Aboriginal Portal

Waterpower Working Group Logo

The OWA proudly co-chairs the Waterpower Working Group. This group was established in 2004 to:

  • Provide advice and assistance to Government with respect to the Waterpower Site Release and Development Review Policy;
  • Foster collaboration and cooperation between Aboriginal communities, Government and Industry with regard to the development of new waterpower sites in Ontario;
  • Raise awareness and understanding of the value of waterpower production in achieving Ontario’s renewable energy targets; and
  • Work in collaboration to build capacity within the waterpower working group partners and among those who have an interest in participating in the development of waterpower opportunities.

The Waterpower Working Group includes representation from Aboriginal organizations, the provincial government, the federal government and industry. Visit the WPWG website at www.wpwg.org

The group has worked on several initiatives designed to assist Aboriginal communities in becoming partners in, or proponents of, waterpower development opportunities, see a sample of the groups various initiatives below.

Visit the Waterpower Working Group Website at www.wpwg.org.

NEW RELEASE! Footprints to Follow - Ontario Aboriginal Waterpower Case Studies

Footprints to Follow - Ontario Aboriginal Waterpower Case Studies (ISSUE) Click Here for PDF Copy (PDF)

Northern Hydro Assessment of Waterpower Potential

Executive Summary: Northern Hydro Assessment of Waterpower Potential in the Far North of Ontario (pdf)

View the potential sites with the Google Earth Map link   *note Google Earth is required to load this map. Click here to download Google Earth  

Waterpower Potential Study Area and Maps (pdf) (9MB)

OWA Fall News Letter

This issue continues to build the case for and profile of waterpower in the context of our short and long-term electricity requirements. As featured in the article on our successful “Open Doors” campaign, people have told us what they value in their electricity needs – reliability, affordability and renewability. Waterpower delivers all three. The Minister’s directive of June 26th provides some important signposts for what could be expected in the Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP) – including specific objectives for waterpower, the optimization of existing infrastructure, and increased roles for local and Aboriginal communities, which are all areas the OWA has focused on and supports. Finally, the recently announced study (see article below) will look north through the new lens of emergent policy drivers such as addressing diesel dependency and supporting economic growth through mineral development. Waterpower – the “central pillar” of our renewable energy supply – is delivering solutions.

Click on the link below to read the full news letter. 

OWA Fall News Letter 2013 (PDF)


      Kapuskasing River Waterpower Project

      This documentary examines the benefits and challenges of building First Nation - industry collaboration in developing waterpower opportunities on the Kapuskasing River in northeastern Ontario. The story began in 2005 with the release of these waterpower sites by the Ministry of Natural Resources. The first of these facilities will be commissioned in 2013.  Brunswick House First Nation, Chapleau Ojibwe First Nation, Chapleau Cree First Nation and the town of Kapuskasing are all partners in these projects with the proponent Hydroméga.

      The film was made possible through the efforts of the WPWG, an Aboriginal, industry and government collaborative focused on building greater understanding and opportunities for partnerships between aboriginal communities and the waterpower industry in Ontario.  Direct support was provided by the Ministry of Natural Resources, Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Canada, Wabun Tribal Council and the Ontario Waterpower Association.  

      To access the video click here.

      For more information on the products of the WPWG, please visit www.wpwg.org.

      Aboringinal Funding Continuum

      The Aboriginal Funding Continuum is one of the several resources developed by the Water Power Working Group (WPWG). The need for such a tool was clearly identified following a survey of First Nations communities conducted in 2009 by the WPWG. The assessment identified there were significant gaps between First Nation's aspirations and their ability at the community level to participate in waterpower project opportunities. 

      The Aboriginal Funding continuum is a live web-based visual tool which clearly identifies all funding opportunities available for First Nations interested in becoming a partner in or a proponent of a waterpower project. The continumm is based on the typical development cycle of a waterpower project, and is categorized based on the type of funding being applied for. 

      The goal of the Continumm is to create an effective, user-friendly tool to assist potential First Nations proponents, partners and industry in navigating through the various funding opportunities, to quickly identify potential funding programs and to understand the criteria to apply. 

      Access Continuum

      Chiefs of Ontario First Nations Environmental Assessment Toolkit for Ontario

      On September 28th - 29th, 2011, the OWA and the Chiefs of Ontario hosted a joint workshop focused on the new First Nations Environnmental Assessment Toolkit for Ontario. The workshop was attended by First Nations, Industry and Government and focused specifically on Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge. The workshop was captured on video, below please links to the various segments.

      For further information regarding the Toolkit or to purchase a copy, please visit http://www.cooeatoolkit.org/

      Waterpower 101 Presentations

      Waterpower 101 (video - wmv)

      Download PDF version of this presentation (pdf)

      Waterpower 101 Cree Translation (mp3)

      Waterpower Opportunities for Aboriginal communities (pdf)


      Waterpower Videos

      The Story of Waterpower (English)
      The Source of Waterpower (Cree)
      The Benefits of Waterpower (Ojibwa)

      For more videos, see our video page or check us out on YouTubeYouTube

      Aboriginal Resources

      Wabun Tribal Council's Kapuskasing River Hydro Project (pdf)

       Aboriginal Community Guide to Waterpower Development


      This guide is an overview of the many considerations involved in a waterpower project. It is designed to support Aboriginal communities who will be proponents (i.e., the developer), partners or participate otherwise in waterpower projects. The information is also of value for other groups new to waterpower development and those who want to partner with Aboriginal communities.

      For ordering information, check out our OWA Resources page.

       Building Capacity Together - An Introduction to Waterpower (DVD)


      This 16 hour self-directed learning DVD is the result of a video recording of the Building Capacity Together Workshop held in Northern Ontario in 2007. The Aboriginal communities and organizations who participated in the 2 ½ day workshop received training regarding several subjects including:

      • An overview of Ontario’s energy system and targets;
      • Waterpower development and Crown land opportunities
      • Aboriginal business relationships
      • Waterpower procurement
      • Environmental considerations and mitigation
      • Environmental Assessment
      • Prefeasibility and Hydrology
      • Engineering concepts
      • Transmission
      • Financing analysis
      • Project development

      This video can be viewed in its entirety or by individual subject as selected in the root menu. Additionally, this video has also been translated in to both Ojibwa and Oji-Cree.

      For ordering information, check out our OWA Resources page.

       Building Capacity Together - An Introduction to Aboriginal Relationships (DVD)


      This video is the result of a video recording of the Building Capacity Together in the Waterpower Sector – An Introduction to Aboriginal Relationships workshop held in 2008. Speakers cover such topics as:

      • Historical perspective on Aboriginal and Treaty Rights
      • Recent Case Law and its application
      • The Crown’s Duty to Consult
      • An introduction to Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge
      • Aboriginal Community Economic Development
      • Case Example, Wabun/Hydromega

      This video can be viewed in its entirety or by individual subject as selected in the root menu. Additionally, this video has also been translated in to both Ojibwa and Oji-Cree.

      For ordering information, check out our OWA Resources page.