Indigenous Advisory Council on SMRs
FNPA in collaboration with Indigenous organizations and NRCan established a National Indigenous Advisory Council on Canada’s SMR Action Plan (the Council) to inform, influence and support Canada’s SMR Action Plan. This Council is a neutral body that will focus on building capacity for Indigenous people(s) to meaningfully engage, make informed decisions, and participate financially in Low Carbon Energy Alternatives like SMRs.
The Indigenous Advisory Council will facilitate the integration of Indigenous knowledge, teachings, values, use of the land, oral traditions, and worldviews into the monitoring, regulation, compliance, mitigation, remediation, and performance for the lifecycle of SMR development and deployment in Canada. To achieve these objectives the Council will focus on:
- Capacity Development for Indigenous Communities impacted by SMRs
- Opportunities for Indigenous Business in the New Nuclear economy
- Employment for Indigenous Youth in the New Nuclear economy
- Responsible Equity Participation for Indigenous participants in SMR projects
The the objectives of Indigenous Advisory Council are as follows
Build capacity to meaningfully engage, make informed decisions, and participate financially in Low Carbon Energy Alternatives like SMRs.
Ensure that early, often, and ongoing meaningful inclusion of Indigenous peoples is treated as a prerequisite for all parties for SMR projects at each phase of the project lifecycle.
Ensure an Indigenous led strategy and implementation plan(s) is a prerequisite to drive engagement, consultation, and decision-making processes in SMR projects based on a foundation of Indigenous culture, tradition, values, and belief systems considered on an equal basis to Western culture.
Build Indigenous energy sovereignty as the country moves towards meaningful reconciliation.
Provide a collaborative forum, supported by financial resources where Indigenous Nations, Government(s) and Regulators can work together to enhance the environmental protection and safety well before, during and post development activities.
Obtain support and alignment from all levels of government, industry, and utilities as SMRs advance.
Encourage individual Indigenous Nations to raise concerns through the Council regarding SMR Development and Deployment and/ or SMR Action Plan Activities.
Expand capacity for Indigenous communities to be a part of the strategy and plan. The Council will work to ensure that strategic plans are respectful to the Nations, with a potential opportunity that is traditional and ethically considered as it relates to the inherit rights to the land.
Enable Indigenous Nations to come together to identify common priorities and perspectives related to SMR development and deployment activities and to voice those interests and concerns to Government(s), the CNSC, the IAAC and Indigenous Nations affected by the SMR Action Plan and SMR technology development and deployment.
Create a shared and mutual understanding amongst Indigenous Nations, the Federal Government, Federal and Provincial Regulators as appropriate, regarding the SMR development and deployment activities and to provide informed advice on how to address issues.
Create the opportunity for Indigenous communities (particularly Indigenous youth) to benefit from a sustainable ecological future and meaningful participation (education, training, employment, business, economic, environmental, social opportunities) in the industry.
Ensure fair and equitable information sharing across all Indigenous groups/communities nationally that could lead to facilitating capacity building funding, economic partnerships, Indigenous equity participation, and enhanced decision-making abilities of Indigenous leadership.
This Council was established as a neutral body to provide Indigenous input and perspective into the SMR Action plan, it was not established to support the development of SMRs or replace the Crown’s duty consult on specific projects. The themes discussed by the Indigenous Advisory Council are as follows:
Education and Engagement – Supporting Indigenous Nations’ capacity to meaningfully engage and participate in SMR development, deployment, operation, decommissioning, and waste management. Work to ensure Indigenous youth are positioned to take advantage of opportunities in the new nuclear economy. Work to ensure indigenous business entities are positioned to take advantage of opportunities in the new nuclear economy
Responsible Equity Development – Support Indigenous Nations’ equity participation in Small Modular Rector development, deployment, operation, decommissioning, and waste management considerations for generations to come. Identify and develop opportunities for Indigenous entities to hold equity positions in all stages of SMR development.
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