Organized Village of Kasaan - 2011 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Kasaan, Organized Village of
Location: Ketchikan, AK
Project Title: Developing the Organized Village of Kasaan's Tribal Energy Plan
Type of Application: First Steps (Planning)
DOE Grant Number: DE-EE0005050
Project Amounts:
DOE: $77,258
Awardee: $10,498
Total: $87,756
Project Status: See project status
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: September 2011
End: December 2012

Summary

The overall goal of this project is to create a Tribal Energy Action Plan that will serve as the tribe's blueprint for creating long-term energy self-sufficiency. The plan will be developed with input from a committed group of key stakeholders and landowners in the area, will be based on sound data and research, and will address "supply-side" options of the development of sustainable energy sources as well as "demand-side" options for reducing energy consumption.

The resulting plan will include defined comprehensive energy strategies and will be built upon a baseline assessment of where the tribe currently is in terms of alternative and renewable energy activities, a vision of where the tribe wants to go, and an action plan of how the tribe will fulfill its vision, including the identification of viable energy options based on the long-term strategic plan of the tribe.

Project Description

Background

The Organized Village of Kasaan (OVK) is the name of the tribe that was federally recognized in 1934 "to promote the protection, preservation and education of its village and members."  However, the Kasaan Haida people have been stewards of the land since time began.  
 
The community of Kasaan is a small, isolated native village located on Kasaan Bay of Prince of Wales Island, in southern Southeast Alaska. Stunning in its natural beauty, and rich in culture and tradition, Kasaan is the oldest Haida village in the United States, and one of only two Haida communities that remain intact in Alaska.  The residents of Kasaan face a number of challenges in addressing the economic, social and cultural needs of the children and families living in the community.

Life in the remote village of Kasaan brings challenges that are hard for those outside of Alaska to imagine. Kasaan's remote location presents significant challenges for providing basic goods and services, including affordable and available energy.  Currently in the village of Kasaan, there are no grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants/cafés, retailers, tourism vendors, or construction companies.  Part of the reason for this lack of local infrastructure is that the high cost of electricity and heating fuel prohibits small business operators from being able to make a living.

The local tribal and city governments work together to address community needs.  The people of Kasaan have a long history of finding creative solutions to ensure the community's long-term sustainability.  Many local residents still practice a subsistence lifestyle that relies on using local resources in efficient and sustainable ways.

The Organized Village of Kasaan has a long-range vision of being economically and culturally self-sustaining.  This has been a value of the Haida people for thousands of years. Important goals of the tribe are reducing the tribe's dependence on federal and state grants, and on energy sources that are owned and price-controlled by companies that are based hundreds of miles away.

In the past few years, the tribe has been developing several other local sustainable projects, including: a community garden, a new energy efficient medical clinic, multi-year studies of fish stock in traditional subsistence streams, and cultural and eco-tourism development.  The creation of a Tribal Energy Action Plan that focuses on developing local renewable energy opportunities is a key part of helping the tribe move toward cultural, social, and economic self-sufficiency in an integrated and sustainable way.

Project Objectives

The Organized Village of Kasaan has a long-range vision of being economically and culturally self-sustaining; this has been a value of the Haida people for thousands of years. Important goals for the tribe are reducing the tribe's dependence on federal and state grants, and on energy sources that are owned and price-controlled by companies based hundreds of miles away. The creation of a Tribal Energy Action Plan that focuses on developing local renewable energy opportunities is a key part of helping the tribe move toward cultural, social, and economic self-sufficiency in an integrated and sustainable way.  The specific objectives are to:

Objective 1 — Develop a Kasaan Renewable Energy Network.

Objective 2 — Build tribal capacity and expertise in the areas of alternative energy generation and reducing energy consumption.

Objective 3 — Develop a Tribal Energy Action Plan.

Objectives 1 and 2 are designed to generate the local data on relevant technologies, build local expertise and capacity, and obtain the stakeholder buy-in that will be needed to complete a Tribal Energy Action Plan, and then move forward with the next phase of completing a comprehensive analysis and feasibility study of local energy options.

Key project outcomes will include:

  • An active Kasaan Renewable Energy Network that is made up of key stakeholders, land owners, and tribal and community members

  • Increased tribal capacity and expertise in the areas of alternative energy generation and reducing energy consumption

  • A Tribal Energy Action Plan that includes specific and measureable goals, objectives, activities, and timeframes.

All three objectives include a high level of involvement from tribal and community members and local and regional partners. Key tribal staff, Tribal Council members, and community members will be part of the Kasaan Renewable Energy Network that is developed to explore energy conservation and alternative renewable energy options (Objective 1). The focus of Objective 2 is on the importance of the tribe beginning to develop its own capacity and expertise in the area of renewable energies, rather than being fully dependent on outside experts and consultants. The Tribal Energy Action Plan that is developed (Objective 3) will include input and data from tribal members and project partners, and will be formally approved by the Tribal Council.

The Tribal Energy Action Plan will then be used to move forward with the next phase of conducting an energy options analysis and feasibility study of preferred options that are consistent with the tribe's energy vision. This analysis and feasibility study will be the basis of completing a renewable energy implementation plan. These plans will influence future tribal decisions and operations in several ways, including facility rehabilitation and construction, electrical and heating energy usage, future grant writing and fund development activities, and the development of emerging economic development opportunities.

Project Location

The community of Kasaan is a small, isolated native village located on Kasaan Bay of Prince of Wales Island, in southern Southeast Alaska. Kasaan is the oldest Haida village in the United States, and one of only two Haida communities that remain intact in Alaska.

Project Status

This project is complete. See the final report.

The project was competitively selected under the Tribal Energy Program's fiscal year 2010 funding opportunity announcement "First Steps Toward Developing Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency on Tribal Lands" (DE-FOA-0000422), and started 9/1/11.

The November 2011 and October 2012 project status reports provide more information.

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

Project Contact

Tana Coppin
Tribal Bookkeeper
907-542-2230
tana@kasaan.org
P.O. Box 26 – Kasaan
Ketchikan, AK 99950-0340

Glenn "Stormy" Hamar
Project Manager
907-542-2230
stormy@kasaan.org
P.O. Box 26 – Kasaan
Ketchikan, AK 99950-0340

Jon Wunrow
Grants Manager
907-617-9956
jon@kasaan.org
P.O. Box 26 – Kasaan
Ketchikan, AK 99950-0340