The Centre for Social Innovation’s Climate Ventures Mornings are a chance to hear from climate innovators and leaders. This month we spoke with Melina Laboucan-Massimo about climate action, Indigenous-led renewable energy, and a just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. You can watch the event recording below or read our recap of the event here.
About the Speaker
Melina Laboucan-Massimo is Lubicon Cree from Northern Alberta, Canada. She is the Founder of Sacred Earth Solar and the Campaign and Program Director at Indigenous Climate Action. She has worked on social, environmental and climate justice issues for over 15 years. Melina has worked, studied and campaigned in Brazil, Australia, Mexico, Canada and across Europe focusing on resource extraction, climate change impacts, media literacy, energy literacy and Indigenous rights & responsibilities.
Melina is the host of a new TV series called Power to the People which documents renewable energy, food security and eco-housing in Indigenous communities across North America. She is also a Fellow at the David Suzuki Foundation with a focus on Climate Change, Indigenous Knowledge and Renewable Energy. Facing the firsthand impacts of the Alberta tar sands in her home community, Melina has been a vocal advocate for Indigenous rights and environmental justice. For over a decade, Melina worked as a Climate and Energy Campaigner with Greenpeace Canada and the Indigenous Environmental Network. She has written for a variety of publications and produced short documentaries on the tar sands, climate change, water issues and Indigenous cultural revitalization.
Melina holds a Masters degree in Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria with a focus on Renewable Energy in Indigenous communities. As a part of her Masters thesis, Melina completed a 20.8 kW solar installation in her home community of Little Buffalo in the heart of the tar sands which powers the health centre. She has also worked to solarize the Tiny House Warriors and continues to build more solar projects in Indigenous communities.
She currently serves on the boards of NDN Collective and Seeding Sovereignty, and sits on the Advisory Council for the Indigenous Clean Energy Social Enterprise.
About the Moderator
Shea Sinnott is a Senior Programs Manager at the Centre for Social Innovation, where she manages Climate Ventures and Earth Tech – an incubator, coworking space, and accelerator for climate and freshwater solutions. Before joining CSI, Shea worked for almost a decade as a program manager, organizer, and educator with a range of organizations fighting for social and environmental justice – including Code for Canada, the David Suzuki Foundation, Organize BC, and OpenMedia. Shea holds a Master’s in Adult Education & Community Development from the University of Toronto.