Symposium on Renewable Energy in Remote and Indigenous Communities

September 5, 2017

Hosted at the U of S, we're bringing together international experts, government, industry, First Nations and community members to share best practices and challenges for implementing renewable energy in remote, rural, Indigenous and Northern communities. 

Symposium on Renewable Energy in Remote and Indigenous Communities

Event Agenda

9:00 a.m. Opening Remarks and Opening Prayer 

  • Gary Merasty, President and CEO, Sage Power (Master of Ceremonies)
  • Elder Phil Morin, Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation
  • Irena Creed, Executive Director, School of Environment and Sustainability
  • Lori Carr, MLA for Estevan, Government of Saskatchewan
  • Mike Marsh, CEO, SaskPower

9:20 a.m. Opening Panel Presentation: Indigenous and Remote Communities: Success Stories from Alaska


  • Gwen Holdmann, Director, Alaska Center for Energy and Power, Fairbanks, Alaska Presentation
  • Ethan Schutt, Senior Vice-President Land and Energy Development, Cook Inlet Region Incorporated, Tok, Alaska Presentation
  • Meera Kohler, CEO, Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, Anchorage, Alaska Presentation
  • Moderator: Gary Merasty, President and CEO, Sage Power

11:00 a.m. Panel Presentation: Technological Advancements


  • Laura Sokka, Senior Scientist, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
  • Michael Ross, Industrial Research Chair in Northern Energy Innovation, Yukon College
  • Raman Mall, Senior Engineer, Supply Planning and Integration, SaskPower
  • Moderator: Susan Blum, Associate Vice-President, Applied Research and Innovation, SaskPolytech

1:45 p.m. Panel Presentation: The Business Case for Renewables


  • Ranjith Narayanasamy, Senior Business Advisor, SaskPower Presentation 
  • Clay Koplin, CEO, Cordova Electric Co-operative, and Mayor, Cordova, Alaska Presentation 
  • Graham McTavish, Vice Preisdent Power Canada, Stantec Presentation 
  • Moderator: Felix Thomas, Chair, First Nations Power Athority & Tribal Chief, Saskatoon Tribal Council

3:15 p.m. Panel Presentation: Independent Power Producers: Policy and Regulatory Frameworks


  • Tim Schuster, Director, IPP and Development, SaskPower
  • Denis Wiart, President and CEO, ONEC Group
  • Dwight Redden, Senior Director Renewables, ATCO Group
  • Moderator: Toddi Steelman, Professor, School of Environment and Sustainability

Panel Tour - Calgary and Yellowknife

September 7, 2017

Public Panel on Renewable Energy in Remote and Indigenous Communities and the Potential for Northern Canada

Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Museum Auditorium 

1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 

RSVP via Eventbrite

September 8, 2017

Invite Only Reception, Renewable Energy in Remote and Indigenous Communities and the Potential for Northern Canada

Calgary, Alberta

Panel Presentation, Renewable Energy: What's the North got to do with it?

On June 20, we hosted a panel presentation featuring speakers from Sweden, Norway and Alaska to talk about how these communities are meeting the challenge of transitioning to renewable energy in an environment with many similarities to Saskatchewan. Over 100 people were in attendance from government, industry, academia, First Nations and the community at large. 

A three-day working session in Northern Saskatchewan followed with a small selection of researchers from across campus and around the world who are at the forefront of renewable energy engineering, polytechnic education, policy creation and community engagement. 

Panel schedule and speakers:

9:35 am The Honourable Paul Merriman, MLA for Saskatoon Silverspring-Sutherland

9:40 am – 10:20 am

10:20 am – 11:00 am

  • Moderated question and answer session