Tessa McLean, a Anishinaabe Tribal member from Pinaymootang First Nation, recounts her experience as a solar trainee with GRID's Tribal Program.
Boozhoo! Hello GRID followers and supporters,
I am writing to you today from the beautiful Cheyenne and Arapaho territory of Denver, Colorado. My name is Tessa McLean, I am Anishinaabe from Pinaymootang First Nation, and I recently completed GRID Tribal’s SETO solar training and a solar installation project.
I was inspired to apply to the GRID training because I care about renewable energy, sustainability and energy self-determination. The idea of learning the basics of solar and doing hands-on solar installation contributed to my idea of minobimaadiziwin - an Ojibwe term for ‘the good life.’ The good life is this wonderful philosophy and I translate it to having coffee in your cup, the sun shining on your face, having a home with warmth, having access to affordable, renewable energy; the good life is gratitude, humility, love, and solar!
I was selected to receive solar installation and OSHA-10 training with GRID. OSHA training is pivotal in this industry because the guidelines it provides intend to keep us all safe. After completing online training and gaining my OSHA-10 certification, I put my training into use for an installation project in Boulder, Colorado. The cherry on top of all this was completing my training and doing the installation with individuals from all over Turtle Island. We used the OSHA training every day on site for everything from proper ladder use to wearing personal protective equipment.
Overall, the project was a great experience. I am really proud of the work we did; the project will offset energy costs for low-income housing. Not only did we make an economic impact, but the work we did will keep giving back for generations to come.
I highly recommend working with GRID to anyone who is interested in solar or renewable energy, it might just be the best thing for you. It was for me! I shared photos on my social media so friends and family could see what our team completed. Everyone was proud and excited. I read messages from all over that said, “My community needs solar too,” or, “Come home and install here.” It shows that there is a need for renewable energy in our communities and we better get cracking.
Chi miigwech - many thanks to GRID for all the work they do and for selecting me to be a part of this journey!