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WEBINAR: Tribal Energy Transitions — Impacts, Opportunities, and Research Ethics

  • April 26, 2023
  • 12:00pm–1:30pm ET
  • Online, Eastern Time

In this webinar, panelists will share preliminary findings from their research and policy work, focusing on both the local economic impacts energy transitions have on Indigenous tribes as well as the opportunities that energy transitions might create for these communities. The discussion will address the technological and policy changes needed to make the most of these shifts. Panelists will also reflect on their research design strategies for ensuring that their processes and results serve and benefit the communities they are engaging. The recording is available here.


  • Dr. Andrew Curley is an Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona School of Geography, Development & Environment. His research focuses on how Indigenous communities understand coal, energy, land, water, infrastructure, and development in an era of energy transition and climate change.
  • Monika Ehrman is a Charles J. and Inez Wright Murray Distinguished Visiting Professor at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, where she will be joining as Professor of Law in Fall 2023. Her scholarly interests are in the areas of property, natural resources, energy, and environmental law and policy. She is the principal investigator of a multi-year team grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to study the impact of the clean energy transition on Native American communities.
  • Dr. Julia Haggerty is an Associate Professor of Earth Sciences at Montana State University, where she directs the Resources and Communities Research Group, a highly collaborative lab that researches the socioeconomic impacts of resource development on local communities. She is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant to examine Indigenous fiscal policy and community resilience issues for just energy transitions with the Crow Nation in Montana.
  • Wahleah Johns is is the Director of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs. She is responsible for upholding and advancing the Office of Indian Energy’s mission to maximize the development and deployment of energy solutions for the benefit of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Her background is in renewable energy, community organizing, groundwater protection and environmental justice. In 2019, she was awarded the Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellowship.
  • JoRee LaFrance - known as Iichiinmáatchileesh/Fortunate with Horses – comes from the Apsáalooke/Crow Nation located in southeastern Montana. She holds a B.A. in Earth Sciences and Native American Studies from Dartmouth College and is now a doctoral student in the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Arizona. She is an Agents of Change in Environmental Justice Fellow, founder of the Ilíiaitchik: Indigenous Correspondents Program, Aspen Institute Forum on Women and Girls SOAR Fellow, University of Arizona CALS Impact Leader Fellow, CLIMAS Environment and Society Fellow, Carson Scholar, National GEM Fellow, Sloan Scholar, as well as an NSF NRT Indigenous Food, Energy, Water Security, and Sovereignty (Indige-FEWSS) Fellow. In her free time, JoRee enjoys serving as a community organizer/advocate, hanging out with the elders and youth in her family, riding horses, playing with her two dogs, beading, and running a few games of basketball.
  • Dr. Bindu Panikkar is an Associate Professor at the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School for Environment and Natural Resources. Her work examines environmental controversies surrounding emerging contaminants, land use development, and technology politics and its social, legal, ethical, and environmental justice implications. She is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant to examine the history of electrification and renewable transitions in the Northwest Arctic Burrough.
  • Jordynn Paz is a member of the Apsaalooké (Crow) Nation of Montana, and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and Native American studies from the University of Montana. As an analyst at the financial data services firm, Kestrel, Ms. Paz contributes to our understanding of the complicated intersection of municipal finance and issues impacting American Indians.
  • Al Huang (moderator) is the Environmental Justice Director at the Institute for Policy Integrity and a lawyer. His work utilizes a model that focuses on providing legal and technical assistance, when invited, to grassroots groups in low-income communities and communities of color facing disproportionate burdens, such as toxic pollution. Prior to coming to IPI, Al directed the environmental justice work and served as a Senior Attorney at Natural Resources Defense Council for 17 years. He has taught environmental justice law and practice as an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School and NYU Law School.

This webinar is part of an ongoing series highlighting energy equity research funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Stay tuned for upcoming events!