Ambition: To create Indigenous-led and EFL-inspired initiatives that demonstrate true partnership and foundational work towards true and meaningful acts of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
Since its inception, the Energy Futures Lab has had an intention to both include Indigenous people, partners, and perspectives as well as address, in its work, issues related to Indigenous people’s relationships to the energy system. Early efforts included dedicated outreach efforts to involve Indigenous people in the EFL Fellowship, Steering Committee and Advisory Council and to include Indigenous elders, wisdom and ceremony in our gatherings. Initiatives involving Indigenous communities and/or inspired by identified needs and opportunities related to Indigenous peoples have been a part of the EFL portfolio all along. The EFL 2050 Shared Vision makes an explicit statement about becoming a leader in energy-based partnerships toward reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples as central to the vision.
That said, we still feel that this aspect of our work needs to be improved and deepened. There have been many lessons along the way, as we have tried in various ways to ensure that our actions match the sincerity of our intentions. Some of the efforts and initiatives have succeeded while others have not. As part of our commitment to ongoing learning and adaptation, we have tried to be honest and grow awareness of these successes and failures along the way.
In planning EFL 2.0, we have been growing relationships in order to include Indigenous-focused organizations among the Convening Partners of the Lab and implemented design changes that will allow more people to engage and contribute outside of the Fellowship. In conjunction with these efforts, we also came to understand that the EFL team and most of our Fellows and partners have work to do ourselves in better understanding what it means to be committed to truth and reconciliation. The EFL continues to learn about the Truth and navigate the Reconciliation journey to create meaningful EFL initiatives through Rights Relations. The EFL has three focus areas:
- Bridging the learning within the EFL
- Growing relationships and connections
- Indigenizing lab work and strengthening the portfolio of initiatives
The EFL acknowledges that members of the EFL community are at different levels in their journey towards understanding and engaging with Truth and Reconciliation. Also, relationship building with Indigenous communities is crucial to this work. This takes time so listening, patience, and keeping an open mind will be key.
The EFL team and a number of EFL Fellows took the Banff Centre’s Truth and Reconciliation through Rights Relations. The EFL is looking into offering this course again to the rest of EFL Fellowship and partners. In November 2019, the EFL will hold an Indigenous-focused Accelerator for the Fellows to develop new initiatives.
In November 2019, the EFL hosted, in partnership with Enbridge, the Energy-Based Partnerships Towards Reconciliation workshop with facilitation and mentorship from the Calgary Foundation and the Banff Centre. This workshop supported the exploration and learning of the EFL community in support of greater alignment and shared purpose and role of the importance of Indigenous relationships in the future that is required of us. Learn more about our reflections on Our Truth and Reconciliation Journey here.