About Native Sun

Native Sun is a Native-led nonprofit organization that promotes energy efficiency, renewable energy, and an equitable energy transition through education, workforce training, and demonstration.

Our Mission

To help Native Nations use renewable energy systems, train a Native renewable energy workforce, educate young people about climate change and the environment, and develop civic skills and capacity among Native people to provide leadership for a just transition and the pathway to energy sovereignty.

Board Members

Robert Blake

Robert is a tribal citizen of the Red Lake Nation. His passion is spreading the word about renewable energy through communication, cooperation, and collaboration.

Jonee Kulman Brigham

Senior Research Fellow at Minnesota Design Center, University of Minnesota, with a focus in Green Schools and Environmental Education

Dr. Julia Nerbonne

Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Conservation Biology Graduate Program, University of Minnesota and Executive Director at Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light

Laura Kidd

Tribal member of Ho-Chunk Nation, Wisconsin with a wealth of experience working for the Twin Cities American Indian communities, including at the American Indian Family Center

Dr. Roopali Phadke

Professor of Environmental Studies at Macalester College and Associate Director of the Jan Serie Center for Scholarship and Teaching, with a focus on energy and climate policy and community based research

Dr. Christie Manning 

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Macalester College, with a focus on environmental psychology

Brian Seki

Red Lake Ogichidaa, Project Lead at Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians.

Staff & Consultants

Bob Blake

Executive Director

robert@nativesun.org

Robert is a tribal citizen of the Red Lake Nation. His passion is spreading the word about renewable energy through communication, cooperation, and collaboration.

Lisa Daniels

Program Director

lisadaniels@nativesun.org

As Executive Director and founder of Windustry and co-manager of Electric Nation, Lisa has a strong history of working in the renewable energy industry. She specializes in market development, advocacy, and education and outreach for community and distributed renewable energy.

Joe Parkhurst

Coordinator

joe.parkhurst@nativesun.org

Joe is an enrolled member of the Red Lake Nation and co-manager of Electric Nation. Joe holds a Bachelor of Science in business and brings two decades of experience handling projects for Fortune 100 companies and working for American Indian nonprofit organizations.

Keiko Miller

Associate Director of Program Strategy & Development

keiko.miller@nativesun.org

Keiko brings a wealth of experience in project management, strategic communications, facilitation, strategic planning, and program development. She has had the privilege of participating in various initiatives related to sustainability and community development, such as her time as a Board Member and later as the Board Chair at Minneapolis Climate Action.

Sarah LaVallie

Senior Policy and Program Analyst

sarah.lavallie@nativesun.org

An enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, Sarah holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a MS in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy. She participated in the DOE Office of Indian Energy internship program, and has worked as an intern with Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.