Change doesn’t happen on its own. It’s led by dedicated and passionate people who are committed to empowering Indian Country to energize future generations. Leading the Charge is a regular feature spotlighting the movers and shakers in energy on tribal lands.
The Lakeview Lodge is the heart of Minto, a small Alaska Native village 126 miles northwest of Fairbanks. The 12,000-square-foot building is used daily for school and senior lunch programs, community meetings, and village council operations.
“It is critical to the community,” said Bessie Titus, Administrator for the Minto Village Council, which represents 210 residents.
Challenge: Situated on nearly 12,000 acres in the heart of Western Oregon’s scenic coastal range, the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon has a strong connection to the earth and nature and a deep commitment to environmental stewardship. Landless from 1954 until 1983 when the Grand Ronde Restoration Act returned a portion of its land base, the Tribe has faced an uphill climb building out the infrastructure and services required to support and sustain its community of approximately 5,000 members.
In Alaska, many Native villages and regional corporations are pursuing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects as part of their long-term strategies for lowering energy costs and increasing energy security. The DOE Office of Indian Energy is rolling out a pilot Energy Ambassadors Program in Fiscal Year 2015 that will respond directly to that need in Alaska.
From the White House Council on Environmental Quality blog: Last Friday I had the pleasure of visiting the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indian Reservation. We toured the reservation and facilities with tribal Chairwoman Karen Diver, a member of the President’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, and the Tribe’s Resource Management Division.
Based on strong interest and several requests from tribal entities across the Bering Straits region, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy and the Tribal Energy Program hosted a Community- and Facility-Scale Renewable Energy Project Development and Finance workshop in Nome, Alaska, Aug. 21-22. This was the second regional workshop DOE conducted this year in Alaska, and the first time newly developed Alaska-specific renewable energy educational curriculum was presented.
This guest blog by DOE Tribal Energy Program Intern Tommy Jones is the second in a three-part series highlighting the experience of the college student interns who worked with the program during the summer of 2014 under the supervision and mentorship of Sandra Begay-Campbell, an engineer at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
My interest in energy planning on the Navajo Nation stemmed from the desire to improve energy resource development in my own community. The legacy of environmental and health impacts from uranium and coal mining motivated me to find ways of developing energy resources in a manner more consistent with cultural values and the visions of the Navajo Nation. While I have developed many valuable technical analysis skills and tools in my Ph.D. program, most of the knowledge about Indian energy issues requires significant on-the-ground engagement with communities and their leaders. As a Tribal Energy Program intern, I have developed important connections in the area of tribal energy working with tribal leaders and my fellow interns.
For the Bishop Paiute Tribe of California, clean energy projects offer a way to feed three birds with one seed. By taking steps to reduce energy use and harnessing renewable energy sources to meet the community’s energy needs, the Tribe is working to mitigate the impact of high energy costs, create good local jobs for its people, and preserve the land and resources for future generations.