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Innovative Energy Posters Translated into Indigenous Languages

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his story was part of the CIER Summer 2020 Newsletter. Sign-up here for more stories like this.

CIER’s Shining Lights program recently got Ria Letcher and other Northerners thinking about the role energy plays in our daily lives and how it affects our lives and the world around us.

“Energy Literacy is so important especially in the North because of the high cost of living,” says Ria, a Shining Lights trainer from Fort Simpson, NWT. “Even the small things people can do at home to save energy and reduce their overall energy consumption.”


Small steps like turning off lights, your TV, and other appliances when you’re not using them can have a positive impact on the environment and a noticeable effect on your bill.

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Increased energy literacy is critical for diesel-dependent Indigenous communities in the Northwest Territories as it will help to reduce their long-term reliance on diesel.

​When we focus on expanding the energy literacy of Indigenous women and youth it increases the likelihood that community members will make the best possible household-level energy choices. It can also encourage participation in long-term, community-wide energy planning.


Shining Lights – Energy Literacy and Language in the Northwest Territories consisted of three regional workshops in the Northwest Territories.

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These workshops focused on increasing foundational knowledge of energy and energy use. On the final day of the each of the workshops, participants worked with Elders and translators to identify and translate key energy terms into the traditional languages of each region, Inuvialuktun (Inuvialuktun), Dinjii Zhu’ Ginjik (Gwich’in), Sahtúot’ı̨nę Yatı̨́ (North Slavey), Dene Zhatıé (South Slavey), Tłı̨chǫ (Tłı̨chǫ Yatıì), and Dëne Sųłıné Yatıé (Chipewyan). CIER created posters using these terms and distributed them to the relevant communities.