Montana State University, Bozeman

To examine Indigenous fiscal policy and community resilience issues for just energy transitions with the Crow Nation in Montana

  • Amount $499,996
  • City Bozeman, MT
  • Investigator Julia Haggerty
  • Year 2021
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Energy and Environment

There is a long and complicated history of fossil fuel development on Indigenous lands, with mining for coal and drilling for oil and gas leading to environmental degradation in these communities while also serving as a source of income for Indigenous tribal governments. As energy transitions away from fossil fuels take place, there both is a real financial risk to these communities due to revenue declines, yet there is also an opportunity, and a desire, to use these developments as an opportunity to transition toward cleaner energy production and help Indigenous communities become less reliant on these revenue sources. This grant supports a team led by Julia Haggerty at Montana State University, in partnership with colleagues at Little Big Horn College (a local tribal community college), Plenty Doors Community Development Corporation (a community development organization), and faculty from the University of Wyoming to better understand the fiscal implications of energy transitions for Indigenous communities. The team will work closely with leaders of the Crow Nation in Montana, engaging with this community in depth, serving as a case study that can be shared with other Indigenous nations to further extend the project’s impact. The project will use multiple approaches to understand how fiscal policy intersects with economic vulnerability in the context of energy transitions on tribal lands. The team will develop a dataset that aligns coal revenue information with financial disbursement information, undertake focus groups to better understand public revenue and expenditure issues, and conduct extended interviews with tribal members. They will also produce materials for the community, including oral histories from the interviews, assessments of how changes in fossil fuel revenue might impact social services, and a series of workshops and trainings for current and emerging leaders in the Crow Nation to help them learn about the impact of energy transitions on Indigenous fiscal policy and best management practices.

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