As part of President Obama’s commitment to working with Indian Country leaders to promote strong, prosperous and resilient tribal economies and communities, Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that more than $9.4 million has been awarded to 46 tribal projects to assist in developing energy and mineral resources.

The grants were awarded as part of the Energy and Mineral Development Program administered by the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED), a division of the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs. The projects funded include a panoply of renewable energy sources, including geothermal, biomass, hydro-electric, woody biomass, solar, wind, and plastics-to-energy that will provide clean, low-cost power to tribal members and encourage business on tribal lands. In 2014, the Energy and Mineral Development Program received 78 proposals with total funding requests exceeding $27.5 million. Funds were awarded to 46 of the submissions. Mesa Grande is one of the awarded submissions.

The Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs oversees the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development, which implements the Indian Energy Resource Development Program under Title V of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. IEED’s mission is to foster stronger American Indian and Alaska Native communities by helping federally recognized tribes with employment and workforce training programs; developing their renewable and non-renewable energy and mineral resources; and increasing access to capital for tribal and individual American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned businesses.

Mesa Grande will be assessing the multiple renewable energy resources available to the Band for the purpose of fueling planned community and business development. Special focus is on 900 acres of land purchased in 1998 for development purposes. The land currently is not served by electricity.

The purpose of this grant is to fund an exploration study designed to identify the quality and quantity of sand and gravel on the Reservation. This project will help to further industrial advancement of Indian property by generating vital information about sand and gravel in order to develop resources to the benefit of the Tribe.

News Release: http://www.indianaffairs.gov/cs/groups/public/documents/text/idc1-028031.pdf

For more information about the IEED2014 EMDP Grant Awards, programs and services, visit the Indian Affairs website at http://www.indianaffairs.gov/News/index.htm