On Saturday, hundreds of scholars and researchers from around the country gathered at the University of Regina for the 87th Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

The annual congress brings together more than 70 scholarly organizations to build partnerships, spread ideas and discuss ways to improve the country. It’s the largest academic conference in the country.

One of the key topics at the event was sustainable energy, which Melina Laboucan-Massimo talked about in her speech.

“Currently we have over 11,000 small-scale renewable energy projects across Canada that are indigenous- led, and over 150 large-scale renewable energy projects that are indigenous community owned and led, so indigenous communities are a part of this charge and a part of implementing solutions," Laboucan-Massimo, who is a speaker and fellow at the David Suzuki Foundation, said.

Laboucan-Massimo also hopes to see more students being educated about sustainable energy.

"If we start young, you know, just like anything, the more that we bring about energy literacy into our communities and into our families, the more we will understand the impacts of climate change and the more we will also understand our part in solving the issue," she said.

First Nations National Chief, Perry Bellegarde, said another way the country can prosper is through understanding the past and present lives of indigenous peoples.

"This is a very key audience that I spoke to today and I don’t believe they get enough treaty awareness treaty education, I don’t believe they get enough about impacts of the residential school and colonization and oppression.”

Congress will wrap up on June 1.

Based on a report by CTV’s Madina Azizi