Catherine Sandoval will speak on “Closing the Native American Reservation Electricity Access Gap” at the Intertrust gathering in San Francisco on Tuesday, August 13. Professor Sandoval will share her perspective on the lack of access to electricity for Native American Reservations along with how we can cultivate an infrastructure to resolve these issues.
A brief overview of Professor Sandoval’s talk:
“Native Americans living on reservations are the Americans most likely to lack access to electricity. The State of California elementary school on the Yurok Reservation near the Klamath River was connected to the electric grid in August 2018, following three decades of Yurok Tribal leadership to build infrastructure access. Yet, both elementary school teachers, many students, and families on the Yurok reservation, and on some other reservations, remain without access to grid electricity and are left to read by kerosene, and use diesel generators or burn wood for heat and fuel. Federal and state policies left many Native American Reservation residents in 19th century conditions, while school children are required to take the same tests as other California children and to demonstrate 21st century skills. Poor solar gain in forest locations such as the Yurok reservation, health, and climate change consequences of diesel, kerosene, and wood fuels require action to address infrastructure and consequent economic, educational, and opportunity gaps. Our nation must commit to connecting all Americans, including those living on Native American Reservations, to electricity and the infrastructure electricity enables such as the Internet and clean water.”