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Scaling Justice
@ Standing Rock

Scaling Justice welcomed grantmakers and investors to a day and a half long event with the SAGE Development Authority of the Standing Rock Nation convening at the cutting edge of impact investing.  SAGE is one of our community-led projects that creates environmental and social impacts, community wealth building opportunities, and sustainable financing for scale, while delivering risk-adjusted returns for investors.

 

Reach out to us to learn more about SAGE's full ecosystem of projects that lead the region is clean energy and reparative infrastructure.

SAGE Development Authority: Convening Capital and Community Solutions to Scale a Just Transition

 

We are in a critical time of climate collapse where solutions that both support a just transition and also strengthen frontline community resilience are needed most.  SAGE Development Authority, the public power authority for the Standing Rock Nation, are developing precedent-setting solutions that ensure directly-impacted communities not only lead and benefit from their solutions, but also own and retain governance. SAGE’s inaugural project, Anpetu Wi is the only 100% native-led utility-scale wind farm in the US.  SAGE’s ecosystem of projects are only possible through the partnership of values-aligned funders and partners who support the bold vision of SAGE and Indigenous leaders.

We began our time with Joe McNeil, General Manager of SAGE Development Authority (SAGE), leading us through a prayer that imprinted within us that we must “look to the past to look forward.” And this group of funders and investors took that prayer to heart and action, as they spoke to community members, absorbed the history of Standing Rock’s forced economic dependency, and opened hearts and minds to the possibility of the future led by indigenous-world views and stewardship.

 

Fawn Wasin Zi, board chair of SAGE, shared the indomitable truth that “we need to take care of Unci Maka (Grandmother Earth) so she can take care of us.” A fact we saw over and over again during the site visit as we saw golden eagles, sacred cultural sites, and the tribal college being solely reliant on geothermal heat.  Phyllis Young, Vice chair of SAGE, reminded us that as a child she used to be able to drink the water out of the Mississippi River that Standing Rock sits upon.  But no more.

And Warren Hawk, SAGE board member, reminded us that the NoDAPL protests sowed the seeds of change. In a world facing climate change disasters and drilling oil when Warren Hawk reminded us that “SAGE is our response to DAPL,” as they drill for oil, SAGE is creating a new world for all.

"SAGE is our response to DAPL"

- Warren Hawk, Board members, SAGE Development Authority

Fawn walked through the community-design that birthed SAGE and guides its vision and values to this day. Christina Hollenback, Founder and CEO of Justice Capital, walked thru how that vision and values is practiced in the groundbreaking financial structuring of the project to respect and support SAGE's governance and stewardship for thousands of years on their land.

Investors and funders got a chance to see SAGE's electric charging stations leading the way for electification of the central plains region, as well as the met mast towers that inform the impressive net capacity factor readings of Anpetu Wi Wind Farm.  Guests were able to learn both the history of the land and her people, as well as see the future sites of both wind, solar, and electrification for Standing Rock to once again lead the world in the just transition.

The response of our guests was overwhelming.  Here are some of the pieces that resonated with attendees: 

  • While land developers have come to Standing Rock before only offering land leases, SAGE was created with the intention of actually developing community-owned and governed projects. This value derisks the projects as community is bought in from the very beginning.

  • It is unique that SAGE is developing an entire ecosystem of projects that will build wealth, economic independence, cultural legacy, regenerative agricultural, and education for the community.

  • SAGE is doing incredible work in the first place, but the fact that SAGE is also paving the way for other community led and native led organizations to follow, makes this project all the more special. 

  • The capital needed to close the fundraising gap for SAGE and its projects, including the SPP Financial Security Deposit is near at hand.

To learn more about SAGE's ecosystem of projects and/or to join future events, please reach out to info@justice.capital.

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