The seal of the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians. Image via

A state program granted $250,000 to the Pala Band of Mission Indians, the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians and the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians Thursday to help them combat climate change in their communities.

The Tribal Government Challenge Planning Grant Program gave the funds to the three San Diego County Tribes to “assess and prioritize the three tribes’ needs and opportunities for energy, climate and community sustainability, and to conduct advanced planning on priority strategies selected by tribal leaders.”

Nearly $2 million was awarded to Tribes throughout the state as part of the program, intended to support projects identifying solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve clean energy access and advance climate resiliency on Tribal lands and in tribal communities.

“California recognizes the leadership of tribes in advancing strong clean-air standards as well as ambitious climate and energy goals,” said Christina Snider, Tribal Advisor to Gov. Gavin Newsom. “These grants provide opportunities to focus on new tribal climate and energy planning activities.”

Funded by the California Energy Commission and administered in partnership with the California Strategic Growth Council, the program focuses on the needs of tribal governments and the ongoing role they serve in helping the state achieve its climate goals.

“The CEC is proud to provide funding to support tribal climate leadership through this unique initiative,” said Karen Douglas, CEC Commissioner. “These tribally driven projects will bring important research and technological gains while helping ensure all communities benefit from access to the state’s clean energy investments.”

The grants range from $215,000 to $250,000 and support planning for a variety of climate change and clean energy projects, including energy storage, renewables, biomass and community and energy resilience to climate impacts.

“The California Strategic Growth Council Team looks forward to building relationships and collaborating with the Tribal Government Challenge grantees to ensure projects advance tribes’ goals and priorities around climate change, energy and resilience,” said Louise Bedsworth, SGC’s executive director.

The Tribal Government Challenge Program is also supporting a Statewide Gap Analysis to provide an assessment of tribes’ clean energy and climate change adaptation and resilience priorities.

–City News Service