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A Greener Reservation?

A big point of contention these days is how we in America are going to go forth dealing with energy. The methods we employ now are very cost-heavy and finding other ways to power our cities is key. In some areas of the country, even close to the University of Illinois, there are wind farms. We are also looking for ways to better implement the benefits of solar energy which we have accomplished with the BIF building.

In the near future, there will be a wind farm on an Indian reservation as well. According to Indian Country Today, there are several tribes in Oklahoma developing plans focusing energies around wind energy. But, now the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes are trying to take the lead in this and set the example. According to Business Week, the plan is to build 22 wind turbines on the reservation by 2012. These turbines could save as much as $9.2 million dollars over the next fourty years. The article goes on to say that tribes now spend 200,000 dollars a month on electricity and a lot of this goes to the casinos. So, these turbines should do a great job in affectively saving money to appropriate elsewhere.

The first two turbines will be constructed by the end of September. The other turbines will eventually be constructed to help power the casino and any left over energy will be sold. The majority (55%) of the funds are grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

I think this is pretty interesting because I was not aware that this is the first time that these turbines are being constructed on Indian reservations. I’ve personally seen them all over the country, especially in the Midwest, but I was unaware as to how American Indians are powering the reservation and casinos that some are in control of. I think a good effective quote to this process was said by governor of the tribal headquarters, Janice Prairie Chief-Boswell, who states, “We are the Keepers of this Earth, so bringing the power of wind to our people is key to our survival and a part of honoring our divine instructions.”

They want to reduce the carbon footprint that they leave on the Earth and I believe it is a good example that needs to be followed in other places. Like I mentioned, other tribes are implementing turbines in the near future. Hopefully, this sets plans in motion quicker. We make a big deal out of the energy crisis when we know we have affective solutions. Wind turbines are costly in installing, but ultimately they seem to pay off especially in this case with the expected $9.2 million dollars.

C0urtesy of Indian Country Today and Business Week


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