Chips and pop may be the first things that come to mind when you think of arena food, but things are changing. The KEC Arena at Garden Hill First Nation is banning the sugary, fatty offerings in favour of healthy options like trail mix, water, and chicken soup made from chickens raised at the Meechim Farm.
Of the five thousand people living in Garden Hill, about five hundred have diabetes, so this is a move towards a healthy community. The arena us used for public skating by as many as one hundred local kids during the winter months, as well as hundreds from two neighbouring First Nations. It's hoped that these visitors from other communities will be inspired, and bring this healthy food idea back home.
The team at Aki Energy wants to extend our congratulations to Shaun Loney, Director of Development at Aki Energy and social enterprise guru!
Shaun Loney has recently been honoured as an Ashoka Fellow, a coveted award that recognizes leaders in social innovation. Shaun is being recognized for his work with Aki Energy, as well as his role in founding BUILD Inc, a social enterprise that provides training and job skills to inner city residents providing energy and water efficiency upgrades in low income housing, Manitoba Green Retrofit and as a founding developer of the Winnipeg Social Enterprise Centre.
Shaun has also been recognized as the Ernst and Young's Prairie Entrepreneur of the Year with a Special Citation in the Social Entrepreneurship Category. It's been a big month!
While we're singing Shaun's praises - did you know he wrote a book? The book is called Build Prosperity - Energizing Manitoba's Local Economy, and it provides a blueprint for how we can create local and Aboriginal employment and lower emissions in Manitoba through social enterprise. It's a must read for anyone interested in Aboriginal employment, community economic development, climate change and building a healthier green economy in Manitoba and across Canada. Even better - it's available for free online. Check it out here.
The whole team at Aki Energy wants to congratulate Shaun - he's a busy guy and we're so lucky to have him on board!
June 19 2014 - We have some very exciting news to share!
Following up on our successful pilot project installing geothermal energy in 113 homes in Fisher River Cree Nation and Peguis First Nation in 2013, both communities will be expanding program delivery in 2014 with a total of 150 new residential geothermal installations - and Aki Energy will be expanding the program to Sagkeeng First Nation and Long Plain First Nation.
So far, the project has been getting rave reviews. Despite record cold this last winter, Fisher River resident David Hart has the lowest heating bills he has ever seen. "I looked at my heating bill in February and I couldn't believe it - I thought there must have been a mistake!" Early data from Manitoba Hydro calculates first year utility bill reductions in Peguis and Fisher River First Nations at nearly $150,000.
The news get's even better. In June 2014 Manitoba Hydro issued a press release stating that it is launching a new program - the Community Geothermal Program using PAYS Financing, which will work with Aki Energy to expand this program to First Nations across Manitoba. Manitoba Hydro has committed to investing $19 million in the program by 2107 - and this means big-time job creation, business opportunity and utility bill reductions on First Nations across Manitoba!
July 25, 2013 - Our thanks to the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNET) for the great article on Aki Energy's partnership with Peguis First Nation and Fisher River Cree Nation to install community wide geothermal energy - lowering utility bills and creating jobs in the process.
We believe in renewable energy and social enterprise can create sustainable community economic development on First Nations in Manitoba and across Canada. Get in touch with us to see how we can work together to build stronger communities!
May 6 2013 - Aki Energy is proud to be a non-profit social enterprise. For those who may not be familiar with the term 'social enterprise,' it means that Aki Energy is a non-profit business with a triple bottom line - people, planet, profit.
That means that in all the work we do, we strive to build stronger, healthier communities while improving and protecting the environment while maintaining a solid business foundation. At Aki Energy, we think that social enterprise provides a new approach to tackle some very old problems. It is time to focus on how we can work together to build prosperity in our communities, both Aboriginal and non-aboriginal, urban, rural and reserve.
This is a great article by Social Enterprise Canada (a great resource on social enterprise), with an interview with one of Aki Energy's founding partners Shaun Loney.
Click here for the full article.
On Saturday Oct. 28th, 2013 Aki Energy was featured on CBC radio's The World This Weekend.
We are so excited to be getting national news coverage through APTN and CBC. There is no reason why projects like ours would not work on First Nations across Canada - let's spread the word!
Aki Energy held a press conference June 13, 2013 to announce the launch of our community wide geothermal energy project in partnership with Peguis First Nation and Fisher River Cree Nation.
Aki Energy's Executive Director Darcy Wood was joined by Peguis First Nation Chief Glenn Hudson, Fisher River Cree Nation Chief David Crate, Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson and Manitoba Energy Minister Dave Chomiak.
Aki Energy is excited to formally announce our partnership with Peguis and Fisher River First Nations, where we have trained 30 local tradespeople to install and maintain geothermal energy. Over the course of the summer, they will be making use of their skill installing 100 residential geothermal energy systems, with over $1,500,000 in financing through Manitoba Hydro's Pay As You Save Program.
July 13, 2013
Wow! Aki Energy's first press coverage, focused on our community wide geothermal partnership with Peguis First Nation and Fisher River Cree Nation.
We are very excited to be spreading the news of how geothermal energy is lowering utility bills and creating sustainable jobs on Manitoba First Nations.