CPA examining partnership opportunities with Indigenous communities
As was outlined at the Canadian Propane Association Leadership Summit held in Ottawa last June, the CPA is examining possible opportunities for creating partnerships with Indigenous and remote communities that would see both environmental and economic benefits.
After discussions that began this summer with ministerial staff and officials from the Department of Indigenous Services, the CPA has determined that the best strategy in ensuring propane is proactively considered when addressing the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Indigenous and remote communities is to connect directly with the communities themselves. The focus will be on developing partnerships between Indigenous communities and the propane industry that result in low-emission propane replacing diesel and heating oil for home energy.
Many Indigenous communities are skeptical of the federal top-down approach to economic development. For the propane industry, establishing relationships and trust at the community level is critical to building long-term success and providing a low-emission fuel to these communities.
The CPA is looking at developing a pilot project that demonstrates the propane advantage in Indigenous communities. The CPA has contracted Robert Lavigne, an Indigenous economic development consultant who specializes in fostering economic opportunities with Indigenous communities, to act as the CPA’s Advisor, Indigenous Relations. A longtime advocate for the inclusion of Indigenous peoples in economic development projects, he brings a wealth of experience to the position.
Lavigne will lead the initial outreach through consultations that will include presentations to regional tribal councils. The CPA will also be reaching out to other experts, including CPA members who have experience and expertise in developing partnerships with Indigenous and remote communities.
Other activities the CPA is engaging in to advance this strategy include participating in the Forward Summit: Empowering Indigenous Communities Feb. 26-28. Check out the story below for more information.