facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1

The U.S. Department of Energy today awarded almost $9 million in funding to 13 Native American communities for projects that will increase alternative energy, reduce energy costs, and increase energy security on tribal lands.

Tribes from Alaska, California, Idaho, Washington, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Arizona were selected for the competitive grants.

The projects will provide communities with clean electricity, power residential buildings that lack electricity, install microgrids and increase workforce training opportunities, according to the Department’s press release.

Want more Native News? Get the free daily newsletter today.

The largest grants were awarded to Navajo Nation in Arizona at a pre-negotiated amount of $2.8 million and the Karuk Tribe in Northern California at nearly the same amount—each with half the awarded amount matched in cost sharing by the tribe. 

The Navajo Nation will use its funds to install a microgrid to provide power and internet for one of its communities currently without power. The Karuk Tribe will use the money to install a ground-mounted solar panel to power the tribe’s casino and administrative trailers, and another roof solar panel to power the tribe’s wellness center. Cumulatively, the solar panel systems are estimated to save the tribe over $9.8 million.

The Karuk Tribe secured a second grant from the Department of Energy to install battery storage on 39 elder’s homes to provide power for critical infrastructure during grid outages.

Another innovative awardee, a tribal corporation in Western Alaska—Kawerak, Inc.— received funding to power 18 tribal buildings by harnessing power from a local hotspring. “The project is intended to meet the long-term goals of eliminating fossil fuel dependency at the site, provide geothermal heat for local food production, and allow economic development of this historic site located 60 miles north of Nome, Alaska,” according to the Department of Energy.

Click here to read more about each project selected.

More Stories Like This

Summer Solstice Brings Prayers, Ceremony to Indian Country
Tribal Leader Lauds Federal Report on Harms of HydroDams on Columbia Basin Tribes
Federal Dams Hurt Native American Communities, New Report Says
Gun Lake Tribe Hosting Tire Waste Collection for General Public
White Earth Nation Receives $1.75M Energy Storage Grant

Join us in observing 100 years of Native American citizenship. On June 2, 1924, President Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act, granting Native Americans US citizenship, a pivotal moment in their quest for equality. This year marks its centennial, inspiring our special project, "Heritage Unbound: Native American Citizenship at 100," observing their journey with stories of resilience, struggle, and triumph. Your donations fuel initiatives like these, ensuring our coverage and projects honoring Native American heritage thrive. Your donations fuel initiatives like these, ensuring our coverage and projects honoring Native American heritage thrive.

About The Author
Jenna Kunze
Author: Jenna KunzeEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Senior Reporter
Jenna Kunze is a staff reporter covering Indian health, the environment and breaking news for Native News Online. She is also the lead reporter on stories related to Indian boarding schools and repatriation. Her bylines have appeared in The Arctic Sounder, High Country News, Indian Country Today, Tribal Business News, Smithsonian Magazine, Elle and Anchorage Daily News. Kunze is based in New York.