From Origin to Mission
Indigenized Energy was founded by Cody Two Bears in 2018 in the wake of the North Dakota Access Pipeline protest in his home community of Standing Rock. Cody now serves as the Executive Director of Indigenized Energy, a non-profit, native-led organization. Cody’s growing team includes energy professionals with decades of experience creating change in Indian Country as well as an expanding group of strategic partners across government organizations, NGOs, and private corporations.
Cody Two Bears
Executive Director and Founder, Standing Rock Sioux.
Cody Two Bears is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and is the inspiring voice behind Indigenized Energy. His work centers on the collaboration of Western science with Indigenous traditional knowledge. Cody is the Founder and Executive Director of Indigenized Energy which is actively helping tribes develop long term energy plans and pursue strategies that will enable a just transition to renewable energy. The CannonBall Community of the Standing Rock Reservation, where Cody grew up, is one of the poorest counties in the nation, and energy costs there are among the highest. In the wake of the #NoDAPL protests that gripped his community in 2016, Cody merged his cultural knowledge and desire for climate justice to create the Indigenized Energy organization. He created the largest solar farm in the State of North Dakota on Standing Rock, which now serves as an example for other tribes that it is possible to move away from fossil fuels. At age 26, Cody became the youngest elected tribal council member in history on Standing Rock. In 2013, he helped bring President Obama to the reservation in what became the only visit to a Native American reservation in the President’s two-term tenure. Instead of having the president address the community, the organizers had the community’s youth address the president and tell their stories. Youth empowerment is also central to Cody’s work. He founded a program called Indigenized Youth which focuses on encouraging young Standing Rock Sioux tribal members to continue traditional ways of tending to the earth. Cody’s message to youth is that renewable energy is just as attainable as iPhones and iPads — and that it will play a big role in helping the community break cycles of poverty. Cody speaks regularly in native communities and universities, and has been featured in People Magazine, Rolling Stone, AlJazeera, Parade Magazine's 2019 renewable project of the year, USA Today, Solar Power World Magazine and other national news outlets.
Solar Program Associate-Community Outreach, Northern Cheyenne
Donica joined our team after completing her first solar training program at Red Cloud Renewable. She has a passion for learning, growing, and hard work, and is deeply rooted in the culture and ceremony of the Northern Cheyenne. Her energy and warmth are deeply appreciated by her colleagues. Donica is currently managing outreach efforts in her community as the Northern Cheyenne seek to expand the deployment of renewable energy in their community. She is also helping support other tribes in the launch of residential solar programming.
Otto Braided Hair, Jr
Co-Founder and Interim Chair Advisory Board, Northern Cheyenne
Otto Braided Hair is a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, a historian, and traditional leader for his tribe. Otto has been involved in protection and preservation efforts most of his life, recently a fight against coal development in ancestral homelands of Southeast Montana. In 2005 he helped co-found ecoCheyenne, a non-profit organization dedicated to protection and preservation of homelands, and worked closely with the Sierra Club and the Beyond Coal campaign. Otto has also been a steadfast advocate for renewable energy. In 2016, he played a pivotal role in the passing of a resolution to pursue renewable energy development by the Northern Cheyenne tribal council. Otto was instrumental in the establishment of the Sand Creek Massacre site being recognized as a National Historic Site, and is a dedicated traditional knowledge keeper among the Cheyenne. He currently leads the efforts of guiding Indigenized Energy on the Northern Cheyenne reservation, and also provides leadership for our Advisory Board.
Shelby Rae Keplin
Communications Specialist, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.
Shelby Keplin's role at Indigenous Energy is to cultivate and maintain relationships between the organization and Indigenous communities. As a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, she shares a unique perspective in identifying Indigenous frameworks that strengthen Indigenous communities. Shelby graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from United Tribes Technical College. Shelby resides in Mandan, North Dakota with her family. Over the years, Shelby has maintained existing relationships and partnerships within the tribal communities of North Dakota. As a lifelong learner, she made a commitment to serving Indigenous Peoples. Shelby's background includes experience as a Housing Director, Behavioral Health- Care Coordinator and with Food Sovereignty. With a solid foundation in human services and partner stewardship, Shelby shares her expertise to address issues rooted in the social determinants of health and equity. Known for her open-mindedness and willingness to embrace diverse perspectives, Shelby uses a community-based approach in the collective pursuit of positive change for the future of her people and Nimaamaa-aki-Mother Earth.
