Covenant Solar Initiative is a solution and a movement – led by a team of Native Americans and Renewable Energy, Education, Finance, and Community Development experts – working together to eliminate poverty, diminish climate change, and create thriving indigenous communities with the clean and regenerative power of solar.  

The Opportunity

A quick glance at social media confirms that there is a tremendous climate justice uprising happening in the United States.  Native people are catalyzing this movement, sending a clear message to elected leaders, to industry, and to the world that they will no longer tolerate the fossil fuel regime, and its destruction of sacred lands and indigenous ways of life.  They are saying NO to extractive industries and dirty energy.  Covenant Solar Initiative offers communities something to say YES to.  A regenerative way forward.  A culturally-sensitive and holistic approach to building sustainable economies, while honoring sacred covenants to protect and preserve our planet.  The need is great, and the time is now.  [Learn More]

Our Approach

Covenant Solar Initiative aims to disrupt the devastating cycle of energy poverty, for as many Native Americans as possible.  Our team is comprised of tribal, educational, and community development leaders — along with some of the nation’s foremost experts in solar technology, education, energy policy, and finance — hailing from industry luminaries such as Tesla, SolarCity, and SunRun.  The Initiative serves as a catalyst, recognizing that it isn’t enough to just import a bunch of experts to solve an indigenous community’s problems for them.  Rather, we work together to effect tremendous positive change, in a way that supports and honors the customs, traditions, and belief systems of Native people.

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Facts & Figures

Greenpeace documentary film trailer featuring the work of Covenant team members on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation:


American Indian and Alaska Native tribes in the USA

They differ greatly in their geographies, customs, languages, and histories, but all share a history of deep reverence for the natural world.  Therefore, it is quite logical for tribes to explore renewable energy as a means to honor their sacred convictions to preserve the Earth for the next seven generations.  


Trillion Dollars of Fossil and Mineral Energy Resources

Indian lands in the U.S. hold an estimated $1.5 trillion in fossil fuel resources. Many tribal governments have set aside spiritual and cultural beliefs and succumbed to the lure of the money they receive for selling these resources. Many have resisted, choosing instead to exploit the potential for renewables on tribal lands to meet 4.5% of our Nation’s energy needs.


Tribes have enacted anti-fossil fuel resolutions

Some tribes, despite the promised economic reward, have been steadfast in their commitment to preserve Mother Earth for future generations.  Many tribes have enacted resolutions to eschew dirty energy in favor of clean, regenerative energy generation.  However, most lack the knowledge and resources to implement renewables on their own.  Covenant Solar Initiative partners with tribal communities to end their dependence on extractive energy, and revitalize their economies with the clean and regenerative power of solar.


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©[2018] Covenant Solar Initiative, a Project of Earth Island Institute, 501(c)(3) Made with  in Oakland, CA

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