The 49th training session of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps was recently held in Las Vegas. Tanksi Clairmont, Director of GRID Alternatives' Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund (TSAF), was amongst the selected speakers and panelists who highlighted the event, along with some notable celebrities including Property Brothers star Jonathan Scott and former Vice President, Al Gore.
The event highlighted climate activism and promotion of renewable energy throughout the country as panelists and mentors provided insight into obstacles and opportunities. One of the key objectives of the event was to train and mobilize climate activists by providing data-informed information on key climate issue areas across the globe. When asked about the highlights and main objectives of attending the event, Clairmont shared, “The climate reality project pulled off an amazing event in a city that is known for its increasing temperatures and high energy use, which really set the urgent tone and irony for the event. As a speaker, my objective was to clearly communicate what a 'just transition’ looks like in tribal communities.”
As a panelist speaker, Clairmont engaged with the other climate activists to listen and offer her own opinions on key issues. Some of Clairmont’s key speaking topics included:
- Living respectfully and resiliently
- Communicating the interrelatedness of Tribal Sovereignty and Energy Justice
- Explaining what intergenerational living and teaching means, personally and within tribal communities
- Building relationships in a good way, with all living things, and all realms of the universe
- The unique and innovative ways tribes are climate actors and looking seven generations into the future
- Affirming and shifting powers of sovereignty to tribal nations
- The essential and imminent importance of renewable energy development in tribal communities and their ability to become energy resilient and sovereign
Clairmont connected with others about the way tribal communities have used their traditional teachings and knowledge, and how this knowledge is beneficial today. Providing others with a sound understanding of tribal concepts of energy resilience and energy sovereignty was another key objective, similar to the way TSAF has promoted and supported tribal renewable energy initiatives.
Perhaps one of the most memorable moments of the event was when she met the former Vice President of the United States, Al Gore. Clairmont had the opportunity to discuss energy innovation and opportunities for tribes with the former VP.
“We talked about GRID and the TSAF and how we are leading the solar work across Indian Country. All of this happened in a good way and I am confident our work is on the radar of his and many others,” Claremont shared.
For more information about the Climate Reality Leadership Corps please visit climaterealityproject.org.
About the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund
GRID Alternatives’ Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund was launched in 2018 and is entering its fourth year of grant-making to tribes and tribal individuals for renewable energy projects, fellowships, internships, and scholarship programs. The fund is an extension of GRID’s national Tribal Program and aims to catalyze the growth of solar energy and expand solar job opportunities in tribal communities. In addition to supporting GRID’s work helping tribes build renewable energy capacity, resilience, and energy sovereignty, the fund provides grants for tribal solar projects on an application basis. For more information, visit www.tribalsolar.org.