You are on page 1of 14

Annual Report 2011

White Earth Land Recovery Project – Native Harvest 607 Main Avenue Callaway, MN 56521

White Earth Land Recovery

To facilitate the recovery of the original land base of the White Earth Indian Reservation, while preserving and restoring traditional practices of sound land stewardship, language fluency, community development, and strengthening our spiritual and cultural heritage.

MISSION:

“The time to change direction is now. Signs of defeat have been showing on the faces of our people for too long. Young people, those who have not yet learned to accommodate to the fact that they are expected to accept their lesser status quietly, are especially hard hit by defeatism and alienation. Youth in our communities and in urban centers are suffering. Suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, cultural confusion, sexual violence, obesity: they suffer these scourges worse than anyone else. It is not because they lack money or jobs in the mainstream society…It is because their identities, their cultures, and their rights are under attack...” “The challenge is to find a way to regenerate ourselves and take back our dignity. Then, meaningful change will be possible, and it will be a new existence, one of possibility, where Onkwehonwe will have the ability to make the kinds of choices we need to make concerning the quality of our lives and begin to recover a truly human way of life.”
Taiaiake is a Kanien’kehaka scholar and orator who has dedicated himself to indigenous struggles for dignity, unity, and strength. Onkwehonwe in Kanien’kehaka (Mohawk) translates to original people.

White Earth Land Recovery Project Balance Sheet December 31, 2011

Capital Temporarily Restricted Funds Retained Earnings Net Income Total Capital Total Liabilities & Capital

326,948.00 476,667.67 310,114.02 1,113,729.69 $ 1,444,697.38

Norval Morriseau’s “Interdependence” shows the Anishinaabeg connection to all

About Our Cover Art:

Red Lake Anishinaabe Artist, Steve Blake, created the covers artwork for the Fourth International Indian Treaty Conference held thirty years ago, in June 1981, on the White Earth Reservation. The conference was an essential part of our work to gather and discuss our rights as Indigenous peoples and make plans for our self-determination. Twenty-five years later, our work saw fruition at the United Nations with the passage of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007. In 2011, the United States approved this International Declaration. The artwork also well represents our partnership with all who live in north today, and wish to protect this land, water, wild rice, and wolves. We are proud to be part of this history, from 1981 – forward. Steve Blake passed into the spirit world in September 2008.

6/1/12 at 2:08 PM

Unaudited - For Management Purposes Only

White Earth Land Recovery Project Balance Sheet December 31, 2011

ASSETS Current Assets Midwest Bank - WELRP Midwest Bank NIIJII Bremer Bank Turbine Midwest Bank - Native Harvest Wells Fargo Bank Citizens National Bank Petty Cash Employee Advances Inventory Total Current Assets Property and Equipment Building Equipment Land Accummulated Depreciation Total Property and Equipment Other Assets Due to (from) Niijii Due to (from) Honor the Earth Total Other Assets Total Assets $ (6,137.62) 2,015.00 (4,122.62) 1,444,697.38 303,203.96 930,111.23 466,568.45 (342,350.26) 1,357,533.38 $ 47,544.42 7,530.52 14,783.24

The White Earth Land Recovery Project is a leader in restoring a lifeway, which is a sound economic system for the future. This is the community-based economy, with national and regional implications. Our work on the White Earth food economy has documented the significance of not only our expenditures, but also the needs and potential for local food production. Our work is essentially about restoring a local food production capacity- from our tribal farm to school project- the first in our region, and one of the first nationally, to our work in restoring Indigenous varieties of corn, gardening, and Native Harvest- our national mail order and wholesale outlet.
91,286.62

270.00 554.72 20,603.72

We also recognize that the largest contributing factor to climate change is industrialized agriculture - from deforestation impacts to the carbon footprint of chemical and fertilizer production and soil degradation. Organic agriculture poses one of the most significant potential strategies for tribal communities to not only feed ourselves, but to also contribute to a carbon reduction strategy- for the larger society. We are also pleased to note that the Minnesota organic industry is growing dramatically, with the growth from 433 organic farmers in 2005 to 718 in 2007, and some $39 million in revenue from just organic farm production. We are keen on being a part of this growth.

LIABILITIES AND CAPITAL Current Liabilities Accounts Payable Due To (From) Native Harvest Accrued Payroll Accrued Vacation State WH Total Current Liabilities Long-Term Liabilities Loan payable to Shodo Spring Note - WEII - Equipment Note - WEII - Main Office Total Long-Term Liabilities Total Liabilities 6/1/12 at 2:08 PM Unaudited - For Management Purposes Only 58,333.30 69,423.07 189,312.11 317,068.48 330,967.69 $ 68,606.45 (64,592.36) 4,710.80 5,320.18 (145.86) 13,899.21

Our Board - We are grateful for the committed and supportive guidance of our Board of Directors:
Kathy Goodwin, Chairperson, White Earth Anishinaabe enrolled tribal member, Community Council Representative of Naytahwaush, Diane Roy, Oneida enrolled tribal member, White Earth resident, accountant Sue Wika, Non-Native farmer, Professor of Sustainable Development, Fergus Falls Community College Steve Larsen, Non-Native, Manager of Boys & Girls Club Thrift Store, Detroit Lakes Audrey Thayer, White Earth Anishinaabe enrolled tribal member, Director of Northern MN American Civil Liberties Union, elder. Dawn Kier, White Earth Anishinaabe enrolled tribal member, Agricultural Office, White Earth Tribal Council

“They Are Gathering To Protect The Seeds”
Maawamji’idiwag Ji Gizhaadaadamowaad Miinkaanan,
White Earth Reservation, March 2011
The Ninth Annual Great Lakes Indigenous Farming Conference was a great success and we were able to host around l00 people who shared stories, seeds, good will, and came up with more strategies to save our seeds and feed our communities. More than 100 native people, organic farmers, students, and community members participated in the conference hosted by the White Earth Land Recovery Project held on the White Earth reservation in Northern Minnesota. “I had a Hopi Squash run up a tree last year,” Frank Kutka, USDA Sustainable Agriculture representative told a small group. Describing the squash’s prolific vines he explained, “Sometimes that third sister doesn’t hang back, she just moves ahead.” Many farmers like Frank shared not only cultivation stories, but also shared history. For fourteen years a Metís woman, Caroline Marchand, has been looking for heritage seeds of the Metís of Manitoba, Canada where, it is believed the Metís grew 120 distinct seed varieties in the Red River area in the 1800s. Of those, Caroline says, “We ended up finding about twenty so far. We found a few of them through the Canadian Seed Bank. We found some more through Seeds of Diversity Canada, the Canadian Seed Exchange, and the U.S. Seed Saver Exchange”. The Canadian seed story is sobering. Three fourths of all the seeds grown before the 20th century are extinct. Of the remaining quarter, ten percent are available commercially from Canadian seed companies. Over 64% of the Four heritage corn varieties commercially held seeds are offered by only one company, grown by the White Earth which means, that if the variety is dropped the seeds may be Land Recovery Project: lost. Backyard gardeners and families hold the rest of the Righetta Otlofile, seeds. Saskatchewan White Flint, “Those seeds are the old ways. They gave our ancestors life Manitoba white Flint and Pink Lady. for all those years. I’m totally for preserving the old ways.” said Frank Alegria, Sr., an elder who grows native varieties on the Menominee Reservation, including an 850 year old squash variety found in an archaeological dig near the Wisconsin border.

The Seed Library – Miinan Maakok (the seed box)
Deb Echo Hawk, Pawnee, told the story of the sacred corn seeds of the Pawnee Tribe. Varieties thought to be lost forever are now recovered for her people. By combining efforts with the descendants of settlers who live in the Pawnee homelands of Nebraska, they were able to recover their traditional seeds, and the Pawnee identified keepers of the seeds, including Deb. Likewise, the White Earth Land Recovery Project (WELRP) is working with tribal members and descendants, and Amish farmers to grow out five or six corn varieties. The North Dakota State University also contributes to this project through a SARE grant. The very first indigenous variety grown by WELRP is the Bear Island Flint Corn. It is so named because it grew on Bear Island for a hundred years, separated from other corn varieties on the Leech Lake Reservation. Manitoba White Flint, Pink Lady Flint, and black popcorn varieties are also being grown out. One of the greatest challenges today for heritage corn growers is keeping the strains from being crossed with hybrid GMO corn from nearby fields. Competing with raccoons and deer for the fruits of their labor is another challenge. A farmer at the conference chuckled as he mentioned seeing the animals strut past the more abundant GMO corn to feast on the native variety. All participants were invited to join a working group that gathered several times throughout the weekend to envision a regional seed library. At the table were tribal members from White Earth, Red Lake, Leech Lake, Bad River, Menominee, Standing Rock Lakota, as well as the Winnebago of Nebraska.

Deb Echohawk, Pawnee

Also involved in the discussion was the keeper of seeds for the Pawnee tribe, (pictured above) and the executive directors of Seed Savers Exchange and Seeds of Diversity (Canada). Many others joined the discussion including the Midwest Coordinator for USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, local allied growers, representatives from the University of Minnesota, and local tribal colleges. They mapped out a plan for co-creating the library – the “Miinan Maakok” which means “the seed box.” 2011 is the first year we’ve been able to commercially sell our own corn varieties—a huge achievement, one which speaks to the great efforts in seed restoration that we undertook this year. At the Indigenous Farming Conference we offered these seeds for sale and barter. We look forward to the return of our ancestors’ seeds to our lands.

Our Donors

Gardens at White Earth Land Recovery Project Sites
There is a saying “we are all related” among indigenous people central to our ceremonial times, gatherings and prayers. The oft-spoken phrase describes a great deal about us as Anishinaabeg, as we believe our lives are interconnected with everything around us. This applies to the work the WELRP does as well. Our farming efforts, the gardens we tend, the animals we care for, are all part of a unifying vision of health for our people. We have several projects that are carried out in unison with the growing of traditional seeds, such as the Farm to School Project, the goat project, and community building on the reservation. We are also proud to say that we have the first tribal farm to school project in the region, and perhaps the nation- providing good, local foods to 60 children at the Pine Point Elementary School. The program has been in operation for almost 4 years now, and is a flagship in the region and nationally for buttressing the local food economy, and more importantly, providing healthy food for our children, most of who are at very high risk for diabetes. While diabetes impacts one third of our service population here on White Earth, we are working to stem that devastation with local, and traditional foods - these foods are the essence of the restoration of our health and our ability to control our destiny.

2011 Major Donors Blandin foundation Carolyn Foundation Catholic Campaign for Human Development Chicago Community Foundation Christensen Fund Citizens Energy Common Stream Foundation Cottonwood Foundation Exoskeleton General Mills Foundation Global Green Grants Fund (Pesticide Action Network) Jesse Smith Noyes Foundation Kellogg Foundation Lannan Foundation Mardag Foundation Marguerite Casey Foundation Mazon Foundation MN Humanities Center National Philanthropic Foundation Peace Development Foundation Penn State Philadelphia Yearly Meeting PTFP Rockefeller Philanthropists Ann Roberts/Rockefeller Philanthropic Sisters of St. Joseph Susan and Daniel Babson Charitable Tides Center Tides Foundation University of Minnesota/SARE US Conferfence of Catholic Bis West Central Initiative Winky Foundation

We grew the most beautiful corn and vegetable crops. We prayed over our gardens and fields for a good harvest. We went to the Red Lake fisheries, and purchased 2,500 pounds of fish guts in the spring and another l, 000 pounds this fall, spreading the fish in the earth as our ancestors used to do. Our ancient varieties of northern flint corn grown by our ancestors for five hundred years and squash from eight hundred year old squash seeds grew in our gardens. At WELRPs’ garden in Callaway we had a crop disaster. Everything planted in June was dead by July 1st due to unforeseen circumstances. We replanted and the earth grew a bountiful crop. We were also able to put in a new “turtle garden” built for our community by Metric Giles, of St. Paul, Minnesota. This is a particularly great garden for the young people in the Omakaakoons day care facility in the building. Many of the children from the Boys and Girls Club of Callaway, as well as other youth from the town of Callaway were eager to help us plant, water and weed, and learn more about why this is important. The Callaway gardens were truly a community supported gardening effort. We also had a good garden at the Gitiigaanig Farm on Round Lake. By developing our relationships and online presence we leveraged in three WWOOF volunteers, and several local youth to work on Gitiigaanig Farm.

We would like to give special thanks to many many people who helped us take new steps for the future:

Jeff Tobe Matt Harris Carol Weiss Hazen Graves Sean Sonnemeyer Ginny & Dad Warren Kevin Brown Tim Schachner Curt & Darlene Ballard, Norene Thomas, David Chilton, Sunnyside Farms, Sue Wika, Lisa Ringer Madeline Island Farmers

Solar Energy International Faegre Baker Daniels, LLP Smart Set, Inc. Lakes PC

As a result of great help, good relationships and innovative methods we had good success with the Bear Island Flint corn grown in Callaway. The Saskatchewan White Flint grown by our Amish friends near the southern border of the reservation, brought in a bountiful harvest. Two reservation families, Curt and Darlene Ballard, and Dave Chilton successfully grew the Pink Lady flour corn - the latter using some good horse manure. The Manitoba White corn grew on the four-acre field Maandaamin Akiing, in the Strawberry Lake area. We brought youth from two reservation schools to the corn fields and Gitiigaanig Farm in the autumn before harvest to see our gardens, meet the goats, horses, poultry and to go through a hay maze. The Nay Tah Waush Charter School students were able to pick corn in the Mandaamin Akiing. We had the Circle of Life Academy students come to WELRPs’ office where they learned how to take corn off the cob, braid corn together for drying, and some students even made cornhusk dolls. We served a lunch featuring the corn, and continue our work in the Farm To School Project by providing locally grown food to the school lunch menu.

Corn Growers We raised a herd of goats− a result of a United States Department of Agriculture SARE Project. In the spring of 2011 we secured five goats with SARE funding, and then had another seven goats gifted to us. At the end of the summer we sold most of the goats to the nearby Somali community. The Somali came to Gitiigaanig Farm and butchered the goats. This is a significant relationship to both the Somali community and to ours because having local, fresh, guaranteed halal meat is a fortunate circumstance, as in years past the Somali had their halal meat shipped from overseas. There are five goats at the Gitiigaanig Farm on Round Lake. We have made goat cheese, and had a wonderful time eating cheese with children from the Pine Point School. In 2011 we were able to change the ecosystem of the farm a bit to remedy overgrown foliage and plants we were not interested in maintaining with the browsing and grazing goats.

NiiJii Radio Underwriters & Volunteers Tom Nelson & Tom’s Burned Down Café, Lapointe, WI Nahko & Medicine for The People (Musicians of Great Heart) Keith Secola for being cool, still. Thomas Vennum for telling us stories Richard’s Family at Maplelag Vista Americorps Program and many volunteers Mere Takoko for endless support Kimberly Smith Margaret Campbell Nellis Kennedy-Howard Andy Hayner & Noelle Harden

Manoomin, Ma’iingan & Mining
We work to protect our manoomin (wild rice). It is our most sacred food, and is historically ours to protect, and prosper from. The Anishinaabeg migration story and set of prophecies led our ancestors to “where the food grows on the water. Manoomin is the only grain endemic to North America and is one of the greatest gifts imaginable to the land and waters. The lakes and rivers, owing to the unique nature and adaptability of the manoomin, each year offer a wild rice crop. Manoomin is an amazing food security for a people, and the waterfowl who nest and eat in these same waters. This is a sacred food and a keystone of the ecosystem of the Great Lakes region, the Anishinaabe Akiing.

Young muralists paint a sturgeon fish that symbolizes the reintroduction of sturgeon to the waters of the White Earth Reservation in 1999.

Anishinaabeg bringing in the rice harvest. Our way of life is threatened by the polluting of water from mining.

In turn, our prophecies and stories acclaim our relationship to Ma’iingan, the wolf. The wolf is our brother. Today, both the wolf and the wild rice face dire threats of devastation, as mining interests loom on the edges of territory, or seek to re-open old scarred mines of the past hundred years in a renewed fervor of a minerals based material economic relationships are changing. It is ironic that the two largest barriers to the wholesale mining of the north may be manoomin, or wild rice and the ma’iingan the wolf.

Kimberly and Kelly hosted a two-day workshop for youth in stencil making, using Ojibwe Floral Beadwork designs. The 5 young people learned art-making methods and used these stencils on the mural. With the work they learned the power of group work and community participation. The growth we have seen in these young women as artists and engaged community members is inspiring. It’s a source of pride that we now have a colorful and beautiful mural that speaks of our reservation’s history across the front of our building. We were successful in terms of engaging youth in a meaningful way that we have sustained and built interest in the program for next year. The youth have taken leadership in developing a proposal to continue the mural project in a different reservation community the summer of 2012, and they will help facilitate the program in the coming summer.

Proposals in both Wisconsin and Minnesota would eviscerate water quality laws with severe impacts on the manoomin of the north. In turn, the recent delisting of the wolf by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seems synchronized exactly with the interests of new mining companies in the region. y. Arguing that the wolf populations have been restored adequately and now constitute a threat to the deer populations of northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, legislation and regulations are underway to open a wolf season in the northern territory as early as the fall of 2012. Their target is to allow for the culling or kill of up to 400 wolves. In 2011, the state of Minnesota culled over 200 wolves deemed to be damaging livestock. The Anishinaabeg opposed this delisting. Mural by I AM ART, Rice lake and White Earth Youth, and friends of WELRP Tribal communities, joined increasingly by northern residents have opposed the threats to water and wild rice throughout the Great lakes Region. And, while the wolf has been delisted by federal agencies, with moves to state regulation, tribal governments and inter-government agencies in the north pledge to retain their relationship and responsibility to the manoomin and ma’iingan. Manoomin has been obliterated around most mining areas where it grew before mining came to the great lakes region. The grain cannot grow in water with high concentrations of sulfates. Scientific studies over the past fifty years found that manoomin requires a pristine lake and a high water quality standard to grow. These studies have determined that sulfate concentrations above this level (l0 mg/L) are detrimental to the growth of manoomin. The only studies that state otherwise are in test paddies, or paid for by the mining interests. We are scraping the bottom of the earth for lower and lower grade ores, and opening up mines in places that should not be mined. That is the reality of this scenario.

“…We understand wolves to be our educators, teaching us about hunting and working together in extended family units. Wolves exemplify perseverance, guardianship, intelligence and wisdom. Thus the health, and survival of Anishinaabe people is tied to that of Ma’iingan. We can do no less than to fully support efforts to protect, promote acceptance and ensure healthy and abundant populations of wolves, for it is our future we are also considering…”

Our History on The Wall
Through the participation of over 20 community members we were able to erect a largescale, high-quality work of public art at our office in Callaway, which commemorates the history of White Earth people’s struggle—of which our organization is a part. Our goal was to create a mural that represented the community, and we actively sought opinion and direction from elders and other leaders, reaching our objectives of youth and community development. The mural project was developed and facilitated with WELRP special projects staff member Margaret Campbell, Kimberly Smith and Kelly Hubbell of I am Art, a youth arts mentorship and education program from the Window Rock Navajo reservation and Grace Kelly (Dakota).

NiiJii Broadcasting is located in a renovated former school building in Callaway, which has easy computer and parking access and is the foundation linked to our radio station frequencies. KKWE 89.9 FM is distinguished by three significant factors: KKWE is the only independent radio station, absent tribal government control or financing. This is challenging but allows for more vital civil society discussions. KKWE is the only radio station that will be wind powered in 2012. And last, KKWE is the largest radio station in range. In August we began testing equipment and transmitting. This same equipment is used for web based information work on the White Earth reservation and beyond. KKWE went on-air live in November with staff to supervise development of the programs and to recruit and develop youth capacity to be involved in all aspects of internet web casting and subsequently, internet media and community based radio broadcasts. Others involved in the radio included one intern and 20 community member volunteers on the radio and behind the scenes. Volunteers assist in efforts to raise money for equipment, staffing and implementation. WELRP continues to send volunteers to attend conferences on media, Internet streaming and radio development. Volunteers work with technical assistance providers who provide training on conducting live Internet broadcasting or recording a program that will be aired. NiiJii Broadcasting bridges the digital divide in this way while still appealing to young people and our Diaspora community in the Twin Cities by the creation of an internet-based news service linking reservation and urban communities. We are very thankful for your support!

Spirit writing – Anishinaabeg art showing inter-relatedness of water and humans.

America has a wasteful materials economy. American steel consumption per-capita is about three times that of Chinese or ten times that of Indian steel consumption, but the new markets are largely China. One might question why we would destroy the Great Lakes region for steel mills in China. By the l990s, Americans discarded seven million tons of cans - enough to make 316,000 Boeing 737s, a fleet twenty five times the size of the world’s airline fleets combined. Each American consumes 350 aluminum cans a year. Mining companies have underestimated the clean up costs of most mines by up to $2 billion. And many mining operations are still not clean. And, in the end, they are not making any new water. The water contaminated by the mining companies will be contaminated well into the future, and our region - the Great Lakes has the largest supply of freshwater in the world. In December 2011, mining interests and the Minnesota Chambers of Commerce filed a lawsuit to block enforcement of the Minnesota water quality standard protecting wild rice from sulfate. Legislature introduced by mining interests of Wisconsin propose to gut l5 year-

NIIJII BROADCASTING KKWE 89.9

old legislation which requires full documentation of clean mining activities prior to approval of any new mine. Waterlegacy−a Minnesota-based environmental group has filed a motion to dismiss the Chambers of Commerce case, and protect the wild rice. Appeals on this case were held March 1, 2012. White Earth Land Recovery Project is an outspoken opponent of new mines across Anishinaabe Akiing which would bring contaminants into lakes and rivers and irrevocably damage manoomin beds. Changing the standard will impact wild rice throughout the state. White Earth Land Recovery Project sent individuals to testify at the hearings, and on the work group for this past year. We’ve written a number of articles on the subject, and are now working to generate multimedia to organize around this issue. We will continue to work on this issue in 2012.

