Dokis First Nation Okikendawt Project

The Dokis First Nation’s Okikendawt Project is a run of the river hydro project that was completed through the creation of its own land code under the First Nations Land Management Act. The Okikendawt Project will create economic opportunities for the community now, and for generations to come.

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Dokis First Nation Okikendawt Project

Martin Restoule, Former Chief - Dokis First Nation

When I was chief, people were asking to try and get something going for the younger generation and for the future. I started dreaming about the Hydro Project.How am I going to get it out there?How am I going to get it to the people?I know it was going to be hard.

Denise Restoule, Chief - Dokis First Nation

The Dokis First Nation is located in North Central Ontario on the beautiful French River.The River has been very important to our community.

Gerry Duquette Jr., Consultation Coordinator / Deputy Chief - Dokis First Nation

At this time we are roughly around 200 people, up to 250.We have roughly about 90 some homes. Dokis is part of the Ojibwe Nation.It is part of the Voyageur Route which is now where the Okikendawt Hydro Project is.

Martin Restoule, Former Chief - Dokis First Nation

The real name of our reserve, our real name is not Dokis, it's Kikendawt which means our land of the pots. There's a lot of them right there, right where the Dam is now, the Hydro Dam.There's a lot of power coming through there, and it's always been there. And it's natural.

Denise Restoule, Chief - Dokis First Nation

The Okikendawt Project, it's a run of the river Hydro Project. It has two turbines.We put in a power house in a man-made channel.So we're just using the water flow to produce our energy.

Nicholas Restoule Employee - Okikendawt Project

Dokis has a partnership with Hydromega.On a typical day, the Dam will produce 1.3 - 1.5 megawatts, it all depends on the water flow.

Denise Restoule, Chief - Dokis First Nation

Over the years, with different Chief and Councils, everybody looked at it, and for one reason or other, it never materialized. What needed to change was community involvement.So what we did at every Band Meeting, we provided an update as where we were at with the Project.

And when Council was to make big decisions, we went back to the community and asked them: Is this okay? Do you want us to go ahead?

Gerry Duquette Jr., Consultation Coordinator / Deputy Chief - Dokis First Nation

With the First Nation Lands Management Act, we were fortunate enough to be now in the driver's seat. It's what the community needs and not a one size fits all.  With the land management, it makes it easier to deal with different companies, 'cause you're there sitting at the table with them.

Denise Restoule, Chief - Dokis First Nation

We hired Lumos Energy from Ottawa to explain the terminology to the council so we could understand permits, environmental assessments…Everything was a very long process. We also needed to make sure that we protected the environment.

Gerry Duquette Jr., Consultation Coordinator / Deputy Chief - Dokis First Nation

The Council at the time selected HydroMega because they understood the community, they understood what our values were.

Daniel Gillenwater - Project Manager, Hydroméga Services

We were supplying the technical expertise, but of course, they were the local partners and they had the knowledge about how to make this project widely accepted through the community.

Gerry Duquette Jr., Consultation Coordinator / Deputy Chief - Dokis First Nation

It might have been different for different construction companies. Our community put criterias on how this project would go.Species at risk were well documented.We counted the turtles.So the big trucks were coming hauling rocks, and if the turtle was there, that truck stopped.

Where the second bridge is, there's a burial ground, and that was roped off. There was a no-go there. HydroMega was very respectful and very accommodating.

Daniel Gillenwater - Project Manager, Hydroméga Services

The relationship between Dokis and Hydromega was based on trust and I think that's what's really required to make this project a success.

Gerry Duquette Jr., Consultation Coordinator / Deputy Chief - Dokis First Nation

Now it's in the channel, it was made. We just went deeper.So there's no change.The flow is still there and the community said yes.

Denise Restoule, Chief - Dokis First Nation

What we are doing under lands management to manage ourself, we will be able to provide more employment opportunities to our band members and bring our band members back home.

Nicholas Restoule Employee - Okikendawt Project

It's an honour to be part of this.It will bring economic development for our community.It'll help throughout years and years and years.

Gerry Duquette Jr., Consultation Coordinator / Deputy Chief - Dokis First Nation

I think it's gonna enhance even people from the high school or in grade school to say "Wow we have a Hydro Project here.We have now a member that's hired full-time to work at our Hydro Project."

Denise Restoule, Chief - Dokis First Nation

The Project, what that means to our community, I think it means ownership of something that will be there for years and years.So hopefully the outside developers are gonna look at that too - and see that we're a good community to partner with.

Martin Restoule, Former Chief - Dokis First Nation

It makes me very proud because they brought it back and they were able to make my dream come true.

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