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Building Local Capacity for Community-Driven Solar Projects in the Northwest Territories

Iron & Earth and Gonezu Energy are excited to announce new milestones for 2024. This year, we are expanding our impact to support the adoption of renewable energy systems  in Délı̨nę, NWT, and contribute to providing cabin owners and high school students with solar PV skills.

2023 Recap

Last summer, we delivered a two-day training in solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to twenty cabin owners who received small-scale off-grid solar systems installed by Gonezu Energy Inc. in the Dehcho region, NWT.  Under the guidance of Gonezu Lead Hand Electrician, Carl Squirrel, three local professionals supported the installation on a 20-week on-the-job training, with hours counting toward professional electrician apprenticeship. All three trainees were retained as full-time employees by Gonezu Energy.


Délı̨nę– Expanded Training Opportunities


The Gonezu team and Iron & Earth alumni, now full-time Gonezu employees, will work together to bring the off-grid solar project north to Délı̨nę. They will equip another 15 cabins with off-grid solar PV systems, including two newly built cabins from the Ehtseo Ayha School, while Iron & Earth will welcome Ehtseo Ayha School high school students to join cabin owners and interested community members in a two-day Introduction to Solar PV Systems training program on June 28-29, 2024. This training will provide practical knowledge on solar energy and the solar PV system being installed in Délı̨nę  with a focus on operations, maintenance and troubleshooting solutions that do not require an electrician. Cabin owners will then be required to be present during the solar installation by the Gonezu Energy Team and receive any further knowledge transfer from Carl Squirrel, Gonezu Lead Electrician and Iron & Earth Assistant Instructor.


Looking Forward


Iron & Earth and Gonezu Energy remain committed to empowering communities to adopt sustainable energy solutions by advancing energy literacy and access to renewable energy technologies. By equipping local residents with the skills and knowledge to manage renewable energy systems, we ensure participants gain practical skills that could also lead to new career opportunities and a deeper understanding of energy sovereignty. Our partnership with Gonezu Energy and the Ehtseo Ayha School marks a significant step forward in our mission to support a just transition for all.

Iron & Earth is committed to partnering with Indigenous workers to empower their communities to become self-sufficient in training programs, clean energy transition projects, and employment opportunities to combat environmental racism. It falls to all of us to continue the work of healing and reconciliation in our communities and our organizations. Our relationship with the land and the people who live here shapes who we are. It is in the spirit of reconciliation and honouring the past that we recognize treaties and agreements wherever they are and wherever we work.

We also acknowledge all peoples who live, work, and play on this land, and who honour and celebrate this territory.
As individuals and teams we may make mistakes along the way, but we are dedicated to growth, openness, compassion, and forgiveness. These principles in our work are essential to building successful and healthy relationships with individuals, communities, organizations, and governments.

We look forward to building a path to lead us to a better relationship with Indigenous nations and the environment around us based on peace, friendship, and respect.