Indian Country Energy & Infrastructure Working Group (ICEIWG) |June 2021| Q2 Meeting


ICEIWG virtual meeting June 2021.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy (IE) conducted online the Indian Country Energy and Infrastructure Working Group (ICEIWG) second quarter meeting. 

Monday, June 28, 2021


  • Will Micklin, second vice president, Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska

Welcoming Remarks from ICEIWG Co-Chairs

  • Wahleah Johns, director, Office of Indian Energy, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
  • Jana Ganion, director, Sustainability and Government Affairs, Blue Lake Rancheria.

Member Introductions and Updates

Delegates shared current tribal energy projects and priorities.

State of the Office of Indian Energy - Discussion/Q&A

  • Wahleah Johns, director, Office of Indian Energy (IE), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
  • Albert “Brandt” Petrasek, senior advisor, Office of Indian Energy, U.S. DOE.
    • Follow-up from DOE Roundtable on Funding & Financing Tribal Energy Projects .
    • President’s Budget Request for IE for fiscal year 2022. 
    • Existing FOA Status.
    • WHCNAA – Economic Development, Energy and Infrastructure Group.
    • Proposed IE listening sessions for consideration and conversation.
      • Energy transition.
      • Environmental Justice and Climate.
      • DOE Tribal Consultation Policy and Order 144.1.
    • EO 13985 on Racial Equity (WJ) – see link
      • Discussion of the barriers and opportunities to address.
      • Memo from IE to DOE Department heads to capture baseline data of current resources/assistance.

DOE Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs

Introduction to New Deputy Assistant Secretary & Consultation Timeline

Albert “Brandt” Petrasek, senior advisor, Office of Indian Energy, U.S. DOE

  • Aimee Witteman, deputy assistant secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs, Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, U.S. DOE.
  • Jennifer Kramb Rivers, intergovernmental and external affairs specialist, Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, U.S. DOE.
  • Discussion around DOE’s Response to President Biden’s Memorandum on Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships.
    • Introductory call with DOE Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs and DOE Tribal Working Group Co-chairs on how working groups can be utilized to comment on consultation policy (DOE Order 144.1).
    • Process to commence by July for Order 144.1 suggested revisions (Policy and DOE Order changes and DOE training on the Policy, Order and DOE Offices responsibilities).
    • Consider how ICEIWG can be part of the process to engage Indian Country and effect real, tangible differences, “meaningful consultation and engagement” and programmatic execution as DOE relates to Tribal nations and decision-making that reflects tribal input.

Tribal STEM Subcommittee Survey Opportunity

  • Keolani Booth, councilman, Metlakatla Indian Community.
  • Adam Leggett, council treasurer, Native Village of Eklutna.

The data collected from the Tribal STEM Survey will guide the work of the Tribal STEM Subcommittee with tribes and the Department of Energy to integrate traditional knowledge (TK) and traditional and ecological knowledge (TEK) into DOE practices. It’s important to identify and evaluate STEM best practices together with DOE, determining best methods to advance STEM based on tribal needs, including at K-12 schools, DOE sites and national laboratories. 

Tribal viewpoints are essential to broaden the participation of underrepresented Native populations in STEM fields to align with workforce needs based on data. The subcommittee hopes to receive at least three responses from each DOE working group member tribe consisting of one leader, one technical staff and one youth/education staff. Next steps will include sharing the survey more widely with Indian Country. 

Take the STEM Survey

A concerted effort of the DOE tribal working groups, the subcommittee provides input to increase STEM education and workforce development opportunities with Indian Country. Comprised of members of the Indian Country Energy and Infrastructure Working Group (ICEIWG), Nuclear Energy Tribal Working Group (NETWG) and State and Tribal Government Working Group (STGWG), groups which meet with DOE regularly to convey tribal concerns on energy-related issues. 

Closing Remarks and Next Steps

  • Jana Ganion, ICEIWG Co-Chair.
  • Wahleah Johns, ICEIWG Co-Chairs.
  • Albert “Brandt” Petrasek, DOE-IE senior advisor.