David Riley, Ph.D.
Ph.D. Director of Strategy
David is a systems thinker and teacher with expertise in energy, smart grid systems, and leadership. One of his core roles at Indigenized Energy is the translation of our work and mission for broad audiences. In 1998 David began working with native communities to adapt and deploy sustainable building methods and renewable energy technology. David served on the faculty of the University of Washington and Penn State University in the field of Architectural Engineering and construction. At Penn State he led the Center for Sustainability from 2005-2013. He has led numerous programmatic energy initiatives including the American Indian Housing Initiative, the National Energy Leadership Corps, the GridSTAR Center, and the DOE Solar-Ready Veteran program. He has published over 100 articles in refereed publications and secured over $20M in funding from the National Science Foundation, The Department of Energy, and other private and public programs, including over $6M of funding brought directly to native communities. David currently leads strategic planning and supports the development of Indigenized Energy as a learning organization.
Maria Haskins K.S.,MSW
Communications Specialist, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe.
Maria joined the Indigenized Energy team in July 2023. Maria lives in Wisconsin and is a descendant of the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe and has lineage from the Oneida Nation and Stockbridge Munsee-Tribe. Maria received her associate degree in applied sciences from College of Menominee Nation and both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from University Wisconsin-Green Bay. Maria spent much of her career in human services, working in crisis intervention and investigations in child protection. After several years in human services, Maria embraced a new journey of working with native lead non-profit/grassroots organizations where she discovered the love of advocating for social and climate injustices while working with others in revitalization efforts of Indigenous culture. Maria has had the ability to organize and partner for different issues like MMIW/P, Water Protecting, Get Out the Native Vote, and other causes that promote sovereignty and revitalization efforts in Indigenous communities. Maria was also selected to complete training with Native Organizers Alliance where she learned how to effectively organize efforts collectively to address issues that threaten the lands and rights of Indigenous people.
Director of Training and Technical Operations
Daniel East is a gifted team builder and specializes in growing the capabilities of tribal members to become solar professionals. Daniel has been working in the solar industry since 2009. As the manager of training for SolarCity and Tesla during their period of exponential growth, Daniel built the solar onboarding program for over 10,000 new installers, the leadership training for +1,000 crew leads, and unique training programs for the launch of dozens of products. Daniel has shifted his energy away from the corporate world because he is a champion of, and fierce warrior for people, not products. Daniel has been instrumental in the design of Indigenized Energy’s unique training experiences for tribal members that offer them entry points and professional development opportunities leading to careers in the solar industry.
Otto “Sonny” Braided Hair, III
Asst. Project Manager, Northern Cheyenne.
Sonny is an experienced builder and contractor that is now directing his energy and talent to helping tribes pursue energy sovereignty. He is particularly passionate about helping create new opportunities for his fellow native people, and lifting up the people around him. He is currently focusing his energy and creativity on the creation of programs and systems that will help grow a native solar workforce in the Northern Cheyenne reservation as well as other native communities.
Director of Development
Jason Maglaughlin joined the Indigenized Energy team as Director of Development in April2023. Jason has degrees in Anthropology and Religious Studies, and two decades of domestic and international experience in nonprofit management and resourcing, project development and innovation, advocacy, and activism. His passions for social justice and equity, sustainable communities, and exploring the human experience underpin his deep connection to our mission. Jason has spent many years living and working in the Global South, and representing civil society at the local, regional and international levels. In addition to staff and consultant appointments, he has also served on the Board of multiple organizations and initiatives. Jason lives in an intentional community in North Carolina, where he continues to explore permaculture and other sustainable ecological practices.
Strategic Partners & Collaborating Organizations
DOE Department of Indian
Energy BIA Office of Tribal Energy Development
Empowered by Light
BIA Office of Energy and Mineral Development