A new group called the Indian Country Renewable Energy Consortium seeks to represent tribal and Alaska Native interests in the renewable energy and green economy debate.
Tribes, Alaska Native corporations and tribal organizations met July 21 in Washington, D.C., to form the organization. "We are united in trying to bring the right kinds of opportunities to Indian Country," said Osage Nation
Chief Jim Gray, who was elected to serve as president of the group.
"As governments and businesses, we are seeing extraordinary and positive change happen before our eyes, and we will make sure that this time around Indian Country will take a more active role in leading that change," Gray added.
The group will focus on a wide range of energy issues, from addressing climate change to easing federal review processes to promoting economic development. As part of the effort, tribal and Alaska Native leaders met last week with top White House officials, including Kimberly Teehee, a member of the Cherokee Nation
who serves on the Domestic Policy Council
, and Jodi Gillette, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
who works in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
Membership in the group is open to tribal governments, tribal businesses, Alaska Native Corporations, and tribal organizations. The founding board includes Sealaska
CEO Chris McNeil, Cherokee Nation Chief Chad Smith, Dakota Futures
CEO Dan King, Oneida Nation
Chairman Rick Hill, Oneida Nation; and Osage Nation Chief Jim Gray.
“We are not a single issue consortium, nor are we limiting to ourselves to just development of renewable resources. Indian Country needs clean energy infrastructure to grow our economies, which will grow regional economies,” said Tracey LeBeau, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
who serves as the group's executive director.
For more information, please LeBeau at tlebeau@IndianCountryREC.org or (602) 516-7543; or Keith Harper (Cherokee) at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 508-5844.