Words by Tess Becker
The US Department of the Interior announced plans for a new program to bring electricity to more homes in Native American communities. This comes as a part of the Inflation Reduction Act where the Biden administration is attempting to funnel funds toward renewable energy and climate sources.
The program will initially see $72.5 million in funding which officials say $150 million is being invested from the Inflation Reduction Act. The goal is to electrify tribal communities, many of whom lack infrastructure, especially in more remote areas.
In 2022, the U.S. Energy Department’s Office of Indian Energy issued a report citing that nearly 17,000 tribal homes were without electricity. Most of those homes are in southwestern states, and Alaska.
Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland testified before Congress earlier this year that 1 in 5 homes on the Navajo Nation and more than one-third of homes on the neighboring Hopi reservation are without electricity.
“Access to electricity will improve the health, welfare, education, and overall lives of Native Americans,” Newland said. “... Recognizing each Tribe has its own energy and electrification related needs and implementation capacity, the program will work to meet the unique needs of individual Tribal communities.”
At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.
The Women Invested to Save Earth Fund. This organization helps support underrepresented and underfunded Black, indigenous, and women of color-led organizations across the world. Find out more and support them here.
Collective Sun. They help nonprofits get outfitted with solar power capabilities. Check them out here.
Florida Bicycle Association. An organization that helps mobilize people and promote greener living and safer biking. Find out more.