A Word from Our President

CIRI President and CEO Sophie Minich

It’s fall in Alaska! No matter where we live, autumn gives us the chance to slow down, settle back into our routines and savor the smaller moments. It is a time to reflect on what we have, reminisce with friends and loved ones, and recharge after a busy summer. I hope this season brings you peace and many moments of quiet joy.

On Sept. 24, CIRI celebrated 10 years of the Fire Island Wind Project. When we set out to build Southcentral Alaska’s first utility-scale wind energy project, we knew we would encounter roadblocks and challenges—never before had a project the size and scope of Fire Island Wind been attempted in Alaska!

Working together, and with the support of our state and community partners, we overcame each obstacle. The success of Fire Island Wind is a testament of what we can accomplish when we rely on our values— strive for excellence, think creatively, deliver on promises and celebrate successes— and take seriously our responsibility of stewarding the land for future generations of CIRI Shareholders and Descendants.

According to the United Nations, to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, emissions need to be reduced by almost half by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050. To achieve this, we need to end our reliance on fossil fuels and invest in alternative sources of energy that are clean, accessible, affordable, sustainable and reliable. Green energy is the future, and we are excited to see what the next 10 years hold for the Fire Island Wind Project.

Looking ahead, I ask you to join me in casting your vote in the U.S. midterm election on Tuesday, Nov. 8! Many Native leaders have worked tirelessly to gain and protect our right to vote. Even today, Alaska Native/American Indian people are often faced with a unique set of limitations that further obstructs their access to the ballot. Many Alaska Native villages and Indian reservations don’t have traditional street addresses recognized by the U.S. Postal Service; ballot drop boxes, polling places and election offices are sometimes located hundreds of miles away from these communities. Regardless of where we live, voting on Election Day may not be feasible due to work and family obligations, long lines at the polls or an unforeseen accident or illness. I urge you to make a plan to vote now, including absentee/by-mail and early voting options that may be available in your state. For more information, contact your local election office or visit vote.org. Thank you for doing your part to Get Out the Native Vote!

Warm regards,

Sophie Minich