In a speech to the National Tribal Energy Summit, U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz today announced actions to strengthen energy support networks among Native American Tribes and Alaska Natives.
In his address, Secretary Moniz reached out to tribal leaders from across the nation to seek their input to craft a new initiative aimed at creating and sustaining inter-tribal technical energy assistance provider networks. The Intertribal Network will support tribal capacity-building for energy project development and meaningful participation in the clean energy economy.
“Energy resources can promote economic development and a better quality of life in Indian Country,” said Secretary Moniz. “The Department of Energy is committed to working with tribal governments to maximize the development and deployment of energy solutions for the benefit of Native Americans and Alaska Natives.”
The Secretary also announced the appointment of three additional tribal leaders to the Indian Country Energy and Infrastructure Working Group (ICEIWG) -- from the Osage Nation from Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation from Oklahoma, and the Association of Village Council Presidents from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in Alaska.
The three-day summit, continuing through tomorrow, has convened tribal and state governments, federal agencies, tribal corporations, private industry, utilities, and academia. Participants will identify common goals, share best practices on energy innovation and technology deployment, examine challenges related to energy self-sufficiency and climate preparedness, and explore energy development and security issues identified by tribes and the ICEIWG. The summit is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Indian Energy and Policy Programs in conjunction with the National Conference of State Legislatures.
ICEIWG works collaboratively with DOE’s Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs to assist in surveys, analysis, and recommendations related to DOE program and policy initiatives, and also engages with the White House Council on Native American Affairs Energy Subgroup to increase outreach and input to its work.
This includes work in Alaska critical to the National Strategy for the Arctic Region, the President’s mandate to improve climate resilience, and to drive down the extremely high cost of fuel and electricity in Alaska. Following the summit, the Office of Indian Energy will participate in the annual convention of the Alaska Federation of Natives, reaching out to over half of the tribal organizations in the entire U.S.
More than 400 registrants representing more than 60 federally recognized Native American Tribes are attending the summit. Other federal participants include representatives from the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture and the White House Council on Native American Affairs.
The DOE Office of Indian Energy directs, fosters, coordinates and implements energy planning, education, technical assistance, grants, and programs that assist tribes with energy development capacity building, energy infrastructure, energy costs and electrification of Indian lands and homes.
For more information about DOE’s Office of Indian Energy and Policy Programs, please click here.