Renewables rally comes to state Capitol Sunday

BISMARCK – Electric cars and solar displays will be part of a renewable energy rally in Bismarck Sunday.

The rally is sponsored by Lakota People’s Law Project and Dem-NPL Renewable Energy Caucus.

At the same time Standing Rock and MIT Solve are holding a gathering Aug. 12 and 13 at Prairie Knights Casino to celebrate the work being done in energy sustainability and food security.

The Bismarck rally will run from 1:30 to 6:15 p.m. at the state Capitol building.

“We are going to have displays in electric cars. The first solar-powered camping trailer will be on display and possibly displays on solar panels,” said Brad Magnuson, chairman of the Dem-NPL Renewable Energy Caucus.

Speakers will take the stage at 5:30 p.m. Speakers will include Native activist Chase Iron Eyes, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe; Lakota People’s Law Project organizer Phyllis Young, former Standing Rock tribal council member and an MIT Solve Fellow; North Dakota Public Service Commission candidates Jean Brandt and Casey Buchmann, both Democrats; and Magnuson.

Discussion will include net metering, or selling privately produced renewable energy to the grid. Along with serious topics of discussion, there will be food and entertainment, including a performance by local artist Helms Deep at 4:30 p.m.

“Come out, have some fun and learn some things along the way,” Magnuson said.

Standing Rock and MIT Solve co-hosted the first Solve at Standing Rock summit last January. This year’s summit at the casino will highlight the work that six Oceti Sakowin Solve Fellows are accomplishing to promote sustainability, food security, sovereignty and economic prosperity within Lakota, Nakota and Dakota communities.

The conference will feature educational and networking opportunities for tribal members and guests, with representatives from MIT Solve, foundations, NGOs, corporations, government officials and academics. All will converge in North Dakota to focus on the possibilities for a continued, indigenous-led environmental movement and the enormous renewable potential of their lands, according to Solve representatives.