News From Indian County 09 01 2017 E Edition Page 1

SEPTEMBER 2017 NEWS FROM INDIAN COUNTRY: www.IndianCountryNews.com PAGE 1 Cherokee Nation begins processing Freedmen, Page 2 When the Native press is strong, so is Indian Country, Page 8 Canada $3/U.S. $2.00 www.IndianCountryNews.com September 2017 - Vol. XXXI No. 9 Navajo solar plant breaks new ground By STEVE KARNOWSKI, BLAKE NICHOLSON & PAUL DEMAIN MINNEAPOLIS (AP/ICC) P rotests are ratcheting up against Enbridge Energys plan to replace its Line 3 crude oil pipeline from Canada to Wisconsin, and against a separate aging Enbridge pipeline under the waterway linking Michigans upper and lower peninsulas. Six protesters were arrested during late August near Superior, Wisconsin, where Enbridge began work in June on a 12.5-mile (20-kilometer) segment amid plans to eventually replace Line 3, which carries Canadian tar sands crude from FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) A giant array of solar panels near the famed sandstone buttes of Monument Valley has begun producing electricity for the Navajo Nation at a time when the tribe is bracing for the loss of hundreds of jobs from the impending closure of a nearby coal-fired power plant. The Kayenta Solar Facility is the first utility-scale solar project on the Navajo Nation, producing enough electricity to power about 13,000 Navajo homes. The plant comes at a time when the areas energy landscape is shifting. The coal-fired Navajo Generating Station near Page is set to close in December 2019, leaving a site that both tribal and private entities say has potential for renewable energy development. The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, which owns the solar plant, said the project advances clean energy on the reservation long known for fossil fuel development, the Arizona Daily Sun reported. Walter Haase, general manager of the tribal utility, said the plant proves to investors, developers and tribal communities that renewable energy projects are possible on the reservation. Economic development often is hampered by the lack of infrastructure, required environmental clearances and consent from anyone holding a permit or lease for use of the land. Before the solar facility, we had a News From Indian Country 8558N County Road K Hayward, WI 54843-5800 Protests escalate against Enbridge pipelines in Midwest This August 2017, photo provided by Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President shows solar panels near famed sandstone buttes along the Arizona-Utah border on the Navajo Nation. The Kayenta Solar Facility is the first utility-scale solar project on the reservation, producing enough electricity to power about 13,000 Navajo homes. Photo by Antonio Ramirez/Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President via AP See Protests to escalate, Page 5 reputation in the industry of not being able to get something built or brought online, Haase said. The town of Kayenta benefited, too. The contractor hired and trained about 200 Navajos to build the plant, said Deenise Becenti, a spokeswoman for the tribal utility, leaving a qualified workforce for other projects. The tribal utility avoided passing on the $60 million cost of the solar plant to its customers through federal solar investor tax credits, said Glenn Steiger, project manager for the solar farm. A two-year power purchase and renewable energy credit agreement with the Salt River Project will cover loan repayments for the plants construction, Steiger said. New ICWA court connects Native foster kids with family By PHOEBE TOLLEFSON BILLINGS, Mont. (AP/ Billings Gazette) B onnie Littlesun is raising eight children, all but one of whom are her grandkids, and she wouldnt have it any other way. Theyre crazy, she said, laughing. It was midmorning and she had a brief break while her grandbaby slept and the others were at school. The kids range in age from 13 months to 18 years old. Littlesun has legal guardianship of some of the kids and is caring for the others as a licensed foster care provider through the Northern Cheyenne tribe. She speaks Cheyenne at home with the kids, even when they dont understand it all, and they make regular trips to Lame Deer to visit extended family for birthdays and family dinners. Officials involved in Montana's foster care system lament the shortage of homes like Littlesuns, where Native American kids who have been removed from their parents can still grow up with family and their cultural identity intact. And theyre hoping a new specialty court in Yellowstone County will improve outcomes for all Native American kids experiencing abuse or neglect. ICWA I n July, Montanas 13th Judicial District began operating the nation's fifth Indian Child Welfare Act court. It will handle all ICWA cases in Yellowstone County for Photo by Jessica McCallie Arquette Montanas 13th Judicial District began operating the nation's fifth Indian Child Welfare Act court. See New ICWA court, Page 4

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