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Thunder Bay to host Conserve the Light Gathering

Tuesday, August 25th 2009 10:46:02am

Media Advisory

Thunder Bay to host Conserve the Light Gathering

Province-wide First Nations and Métis energy efficiency conference and Elders gathering

(Thunder Bay) A First Nations and Métis Energy Efficiency Conference will take place as a result of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Measures for Aboriginal Communities (EEMAC) program. The conference will take place in Thunder Bay on September 1-4, 2009.


A Gathering of Ontario First Nations and Métis Elders, leaders and community members


Animiki wadjiw (Thunder Mountain)/Mount McKay & Valhalla Inn, Thunder Bay, Ontario


September 1, 2009 to September 4, 2009

Media may attend portions of the Gathering on Animiki wadjiw, but some restrictions exist. Coordination and scheduling with the Conference's media coordinator is important. The Valhalla sessions at the Conference are open at all times to journalists.

The event takes place in two stages. The first part is a gathering of Ontario First Nations and Métis Elders, which will occur on Animiki wadjiw (Thunder Mountain) or Mount McKay on the Fort William First Nation. This Gathering is unprecedented with participating Elders from across Ontario representing both Traditional and Christian experiences sharing knowledge and ceremonies related to conservation. The Elders will also be bringing forward their recommendations to the attending leadership and delegates on what needs to be done to help preserve Mother Earth!

Part two is held on September 3-4 is the "Conserve the Light" First Nations and Métis Energy Efficiency Conference. Located at the Valhalla Hotel in Thunder Bay, the conference will focus on energy conservation successes, challenges and opportunities in First Nations and Métis Communities in Ontario. Workshop sessions include an Elder's Presentation on Energy Conservation in First Nation and Métis Communities; Overview of EEMAC Programs; Review of the energy efficiency Education Curriculum; Reports on Energy Kits and Energy Audit Retrofit Pilot Projects completed in 2007, the Green Energy Act; and Roll Out of Energy Efficiency for Aboriginal Communities in Ontario.

Speakers scheduled include: George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure; Donna Cansfield, Minister of Natural Resources; Peter Collins, Chief of Fort William First Nations; Angus Toulouse, Ontario Regional Chief; Gary Lipinski, President of Métis Nation of Ontario; Lynn Peterson, Mayor of Thunder Bay; Stan Beardy, Grand Chief of Nishnawbe Aski-Nation; Randall Phillips, Grand Chief of Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians; Ogichidaakwe Diane Kelly, Grand Council Treaty #3; Chief Independent First Nations; Colin Anderson, CEO of the Ontario Power Authority; and Paul Shervill, Vice President of Conservation of Ontario Power Authority and Bill Mauro, MPP of Thunder Bay-Atikokan.


For more information, to arrange interviews or to discuss logistics of media coverage of the Elder's Gathering, contact:

Don Huff, Penasi Communications/Environmental Communication Options,  
416-972-7404, or Cell 416-805-7720 (on-site), or email

For the most updated conference agenda, visit

The Energy Efficiency & Conservation Measures for Aboriginal Communities (EEMAC) program was developed by Charles Fox Consulting Inc. and funded by the Ontario Power Authority. The main goal of the program is to introduce and implement energy efficiency and conservation measures throughout all 134 First Nations communities in Ontario. This program consists of four main components: the Conserve the Light Gathering conference, Education and Awareness, Energy Conservation Kits, and the Energy Retrofit Pilot.

The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) is working directly with First Nation communities on a range of initiatives, including long-term systems planning, and is committed to ensuring that First Nation communities have access to the tools to participate in Ontario's growing culture of conservation, in a manner that complements First Nations values and heritages.

Maps and Directions

September 1 and September 2, 2009
- Elders Gathering on Animiki wadjiw (Thunder Mountain)/Mount McKay


Mount Mckay Scenic Lookout
108 Mt McKay Lookout Dr
Thunder Bay, Ontario P7C 4Z2

Directions from the Thunder Bay Airport

1.      Head southeast on Hector Dougall Way toward Kelner Pl   1.1 km
2.      Turn right at Princess St  0.3 km
3.      Continue on Neebing Ave  1.7 km
4.      Turn left at Montreal St  1.4 km
5.      Turn right at James St S  0.7 km
6.      Turn left at City Rd  1.2 km
7.      Turn right at Back St  0.6 km
8.      Turn right at Mission Rd  2.5 km
9.      Continue on Mount McKay Lookout Dr  2.5 km

Destination will be on the right

September 3 and September 4, 2009
- "Conserve the Light" First Nations and Métis Energy Efficiency Conference


Valhalla Inn
1 Valhalla Inn Road
Thunder Bay, Ontario P7E 6J1

September 3
- Most presentations will be in the Ballroom
September 4 - Most presentations will be in the Scandia room

Directions from the Thunder Bay Airport

1.      Head southeast on Hector Dougall Way toward Kelner Pl  1.1 km
2.      Turn right at Princess St  0.3 km
3.      Turn left at Route 61/King's Hwy 61  1.1 km
4.      Turn left at Arthur St W  0.4 km
5.      Turn left at Valhalla Inn Rd  82 m

Destination will be on the left