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March 21, 2023

Madeleine Redfern returns to CNL as Strategic Advisor on Indigenous Relations

Former Chair of the Northern and Remote Forum of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to provide CNL with consultation services on Indigenous Relations in new strategic advisory role

Chalk River, ON – March 21, 2023 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology laboratory, is pleased to announce that Madeleine Redfern, the former Chair of the Northern and Remote Forum of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, has agreed to return to CNL as a strategic advisor supporting its Indigenous Relations program. Ms. Redfern first joined CNL’s strategic advisory team in 2020, which was established to provide thought-leadership and support to help CNL advance its nuclear science and technology programs.

As Canada’s national nuclear laboratory, CNL is fully committed to meaningful engagement with First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples to identify mutually beneficial partnerships and opportunities for collaboration. As part of her new position, Ms. Redfern will support CNL as it works to cultivate trust and mutual understanding with these communities, by seeking out early and ongoing opportunities to incorporate Indigenous participation and involvement into its program of work.

“On behalf of the leadership team at CNL, I want to express how important Madeleine’s counsel has been these past few years, and how excited we are that she has agreed to return as an advisor to CNL on Indigenous Relations,” commented Joe McBrearty, CNL’s President and CEO. “As we work to pursue relationship-building with Indigenous Peoples through long-term agreements, we need to fully understand the unique needs and challenges of the communities that we are engaging with. This is where Madeleine’s experience and insight will be valuable, and we are incredibly fortunate that we can continue to rely on her into the future.”

Among her responsibilities, Ms. Redfern will help CNL to improve its Indigenous engagement activities to better align with the needs and interests of local Indigenous communities, and to build capacity through the pursuit of long-term relationship agreements. Ms. Redfern will also provide guidance and leadership to CNL in areas that include equity participation, Indigenous procurement, development of an Indigenous business network, environmental monitoring and protection, human resources, and cultural heritage, among others. That work will encompass key projects and programs at the Chalk River Laboratories campus, but also at other sites across Canada, including small modular reactor (SMR) deployment activities at the Whiteshell site in Manitoba, and Indigenous engagement in the Northwest Territories and Northern Alberta in support of the Northern Transportation Route environmental cleanup.

During her first contract, Ms. Redfern helped CNL better understand the many unique challenges and needs of Canadian municipalities and those of Northern Canada, who may be in a position to benefit from SMRs and other clean energy technologies that CNL is advancing. As part of that work, Ms. Redfern helped to facilitate engagements with representatives from remote regions in the Arctic, providing CNL with the opportunity to initiate and develop meaningful relationships with these communities to inform their own research programs.

“At CNL, we believe that SMRs have the potential to serve as a transformative technology for regions such as Canada’s Arctic, establishing a foundation for environmental, social and economic prosperity,” added Mr. McBrearty. “But first, we must understand the realities and complexities of Northern and Indigenous communities in Canada. That is part of the journey we are on right now in our clean energy program, and Madeleine’s support has been really important to this process.”

For more details on CNL, including its research programs, please visit

About CNL 

As Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology laboratory, and working under the direction of AECL, CNL is a world leader in the development of innovative nuclear science and technology products and services. Guided by an ambitious corporate strategy known as Vision 2030, CNL fulfills three strategic priorities of national importance – restoring and protecting the environment, advancing clean energy technologies, and contributing to the health of Canadians.

By leveraging the assets owned by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), CNL also serves as the nexus between government, the nuclear industry, the broader private sector and the academic community. CNL works in collaboration with these sectors to advance innovative Canadian products and services towards real-world use, including carbon-free energy, cancer treatments and other therapies, non-proliferation technologies and waste management solutions.

To learn more about CNL, please visit


CNL Contact:

Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications

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