Red Lake Solar Project, aspiring to energy sovereignty
RED LAKE, MN - The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians (Red Lake Nation) is home to over 14,000 tribal members and is one of the most unique and isolated reservations in the country. Located in Northern Minnesota, Red Lake Nation covers 1,259 square miles, including most of Red Lake. The Red Lake Band is one of the only native tribes to have retained their original land and it is now the only closed reservation in Minnesota. The tribe has maintained sovereignty over their land and people since first arriving in Minnesota in the 17th century and their next goal is to achieve energy sovereignty through the use of clean energy.
In their accountability decree, Red Lake Nation states that it is “committed to maintaining and conducting its affairs in a manner that is aligned with the expectations of our ancestors, elders, tribal members, and future generations. The Red Lake Tribal Council is also committed to helping every member achieve independence and economic security by utilizing today's technology, developing strong economic infrastructure, and providing a quality educational system.”
This accountability statement is steeped in Ojibwe tradition, and you can see its values in the Red Lake Solar Project, a one-of-its-kind solar and storage project whose goal is to achieve energy sovereignty for the Tribe while creating jobs and a more sustainable way of life for future generations.
The project has been picking up steam ever since crowdfunding was used to fund the first 80-kilowatt project on the Government Center in Red Lake. Phase 2 started in mid-September, with tribal members arriving to install a 240-kilowatt project on the workforce development center in Redby, called Oshkiimaajitahdah or New Beginnings.