The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is working with SAGE Development Authority to develop the 235-megawatt Anpetu Wi wind farm on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota.
"The project represents a community development model to produce renewable energy that offers a path toward self-determination and sovereignty for Standing Rock and other Native nations," said SAGE in a statement.
SAGE Development Authority (Strategic, Advancement, Goals, and the Environment), a public power authority created by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, is managing the development of the wind farm. Named Anpetu Wi (which translates to “the breaking of the new day” or “morning light” in the Lakota language), the 235-megawatt wind farm will be built on the Standing Rock Reservation, between Porcupine and Fort Yates, N.D., where many of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Lakota and Dakota people live.
“The project represents a community development model to produce renewable energy that offers a path toward self-determination and sovereignty for Standing Rock and other Native nations,” SAGE said in a statement sent to Green Matters.
According to SAGE, Anpetu Wi is the first tribally-owned public power wind farm to get this far in the development process in the U.S. — but for the wind farm to actually complete construction and provide power to the North Dakota community, help is needed. So far, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has raised about $2 million from nine philanthropic foundations (including the Sierra Club), which was mostly used to establish SAGE. Now, SAGE is entering its next fundraising step, with a goal of raising $1.5 million for Phase One of the construction process.
Ultimately, an estimated total of $325 million will be needed to get the wind farm up and running. You can donate to help the efforts on the official Anpetu Wi website, which is also filled with resources.
“We are proud to achieve another milestone in our quest to create a model for self-determination and economic development not only for our people but for all Native communities,” Joseph McNeil Jr., General Manager of SAGE and a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, said in a statement.
“For our people and me, this project is a prayer. It allows us something to leave behind for future generations of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and reflects our cultural values by prioritizing people, land, and nature over profit,” McNeil Jr. continued. “Our model certainly includes investors, but also allows us to benefit directly from its revenue for hundreds of years to come.”
“Developing renewable energy resources—for export as well as local consumption—will foster badly needed economic development on the Reservation and provide employment and skills training,” added Fawn Wasin Zi, SAGE Board Chair.