Pala Band of Mission Indians One of 60 National Finalists for Build Back Better Regional Challenge Grant

PALA, CA – The Pala Band of Mission Indians, leading a partnership with the 24 federally-recognized tribes of the Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association (SCTCA), is one of 60 finalists nationwide to be awarded a Build Back Better Regional Challenge Grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA). EDA recently announced the finalists for this $1 billion initiative. The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is intended to boost economic recovery from the pandemic and strengthen and rebuild American communities through transformational investments that create jobs, promote equitable economic growth, and build U.S. global competitiveness.

Pala and SCTCA will use the $500,000 in Phase I funds to develop the SoCal Tribal Accelerated Clean Energy Economy (SCTACEE) initiative to rapidly expand an innovative clean energy economy for the region encompassing the 24 SCTCA member tribes. The SCTACEE initiative will use next-generation renewable energy, energy storage, energy trading, electric vehicle, and other clean energy technologies to generate substantial revenues and cost-savings for SCTCA member tribes, while broadening the regional economic base and increasing GDP with investments in growing technology industries.

Component projects will manufacture, demonstrate, and deploy next-generation technologies to strengthen economic and climate-change resilience for SCTCA tribes, while building skills, creating jobs, and increasing wages for historically excluded Native Americans and other disadvantaged populations throughout the region. This initiative will also establish a model for accelerating the just and equitable transition to a clean energy economy – a model that can be replicated and expanded by other communities throughout the state and nation.

“The Pala Band of Mission Indians is excited to be leading this initiative to develop a clean-energy economy in partnership with SCTCA member tribes,” said Pala Chairman Robert Smith. “The Build Back Better Regional Challenge will provide opportunities to develop a vibrant and resilient sustainable energy development hub that benefits, not just tribes, but communities throughout Southern California.”

Pala and SCTCA will be working in concert to propose projects by Mar. 15, 2022 for one of 20-30 Phase II awards of up to $100 million from EDA.