwoiek Creek, Mesgi’g Ugju’s’n, Umbata Falls and Walden North) and we also have one project currently in construction that is owned in partnership with the Inuit community of Inukjuak (Innavik). Innergex also has many royalty agreements and other types of agreements with Indigenous communities across Canada including but not limited to:

  • After 40 years from Commercial Operation Date (COD) of the Kwoiek Creek Facility, which is currently owned 50-50 with the Kanaka Bar Indian Band, the Corporation’s ownership interests will be transferred to Kwoiek Creek Resources Inc. Subsequently, the Corporation will receive a royalty based on a percentage of the gross revenues less operation costs.
  • The assets of the Ashlu Creek Facility will be transferred to the Squamish First Nation for a nominal price after 30 years from COD (2039).
  • The Mesgi’g Ugju’s’n wind project, a 50-50 partnership with the Mi’gmaq of the Gaspé region of Quebec, is providing the three communities that make up the partnership with a source of long-term revenue from the 20-year operational life of the facility. Additionally, the economic interest of Innergex in the facility will decrease over time to the benefit of our partner for no additional consideration.
  • In 2019, we formalized a partnership with the Inuit community of Inukjuak on the shores of Hudson Bay to develop the Innavik hydroelectric project. Innavik, a 50-50 ownership structure, is a 7.5 MW run-of-river hydroelectric facility that will replace reliance on diesel fuel for almost all of Inukjuak’s energy needs over the 40-year Power Purchase Agreement signed with Hydro-Québec. The Project originated from the community’s desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote autonomy, and create long-term prospects for sustainable development. Innavik is expected to make significant social and economic contributions for the 1,800 inhabitants of Inukjuak, Nunavik’s second most populated community.

Innergex is proud of its history of developing some of the first partnerships with Indigenous communities across the country and in the process not only set a precedent, but established a practice now commonly employed in the industry.

Whether through partnerships, contractual payments under impact and benefit agreements, or other types of contractual agreements, Innergex works with each community to understand their individual needs to best determine how to meet those needs.

Innergex currently has partnerships with 31 Indigenous communities on renewable energy projects, some of which are in operation and others at various stages of development. These partnerships are at the core of our development strategy. Designed with clear expectations, these agreements are based on open lines of communication, respect and the goal that they are mutually beneficial.

Being a good partner means supporting local community initiatives that make a difference in people’s lives. We are proud to provide support and work with many Indigenous organizations and events. Some of the organizations we supported in 2021 include:

Kwoiek Academic Endowments
(British Columbia, Canada)
Isuarsivik (Quebec, Canada) Commission de développement économique des Premières Nations du Québec et du Labrador (Quebec, Canada)
Mi’gmawei Mawiomi Resources
(Quebec, Canada)
Kwahiatonhk! Salon du livre des Premières Nations
(Quebec, Canada)
Los Guidos Indigenous community (Pehuenche, Chile)
Lil’Wat Nation Community Center
(British Columbia, Canada)
Cayoose Creek Indian Band
(British Columbia, Canada)
Indigenous resource opportunities conference
(British Columbia, Canada)
Cañicura Neighborhood Council
(Quillico, Chile)
Waimea  Hawaiian Homesteader’s Association
(Hawaii, US)
Sts’ailes (British Columbia, Canada)