Current Projects

Green Jobs in Indian Country

In the past 20 years, green jobs have been brought to the forefront of the climate change dialogue as a potential path toward climate change mitigation and economic development. They are broadly defined as jobs that produce goods or services that benefit the environment. While public attention of this area is relatively recent, making investments toward green jobs in Native communities represents a continuation of a millennia of both culture and economy.

In response, First Nations’ Green Jobs in Indian Country project area supports Native communities that are in the early stages of developing and/or expanding programs that support green job development in response to climate change.

In 2022, First Nations awarded 10 grants averaging $100,000 each to eligible organizations throughout Indian Country to support work related to developing a workforce that is ready to address the on-going and increasing effects of climate change in Native communities across the country.

This work is part of First Nations overall Stewarding Native Lands Program and the Climate Change and Environmental Justice Project. The grant support is made possible through funding from the Bezos Earth Fund.

2022 Grantees

Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria, Loleta, CA

This project will increase the organizational capacity within the natural resources department and create job opportunities through the launch of a pilot environmental health program. Staff will create a recycling/solid waste program; implement education, training, and public awareness outreach events; and enhance regulatory compliance and disaster preparedness.

Blackfeet Community College, Browning, MT

This project will allow Blackfeet Community College Workforce Development to partner with renewable energy and tribal college professionals to develop a solar training program and curriculum to build capacity in renewable energy.

Colorado River Indian Tribes, Parker, AZ

This project will build a job corps program to prepare Tribal and Latinx youth for entry-level green and conservation jobs that are common to the Lower Colorado River. Participants will learn about a range of topics including tribal history and culture, natural resource management, agroforestry practices, and land stewardship.

Holani Hana Inc, Hana, HI

The project will increase culturally-rooted revenue-generating opportunities and create green jobs for Native communities in Hawai’i by strengthening Indigenous Hawaiian architecture, construction, and masonry as viable industries on the leading edge of green building and community resiliency.

 

Kawerak, Incorporated, Nome, AK

This project will increase the capacity within the Kawerak Environmental and Pilgrim Hot Springs Programs by creating a new Sustainability Coordinator position. This employee will work to expand green job development, clean energy initiatives, and plan energy education workshops to benefit the people of this region.

Native Conservancy, Cordova, AK

This project will allow Native Conservancy to develop necessary infrastructure and capacity to empower Native people to enter the kelp mariculture space by expanding the Community Kelp Seed Nursery, and providing training and mentoring to Native-owned kelp farms.

Organized Village of Kake (OVK), Kake, AK

This project will leverage existing funding in the Organized Village of Kake Natural Resources department and increase the impact of ongoing programs through the expansion of the clam garden pilot program to create jobs that support disaster preparedness, initially through education, training, monitoring, and strategic planning.

Plenty Doors Community Development Corporation, Crow Agency, MT

The project proposes to understand the impact of the energy transition on the local economy and to build community capacity by training our future leaders through the public sector leadership program who will then utilize knowledge to create an economy that is environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Red Cloud Renewable, Pine Ridge, SD

This project will allow for the creation of a new mobile solar training lab and upskilling workshops to expand and increase the marketable skills of our present and future students. The new lab will provide future training for many tribes while also serving as a central workstation at job sites.

 

Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, Porcupine, SD

This project will increase the organizational capacity of the Food Sovereignty Initiative and create job opportunities through the launch of a composting program, which will initially focus on training, certifications and composting site construction.