Projects: We Lived This Way Before: Tobique First Nation

Project Brief

We Lived This Way Before is guided by the following overarching research questions: (1) What does a healthy future look like for the members of the community, across the gender spectrum, when TFN gets back to living off the local environment using water (hydro), air (wind), earth (wood), and fire (solar)?; (2) What does their knowledge and experiences have to teach us about how to do this successfully in other Indigenous contexts?; and (3) How may renewable energy in the case of TFN contribute to broader goals of reconciliation and nation-to-nation building in Canada?

Project Updates

The team has secured ethics approval and Chad spent a week in Fredericton, New Brunswick during the Assembly of First Nations Annual General Assembly and wrapped up a few interviews with Tobique First Nation staff. Serena and Diana are heading to Tobique to start the planning for renewable energy and energy efficiency educational programming for the school children in the community.

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Members of the We Lived This Way Before team. From top left: Chad Walker, Asha Bear, Tanna Pirie-Wilson (Community Co-Lead), Jennifer Sappier, Ramona Nicholas. Photo credit Diana Lewis

Project team meeting. Photo Credit Diana Lewis


  • to explore intersectoral leadership and strategies being used by TFN to implement renewable energy projects in their community, and how do their strategies align with, or conflict with, renewable energy development in New Brunswick at the legislative and regulatory levels. Further, are there potential gender-based inequities in leadership, participation, and benefits;
  •  to explore how renewable energy strategies being pursued between TFN and the province of New Brunswick contribute to healthy relationships both within TFN and among other First Nations in the province, paying particular attention to the impacts of development across genders, income levels, and the lifespan;
  •  to explore strategies to ensure and enhance gender-equitable intersectoral cooperation between programmatic areas within the First Nation Administration, and with renewable energy partners, in order to achieve the renewable energy vision;
  • to establish, collect, and analyze baseline data to monitor the health of TFN, as renewable energy development is implemented, paying particular attention to potential inequities related to gender across the lifespan; and
  • to ensure that the outcomes are disseminated to a broad audience, including the entire ASF team, governments, industry, and the academic community to ensure that TFN can make a contribution to broader goals of reconciliation and nation-to-nation building in Canada.

Project Team


Diana Lewis, Tanna Pirie-Wilson

Project Assistant

Serena Mendizabal

Advisory Committee

Elder Ramona Nicholas, Laura Turnbull (Sex and Gender Project Co-Champion), Asha Bear (Youth)


Tobique First Nation: