GRID Alternatives, a national leader in making clean, affordable solar power and solar jobs accessible to low-income communities and communities of color, is pleased to announce the selection of Tanksi Clairmont as Director of the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund. The fund, established in 2018 with a $5 million commitment from the Wells Fargo Foundation, is an extension of GRID Alternatives’ national Tribal Program and aims to catalyze the growth of solar energy and expand solar job opportunities in tribal communities. In addition to supporting GRID’s work helping tribes throughout Indian Country build renewable energy capacity and energy sovereignty, the fund will offer matching grants to shovel-ready projects through an open application process.
Tanksi is an enrolled tribal member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate (Dakota) from Sisseton, South Dakota and a member of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate from Rosebud, South Dakota. Although born and raised in Denver, CO, she remains deeply rooted in Lakota/Dakota culture through ceremony, language, and social dancing (pow-wow). Tanksi has worked extensively across Indian Country and brings her experience in grant administration, coordination, research, and evaluation from the National Conference of State Legislatures and the American Indian College Fund to the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund.
“Tanksi is an inspirational leader who understands the importance of energy sovereignty and the opportunity to impact Indian Country in all aspects of our triple bottom line: people, planet, and employment. She is well positioned to lead the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund as we partner with tribes and American Indian leaders, entrepreneurs, and energy innovators,” said Adam Bad Wound (Oglala Sioux), Vice President of Philanthropy at GRID Alternatives and founder of the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund.
GRID Alternatives’ national Tribal Program has worked since 2010 to help tribes achieve their renewable energy goals with solar, while training tribal members to enter the solar workforce. GRID has installed nearly 3 MW of solar capacity in partnership with more than 40 tribes to date. Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund grantees for 2018 include the Spokane Tribe of Wellpinit, Washington, the Chemehuevi Tribe, and the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeño Indians.
“Building local capacity throughout Indian Country is my personal and professional passion and I’m thrilled for the unique opportunity to contribute my experience, networks, and cultural values to the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund,” said Tanksi Clairmont, Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund Director. “I look forward to working with, and learning from, our tribal partners to further energy resilience and sovereignty across the country. Pilamayaye (Thank you)!”
“Wells Fargo is pleased to welcome Tanksi to the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund,” said Ramsay Huntley, Clean Technology and Innovation program officer at the Wells Fargo Foundation. “Her deep experience in and dedication to Indian Country will be a tremendous asset to the fund and help Wells Fargo advance our larger commitment to address the unique economic, social and environmental needs of Native American and Alaska Native communities.”
The open application process for 2019-2020 will launch this spring. For more information, visit http://www.tribalsolar.org
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