KKWE 89.9 FM, NiiJii Radio, is on the air and online. This is a hard-won accomplishment for WELRP and reflects a great deal of work by our community volunteers and supporters. We estimate that the radio station serves around l00, 000 in our listening area. Our mission is to have a positive affect on the lives of the people living on the White Earth reservation and our l5, 000 urban tribal members as well as the surrounding communities through public discussion of issues and events that will broaden the thinking and, we are hopeful, enlighten the community. KKWE staff plans indigenous music content; generate local programming, interviews and news stories and national Indigenous news programs. Cultural content includes language, native storytelling, and we are leveraging in national and international programming. Through the work of NiiJii Broadcasting we are beginning to allow the beauty of our community to resonate once again - through the airwaves and through Internet streaming. In 2008 WELRP was awarded a construction license for a community-based radio station by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In 2009 to 2011 we struggled with this opportunity and received a PTFP grant of $466,000 to build a radio station, secure transmitter space and be on the air. The broadcast reaches a range of over two hundred miles in diameter, reaching not only the Anishinaabeg communities, but much of northern Minnesota also. The potential for transformative thinking is additionally buttressed by the two other tribal communities who also received radio construction permits, built their stations, and now most of northern Minnesota has Native-run radio. These groups and other Native media interests were convened in early November of 2011 as the Ojibwe Media Group.

Climate change, fuel poverty and food security
In brief, our understanding is that the intersection between the issues of peak oil, climate change, food security and economic decline will impact poor communities greatly. Projections of climate change mortality are highest in communities where there is inadequate housing - like aging mobile homes, combined with a lack of access to communication systems- i.e., basic phone services. We see this as a challenge in our tribal communities. We also recognize the significance of fuel poverty. Fuel poverty is a consequence of low incomes, rising fuel costs, inefficient homes, and declining budgets. Our community at White Earth has 700 families on fuel assistance, a figure replicated on other tribal reservations in our area. Minnesota Tribes received millions in fuel assistance from CITGO Petroleum in recent years, on top of unmet needs provided by state and federal agencies. This generosity is gracious, but likely unsustainable. Finally, in terms of food security- we recognize that our rural communities are now increasingly dependent upon food produced far away- the average meal here on White Earth and in our region travels l, 546 miles from farmer to plate. We recognize this as unsustainable and we are unable to support our local food economies.

Mino Waasamowin (Good Energy)
The White Earth Land Recovery Project is a regional and national leader in the arena of tribal sustainable development and is creating a set of models, which have great resonance with the Anishinaaabeg reservations in Minnesota and elsewhere. Our work is founded on the analysis of both our food economy and our energy economy - and the recognition that the value of these two economies is approximately one half of the income of our tribal members, and the majority of this set of purchases is outsourced to off reservation vendors. There is no local multiplier on our reservation. Mino Waasamowin- or Good Energy, is designed to create energy security and energy sovereignty for our White Earth Anishinaabe community and is part of a larger effort in Indigenous communities and communities of color to create this future. Our work here at White Earth is one of the front line initiatives in the region, and nationally, for a tribal community to address the creation of a democratized, environmentally and culturally sound renewable energy future. This is essential for our survival in a time of climate change and peak oil, and is also essential for our ability to determine our destiny. In this arena of work we address the dire situation of Fuel Poverty in tribal homes on the White Earth reservation. The project also addresses reducing costs for tribal heating bills, and the continuation of training programs in coordination with tribal entities on the White Earth. Our work is focused on the creation of a strong reservation wide, interagency, interorganization, and regional collaborative to insure our tribal community is a vital part of the next energy economy. We are preparing for the future and insuring our people have a hand in making a good future for everyone. We trained 10 tribal members in windsmithing on our wind turbine, making it possible for our tribal members to service medium sized wind turbines in this region and another 25 individuals on a 2.2 Kw solar installation, which was supported by Solar Energy International staff. These individuals were graduates and students in the Pathways to a Greener Future training program, a project we were instrumental in preparing our Reservation Tribal Council to undertake, resulting in a large federal grant for training on the reservation. Unfortunately in the training prior to our two projects - one wind and one solar - these students had no hands-on training, only classroom. We were able to offer these students a chance to do some great work in renewable energy, and in the upcoming year, hope to have two or more of these individuals involved in solar, thermal, wind and photovoltaics work on the reservation, and on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota.

This solar installation on White Earth in 2011 provided hands on experience to tribal members

“You never change things by fighting existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller, 1895-1983