Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians - 2010 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
Location: Hayward, WI
Project Title: Sustaining the Natural and Economic Resources of the LCO Ojibwe
Type of Application: First Steps (Planning)
DOE Grant Number: DE-EE0002529
Project Amounts:
DOE: $143,717
Awardee: $0
Total: $143,717
Project Status: See project status
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: January 2010
End: March 2011


This weatherization training will result in a reduction of the use and cost of energy by increasing the number of homes that are weatherized. This will be accomplished by training tribal members to carry out weatherization functions, educating the local population about energy conservation measures, and establishing a weatherization center.

Project Description


The mission of the Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) Tribe provides a framework for all current and future programs. It is, as follows: "We, the Anishinaabeg, the people of Odaawaa Zaaga'iganing, the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe, will sustain our heritage by preserving our past, strengthening our present, and embracing our future. We will defend our inherent sovereign rights and safeguard Nokomis aki-in, Grandmother Earth. We will provide for the educational, health, social welfare and economic stability of the present and future generations." This mission has particular resonance for the work described in this proposal, reducing our reliance on nonrenewable energy sources through weatherization.

In 2005, the LCO Tribe committed to meeting the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol and pledged to enable and require that reservation communities secure a percentage of their energy needs from renewable sources. In 2006, the tribe developed and adopted an LCO Comprehensive Plan, which established several goals for future energy use, including the goal of securing at least 25% of the tribe's energy needs with renewable resources within the decade. The weatherization center would bring us closer to meeting the tribe's self-imposed mandate of energy conservation and environmental responsibility.

This project will be managed by the LCO Development Corporation, a tribally owned construction company. It currently has five full-time management staff who manages 15 to 40 skilled laborers. The labor force fluctuates depending upon the requirements of job contracts. LCO Development currently has a grant from the Administration for Native Americans to build the capacity of its employees to build "green" homes. This grant program on weatherization is complimentary to that work.

Currently, tribal members are referred to Indianhead CAP, which administers a weatherization program for this area. One of the concerns raised by tribal members is the length of time they must wait before the list of weatherization recommendations are done, sometimes up to two years. This is due in part to the lack of persons certified to do weatherization in the Hayward area; no one from this area is on the approved list circulated by the state. Further, up to this point, few residents are aware of the services provided by Indianhead.

Project Objectives

The project objectives are:

  • Train a minimum of 20 persons to assess and implement weatherization tasks.
  • Reduce the use and cost of home heating and electricity by at least 25% for each family served by a dedicated weatherization crew.
  • Increase the level of community awareness of the importance of home energy conservation and strategies for implementation.
  • Complete a plan for a self-supported weatherization center to serve this area of the state.

Project Location

The Lac Courte Oreilles Band has 6,000 members, half of whom live on or near their reservation in northwest Wisconsin, approximately halfway between Milwaukee and the U.S.-Canadian border. The reservation covers 76,000 acres and is 15 miles wide. It is named after the lake on the eastern border which was called Lac Courte Oreilles, meaning "Lake of the Short Ears," by the French who fur-trapped there in the 1800s.

Project Status

This project is complete. For details, see the final report.

The project was competitively selected under the Tribal Energy Program's fiscal year 2009 funding opportunity announcement, "First Steps Toward Tribal Weatherization — Human Capacity Development," and started in January 2010.

The November 2009, October 2010, and November 2011 project status reports provide more information.

For current project status or additional information, please contact the project contact.

Project Contact

Rose Wilson
Grants Director
13394 W. Trepania Road, Bldg. 1
Hayward, WI 54843

Cindy Miller
13394 W. Trepania Road, Bldg. 1
Hayward, WI 54843