That is Choctaw for hello. My name is Erin Anderson and I am a tribal member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. I am an employee of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), where one of my duties is to manage the DOE Green Energy product.
November is Native American Heritage Month and it has traditionally been a time set aside to recognize the contributions, sacrifices, cultural and historical legacy of the American Indian and Alaska Native peoples. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has supported efforts of Native American individual scientists and researchers, as well as tribal governments and educational institutions. Much science is being done in areas related to renewable energy, with particular focus on solar and wind power. These greener, more sustainable technologies and energy practices are making headway in Indian Country.
TribalCollegesand Universities are one area where you can see this. In fact, you can read on the OSTI .EDUconnections Spotlight on Tribal Colleges and Universities (July 2011) about a unique partnership between DOE National Laboratories, the American Indian Higher Education Consortium and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. This partnership was created because “…[there is] significant need and significant opportunity to develop the energy literacy of future American Indian leaders by providing scientific and technological skills to help their communities manage their lands and develop energy resources.” (Page 1, American Indian Research & Education Initiative, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, July 25, 2011).
You can see the U.S. Department of Energy working to help tribes. With support from a U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, my tribe, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma was able to build a state of the art recycling facility. For further reading, a brochure from the DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory about Renewable Energy Development on Tribal Lands offers important information on DOE’s Tribal Energy Program.