Generating New Opportunities:

Indigenous Off-Diesel Initiative

Application Form

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To apply for the Indigenous Off-Diesel Initiative, please use the form below. In order to participate in the Initiative you must be free to participate in the 20/20 Catalysts Program May-July 2019 (exact dates provided below). Please note that if you apply below, you do not need to submit an additional application to the 20/20 Catalysts Program. If you would like to apply only for the 20/20 Catalysts Program and not the Indigenous Off-Diesel Initiative, please apply on the ICE website.

Individuals who have already completed the 20/20 Catalysts Program may also apply to this initiative (they must still meet the eligibility criteria listed below). If successful, Catalyst alumni will complete a 2-day refresher course instead of participating in the full 20/20 Catalysts Program again.

More details about the Off-Diesel Initiative can be found in the initiative background available here.

Please fill out the form below with as much information as you are able to provide. Please contact Ian Scholten at, with any questions regarding the application form. Questions regarding the Initiative more broadly can be directed to: with the subject line: Off-Diesel Initiative.

If you would prefer to download and complete the application form, you can do so by clicking here. Please submit the completed form to Ian Scholten at

The deadline for applications is March 15, 2019 by 11:59 PM EST. 

Eligibility Check List

To be considered for the Indigenous Off-Diesel Initiative you must meet the following criteria:

  • You reside in, or have very close ties to, a remote Indigenous community* or group of remote communities.
  • You are available to participate for the duration of the three-year initiative (2019-2022)
  • You are able to participate in the three, weeklong sessions of the 20/20 Catalysts Program (May 5-10, 2019; June 16-21, 2019; and, July 21-26, 2019) or the 2 day refresher course (May 27-29, 2019) if you are a Catalyst alumni
  • You are able to attend a 3 day annual Gathering that will take place every October. The first Gathering will take place October 28-30, 2019.

*What qualifies as a remote Indigenous community?

  • The community must have a majority Indigenous population that identifies itself culturally and traditionally as being First Nation, Métis and/or Inuit; and,
  • The community must not be connected to the North American electrical grid or the natural gas pipeline network, and must be a permanent or long-term (5 years or more) settlement with 10 or more dwellings.

Please note: priority will be given to applicants whose remote Indigenous community does not already have a community-scale clean energy project receiving federal, provincial, or territorial funding.


The Impact Canada ‘Generating New Opportunities: Indigenous Off-Diesel Initiative’ – referred to hereafter as ‘the Initiative’ – is a new federal initiative to support clean energy and reduce diesel-use in remote Indigenous communities.  Impact Canada uses a new way of programming that promotes the use of outcomes-based approaches to encourage innovation.

To maximize the reach, impact, and relevance of the Initiative, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is collaborating with the Indigenous Clean Energy Social Enterprise (ICE SE) and the Pembina Institute (Pembina) on the Off-Diesel Initiative. In addition to working with these collaborators, NRCan has undertaken 18 months of engagement to inform the program design.

Indigenous Off-Diesel Initiative Overview

The Initiative’s phased design (above) aims to support participants (who we call Energy Champions) in their journey – from training through to project implementation – with opportunities for collaboration, peer-to-peer learning, access to expert mentors, support for establishing key partnerships, and flexibility that respects the diverse visions and needs of each community. The Energy Champions will engage and work with their community’s throughout the program to ensure buy-in and encourage ownership over their community’s plan for moving away from diesel reliance.

The Initiative begins with participation in the 20/20 Catalysts Program. While the 20/20 Catalysts Program is completed by an individual Energy Champion (the participant), the Initiative is also focused on developing capacity broadly within the Champion’s community. It is expected that the Energy Champion will lead their community in planning and implementing an ambitious community-scale clean energy project.

The Initiative’s Phases are progressive. Energy Champions, with the support of their community, must fully complete the previous Phase before moving on to the next. NRCan and collaborators will support participants to ensure they are able to complete each Phase in a timely manner.

Results from all Phases will be considered as part of a final, overall assessment by the external Indigenous Jury to identify the leading communities from the Initiative.  Based on the Jury’s assessment, the leading communities will be eligible for a portion of $9 million reserved within the Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities (CERRC) program for this award that will support.

Who Can Apply?

The Initiative is open to individuals from remote Indigenous communities in Canada that have a keen interest in becoming a clean Energy Champion in their community. This role involves leading energy planning and energy conservation activities, as well as trail-blazing the development of community-scale clean energy projects for their community. Applicants to the Initiative must reside in, or have strong and ongoing ties to, a remote Indigenous community or group of remote Indigenous communities in Canada.

What constitutes a Remote Indigenous Community?

  • A community must have a majority Indigenous population that identifies itself culturally and traditionally as being First Nation, Inuit, or Métis; and,
  • The community must not be connected to the North American electrical grid or the piped natural gas network, and must be a permanent or long-term (5 years or more) settlement with 10 or more dwellings.

Other eligibility considerations

Community Clean Energy Projects

The goal of the Initiative is to build clean energy capacity within remote Indigenous communities that are not already receiving funding for a community-scale clean energy project.  Household-level renewable energy projects (e.g. rooftop solar on an individual’s house) or other similar small-scale renewable installations are not considered community-scale.

Therefore, preference will be given to Indigenous remote communities that are not currently receiving funding from Federal, Provincial, and Territorial programs for community-scale clean energy projects.

Clean Energy Champions and remote Indigenous communities who are currently involved in projects that will result in their grid connection or connection to other sources of power (such as a major hydro project) within 5 years of the application deadline are not eligible for the Off-Diesel Initiative.

In-Person Participation

It will be mandatory for successful applicants to attend all three on-site intensive 20/20 Catalysts Program training sessions, as well as an annual gathering that will take place in October of each year and a final feast (April 2020).

Alumni of the 20/20 Catalysts Program will participate in a 2-day refresher course instead of participating in the full 20/20 Catalysts Program again.

Please note: costs associated with travel to 20/20 Catalysts Program training sessions will be covered by the 20/20 Catalysts Program.

Assessment and Selection Process

ICE SE will be conducting interviews with all eligible applicants to supplement the application form. An external Indigenous jury will then assess and evaluate all the applications (forms and interview results). NRCan will take appropriate measures to ensure that there will be no conflict of interest for any jury members, and will exercise Non-Disclosure Agreements to protect applicants’ information.

  • Interviews with eligible applicants will take place between February 12 and March 26, 2019.
  • The external Indigenous Jury will review applications and recommend up to 15 Energy Champions to participate in the Off-Diesel Initiative (2019-2022).
  • Both successful and unsuccessful applicants will be informed by the end of April 2019.