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CRITFC Receives Federal Grant to Support Tribal Energy Vision

Apr 9, 2024

We are pleased to announce that the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) was selected as one of the forty Energy Future Grants awarded by the US Department of Energy. This funding, made possible through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda and the historic Justice40 Initiative, supports our project “Modeling for a Salmon-Friendly Energy Transition.”

Click to visit the Energy Vision page with links to download the complete report or the executive summary.

At the heart of this project is the Tribal Energy Vision, a plan that offers recommendations to federal, tribal, and state agencies; hydropower operators and public utilities; and private electricity consumers with a path to make an energy transition that helps address climate change in a way that doesn’t negatively impact salmon or the tribal cultures that rely on them. This not only enhances the economic and cultural sovereignty of the Yakama, Umatilla, Warm Springs, and Nez Perce tribes, but also contributes to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future for everyone.

CRITFC Chair Corinne Sams thanked the Biden Administration and Department of Energy, remarking “CRITFC and our member tribes have a vision of a future where the Columbia Basin electric power system supports healthy and harvestable fish and wildlife population, protects tribal treaty and cultural resources, and provides clean, reliable, and affordable electricity for the region. This grant a step along the path to achieving that vision and we are grateful for the Biden Administration recognizing the tribal expertise and leadership on this issue.”

The $500,000 grant award will be used to assist in guiding the region to a renewable energy portfolio that allows for fish-friendly hydro operations.

“CRITFC and our member tribes are honored to have been selected for one of the 2024 Energy Future grants,” said CRITFC executive director Aja DeCoteau. “We are committed to working with the federal government and other regional partners to lead the Columbia Basin toward an energy transition that serves the needs of people, cultures, natural resources, and the environment upon which we all depend.”

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm emphasized the importance of local leadership in clean energy initiatives, stating, “A lasting clean energy transition starts with state, local, and tribal governments in the driver’s seat.”

CRITFC is grateful to be among the 40 partner teams receiving assistance from the EFG Program, working together to advance innovative clean energy programs that enhance energy affordability, access, and opportunities for communities. Our project aligns with efforts to encourage out-of-the-box thinking and collaboration, driving solutions for an equitable energy transition benefiting disadvantaged communities.

Thank you to the U.S. Department of Energy for this incredible opportunity, and to all our partners and supporters for joining us on this journey toward a brighter, more sustainable future for all!