Contact Us!

Community Solar Skills Program


Iron & Earth is a worker-led organization whose mission is to empower fossil fuel industry and Indigenous workers to build and implement climate solutions. Our overarching intention is to help create an environmentally and socially prosperous planet. Our vision is that fossil fuel industry and Indigenous workers will play a leading role in building the policy and infrastructure required to reach global climate targets. Our top-level goal is to help ensure a prosperous transition towards global carbon neutrality by 2050. 

We carry out our unique purpose through our regional chapters, national advocacy campaigns, upskilling programs, climate mitigation projects, technology platforms and community building events.

Throughout 2020, Iron & Earth worked with Desmond Bull from the Louis Bull Tribe to develop two community-based rapid upskilling programs for fossil fuel industry and Indigenous workers: a 10-day solar program and a 10-day wind energy program. These programs include five days of in-class work and five days of hands-on training which involves the installation of a small solar and wind energy system.

We are proud to be partnering with Maskwacis Cultural College (MCC) to host a 10-day Community Solar Skills Program from April 18 - 29, 2022.

We are currently accepting applications from fossil fuel industry and Indigenous workers based in Maskwacis and the surrounding area with an interest in learning the skills needed to participate in solar project design, installation and maintenance. 

Thanks to the generous contributions of a number of funders, this offering of the Community Solar Skills Program will be available at no cost to the participants.


We wish to honour those that have stewarded the land since time immemorial and extend our sincere thanks to the Four Nations of Maskwacis for welcoming the Community Solar Skills Program to be hosted on their lands. We acknowledge that the location of the training program is situated on Treaty 6 territory, traditional lands of the Cree, Dene, Blackfoot, Saulteaux and Nakota Sioux and on the homelands of the Métis Nation Region II. 

Community Solar Skills Program

The Community Solar Skills Program will include 10 days of training sessions held Monday to Friday from April 18 - 29, 2022 between 9 - 3 pm  MT. The first week of the program will include in-class learning  at MCC. The second week of the program will involve the installation of a 5-10 kW solar photovoltaic energy system at MCC, providing participants with hands-on solar project installation experience. 

The Community Solar Skills Program provides context on solar energy generation projects and the importance of incorporating Indigenous traditional knowledge and practices throughout the project life cycle. To deepen participant understanding of these important contributions, the in-class portion of the program will include cross-cultural learning guided by a local Elder and education regarding reconciliation, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and Indigenous perspectives on renewable energy.

The knowledge and experience provided by the Community Solar Skills Program will empower program participants to find meaningful work along related career pathways.

Conceptual Lens

The conceptual lens brings focus to the treatment and delivery of content. For this course, the conceptual lens is:

Knowledge and experience of solar PV installation that empowers participants to pursue related careers.

Key Concepts 

These concepts support the delivery of course content through the conceptual lens identified. By the end of the course, participants will understand how multiple pieces of content contribute to:

  • Safety
  • Efficiency
  • Climate Change
  • Cultural Connections
  • Net-Zero Future
  • Renewable Careers

Course Outcomes

At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand solar energy within the greater context of energy production in Canada.
  • Recognize solar energy production as an action that supports increased autonomy and well-being for Indigenous communities in Canada.
  • Evaluate the suitability of careers in the solar energy sector for themselves.
  • Safely perform key aspects of work on a solar project, outside of electrical jurisdiction.
  • Have knowledge necessary to pursue work as a non-electrician employee on a residential, utility or commercial-scale solar energy project.
  • Understand the scope of electrician-related tasks associated with the installation of a PV solar array.

Course Outline

  1. Unit 1: Cultural and Environmental Awareness 
  2. Unit 2: Solar Awareness
  3. Unit 3: Electrical Awareness
  4. Unit 4: The Life Cycle of a Solar PV Installation Project
  5. Unit 5: Taking Action - Installing a Safe and Efficient Solar PV System


Participants in this course must:

  • Have completed Grade 10 (minimum)
  • Have experience in the fossil fuel industry
  • Identify as Indigenous 

Participants in this course should:

  • Have experience in construction and/or general labour (including farm labour)

Course participants will need to have the following active certifications/tickets in advance of the Community Solar Skills Program start date:

  • Standard First Aid
  • WHMIS Training
  • Construction Safety Training System (CSTS)
  • Electrical Safety Training System (ESTS)

Iron & Earth in coordination with MCC will arrange for participants to obtain the listed certifications/tickets in advance of the Community Solar Skills Program.


Dates and Hours

  • April 11 - 16 Pre Program reading (3 hours total)
  • April 18 - 29, 2022 between 9 - 3 pm (in person training)


  • Maskwacis Cultural College in Maskwacis, Alberta (Link to map)

How  to apply

  • Please fill out the application form which you can find at this link.


Please note that the program delivery structure and location information is subject to change to ensure participant safety and wellness and in adherence to Alberta Health Services public health measures, restrictions and guidelines to reduce the spread COVID-19.

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.