Spotlight on Green Jobs in Indian Country Community Partners

Earlier this year, First Nations launched our Green Jobs in Indian Country project, which invests in Native communities that are in the early stages of green job development in response to climate change. Since then our community partners have been busy, and we’re excited to share news of three of the 10 grantees, including Blackfeet Community College, Holani Hana, and Native Conservancy.

Blackfeet Community College

In September, Blackfeet Community College in Browning, Montana, teamed up with Northwest Indian College and Remote Energy to host a two-day workshop for 30 community members to gain knowledge on practical applications of solar electricity. During this workshop, participants gained hands-on experience reading solar panel voltage and amperage and inspecting solar electric systems. Ultimately, Blackfeet Community College aims to create curriculum for a one-year certificate in solar energy, which will create a career pathway for community members to join the workforce in the field of renewable energy.

Holani Hana

Holani Hana, based in Hana Hawaii, aims to elevate the well-being of families and communities through the perpetuation of Hawaiian values, practices, and landscapes. Since the organization started in 2009 they’ve been working to increase culturally-rooted revenue-generating opportunities for Native communities in Hawaii by strengthening practitioner knowledge of Indigenous Hawaiian architecture. Hale, traditional Hawaiian structures, are typically built to serve as a community gathering place.

In the past few months community trainees finished an 18.5’ x 27’ hale at Kahōkūwelowelo Heiau and a 20’ x 30’ hale at the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center. Holani Hana’s overall project goal is for the skill of kukulu hale (hale building) to thrive from generation to generation and to create an Indigenous Architecture building Code for hale.

Native Conservancy

The Native Conservancy’s Ocean Back program aims to develop a sustainable and equitable seaweed mariculture industry centered around Indigenous ocean sovereignty and traditional knowledge. Over the past few months Native Conservancy staff, based in Alaska, have been working to develop infrastructure and capacity to empower Native people to enter the kelp mariculture industry. Specifically, they completed kelp farming training programs for community members in Eyak and provided kelp seed string for kelp farmers in the region. Through this project Native Conservancy will continue to support the permitting and deployment of Native-owned kelp farms across the state in an effort to mitigate the impacts of climate change, address food sovereignty, and create green jobs.

Learn more about the Green Jobs in Indian Country project and the additional community partners.