Including First Nations peoples in energy projects on their Traditional Lands can have far-reaching positive impacts and be mutually beneficial.
When given the opportunity to self-determine their own futures, research has shown that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples thrive.
Canada has seen First Nations participation in renewable energy projects have profound impacts.
They found that First Nations inclusion in energy partnerships

How can this impact First Nations people in Australia?

Evidently, First Nations people can play a critical role in Australia’s energy future.
Chris Croker is the co-chair of First Nations Clean Energy Network. The Luritja man said that Canada’s model would thrive in Australia.

“Lessons from Canada have demonstrated the sound social and business logic for engaging with First Nations communities,” Mr Croker told AAP.

Co-chair and Yorta Yorta woman Karrina Nolan says that targeted government policy and genuine investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can revolutionise the industry in Australia.
“The rights, interests and aspirations of First Nations peoples must be front and centre to achieve a just clean energy transformation,” Ms Nolan told AAP.
Listening to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners can ensure that free, prior and informed consent is given before energy projects are done on Country.
Minister of Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen the Lowy Institute in November that including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can create jobs in our communities.
“Getting First Nations involvement in renewable energy right can play a big role in the future economic health of Australia’s Indigenous peoples,” the minister said.
In that outlines practices and principles when engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in renewable energy projects, it was found that community representatives wanted to enter into ownership or co-ownership agreements in these projects.

Protecting Country

Including mob in renewable projects can not only provide job stability, but can also allow for the protection and caring of Country.
That’s because cultural and environmental factors are more likely to be considered when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices are included in discussions around renewable energy.
For example, genuine and considered investment in First Nations-led energy projects have the power to .

Energy security

The aim of this investment was to reduce the communities reliance on diesel generations.
Energy security in remote communities is a great concern.
Substandard housing where power is often unreliable and expensive can have
Like in Canada, mob living in Central Australia often rely on diesel generators or prepaid electricity, and regulations are imposed on these communities when it comes to generating, supplying and selling power.
Community-led projects aim to address this. For example, the saw the community re-powering with low-cost and clean energy.

Cultural heritage

Working with Traditional Owners to develop management plans can protect cultural heritage by ensuring the repatriation of cultural artefacts, the traditional lore is respected and that sacred sites are respected.
, experts say that the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in renewable energy projects should be prioritised.

-With additional reporting from AAP

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