The importance of identifying a tribal energy champion cannot be understated. As the number of opportunities and challenges in Indian country expand, any progress that will be made in initially developing, then later implementing, a tribal energy plan requires the dedicated leadership and continuity provided by the tribal energy champion (or champions, as the case may be).

Energy planning and implementation is a long-term, multi-year process. Continuity over time is absolutely required for success, whether the focus is on cost reduction through the use of efficiency measures or electricity independence through new generation. The seeds of energy decisions often take many years to bear fruit. The steady, patient, yet persistent hand of a tribal energy champion is indispensable.

Like all true champions, tribal energy champions are not often appointed, but emerge through their innate interest and hence commitment to leadership. Only you can identify your tribal energy champion. Look for the interest, the commitment to follow-through, and the leadership, and then surround this person with expertise and support.