Stanford University

Energy Seminar: Energy Access is Energy Justice; The Yurok Tribe's Trailblazing Work to Close the Native American Reservation Electricity Gap

Monday, Mar 4, 2019 4:30 PM
NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center
More Info:
Energy Seminar: Energy Access is Energy Justice; The Yurok Tribe's Trailblazing…
General Public, Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni/Friends
Precourt Institute for Energy

This discussion explores the roots of the Native American reservation electricity gap through a case study of the Yurok Tribe’s work to extend the electric grid to the Yurok Reservation in Humboldt County, California. Native American reservations are the communities in the continental United States most lacking in access to electricity. The discussion examines the Yurok Tribe’s three decades of leadership to build electric and communications infrastructure to support tribal success and sustainability, and improve the economy, education, health, and the environment on the Yurok Reservation centered on the Klamath River in California. 

Yurok Tribe Planning Director Peggy O’Neill and Interim Executive Director Javier I. Kinney will highlight the Yurok Tribe’s commitment to building infrastructure access discuss key barriers to infrastructure development. Professor Catherine Sandoval, Peggy O’Neill, and Javier I. Kinney will discuss Professor Sandoval’s book chapter, Energy Access is Energy Justice: The Yurok Tribe’s Trailblazing Work to Close the Native American Reservation Electricity Gap, published in: Energy Justice, International and U.S. Perspectives, Raya Salter, Carmen G. Gonzalez, Michael H. Dworkin, Roxanna A. Mastor, Elizabeth Kronk Warner, Eds. (Edward Elgar, Pub. 2018). The chapter argues that federal policies to fracture tribes, fragment tribal landholding, and funnel tribal resources to others erected and reinforce barriers to electricity access necessary to economic, community, and environmental health. Professor Sandoval, Ms. O’Neill, and Mr. Kinney will suggest initiatives to close electricity access gaps to increase tribal well-being, strengthen democracy, improve the environment, and forestall climate change.

Speaker Biographies:

Catherine Sandoval is well known in the world of academia for her research on telecommunications, antitrust, energy, and contract issues. She is a tenured member of the Santa Clara University School of Law faculty which she joined in 2004. She has had extensive experience as a leader in numerous government organizations, as well as in the private sector. In January 2011 Governor Brown appointed Professor Sandoval to serve as a Commissioner at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). During her term as a CPUC Commission, she was appointed by the Federal Communications Commission to the Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced Telecommunications Services. Sandoval attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, the first Latina in the nation to receive this honor. She graduated magna cum laude from Yale University, earned an M. Litt. in Politics at Oxford, and a J.D. at Stanford Law School where she served on the Stanford Law Review. She hails from East Los Angeles and lives with her family in the Silicon Valley.

Javier I. Kinney is a Yurok Tribal citizen and serves as the Interim Executive Director for the Yurok Tribe.  He has BA degrees in History and Native American Studies from the University of California, Davis, and a MALD, specializing in Development Economics and International Law from Tufts University-Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, and a JD from Suffolk Law School. Mr. Kinney has extensive experience advising Tribal governments with expertise in areas of strategic actions, climate change, natural resource management, mediation, negotiations, public policy, land acquisition, tribal governance, philanthropic partnerships, protection of tribal cultural resources and water policy.

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