Native Sun Community Power Development is a Native-led nonprofit organization that promotes energy efficiency, renewable energy, and equitable energy transition through education, workforce training, and demonstration across the Upper Midwest. Native Sun’s programs teach Native people that they have the power to lead and enter careers in the clean energy sector, with curriculum surrounding the intersection of environmentalism and Native culture.
Native Sun’s programs include the Native Civic Engagement and Power-Building Profile program which helps promote the just energy transition and energy sovereignty, the Just Solar Workforce program, which teaches Native people the skills they need to enter the renewable energy sector, and the Solar Club program, which teaches the intersections of environmentalism, climatology, energy and Native culture to young Tribal members.
Recently, Native Sun has also entered into the electrification industry and has partnered with local state government and utilities on the Electric Nation project to electrify highways serving local Tribal communities, including the Native American National and State Scenic Byway. The installation of charging infrastructure in these rural areas will address Tribal members’ barriers to transportation and create a clean energy economy through the economic and environmental benefits offered by EVs.
“By growing public familiarity with clean clean transportation options and establishing EV corridors connecting rural Reservations and multi-family communities to key medical, educational, and retail destinations,
Electric Nation will create new job opportunities and expand access to the benefits of electrified transportation to more Tribal members.”
Throughout the coming years, the Electric Nation project will work to expand EV access by:
- Providing equitable access to clean, affordable transportation in multi-family housing and rural, underserved Tribal communities
- Installing 59 DC fast charging units on Reservations and their vital travel routes
- Installing 63 Level 2 EV supply equipment points at community gathering spots, multi-family dwellings, Tribal colleges and other destinations
- Deploying 16 light-duty electric vehicles, an electric shuttle and two electric school buses
- Developing two new workforce training programs for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Red Lake Nation members
- Engaging in 52 events to engage and educate Tribal members, auto dealership sales staff and first responders
- Documenting energy savings, emissions reductions and EVs’ impact on Tribal members