PG&E Celebrates Collaboration with Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians and Commits to Formalize Tribal Engagement Principles
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today announced its commitment
to formalize a set of principles to guide the company’s engagement with
Native American tribes and communities. The announcement was made at an
event celebrating PG&E’s long history of engagement with the Tuolumne
Band of Me-Wuk Indians, a federally-recognized tribe located in the
central foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Tuolumne County.
For more than 30 years, PG&E has worked with the Tribe as a key
stakeholder in the company’s hydroelectric system operations and other
utility infrastructure in the Sierras.
“Working with native tribes to care for cultural resources is part of
our responsibility as a company that values California’s rich diversity
and PG&E is committed to working closely with local communities.
Creating a formal set of principles to guide these partnerships will put
in place a strong foundation for continued collaboration and success,”
said PG&E Corporation Chairman, CEO and President Tony Earley.
During today’s event at PG&E’s San Francisco headquarters, the company
and the Tribe highlighted the example set by their collaborative
engagement on a recent PG&E hydroelectric maintenance project that
unearthed many tribal artifacts and cultural resources. PG&E worked
closely with the Tribe to ensure all cultural resources were managed
with care and respect.
“It’s important to our people to have connections to preserve and
protect our traditional cultural heritage. Our Tribe’s working
relationship with PG&E demonstrates a respect for our culture, so that
our knowledge of areas will be passed down from generation to
generation,” said Carlos Geisdorff, cultural coordinator with the
Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians.
The event also featured a performance by more than 20 tribal singers and
dancers and unveiled a temporary interpretive display to further educate
employees and guests about the Tribe. With a theme of “Common Ground,”
the exhibit is located at PG&E’s corporate headquarters and features
artifacts excavated from the hydroelectric project, as well as baskets
and other items on loan from the Tribe.
Moving forward, PG&E’s work with the Tribe will inform a set of
principles to guide the company’s continuing engagement with the
approximately 100 Native American tribal entities within its service
area — in keeping with the company’s commitment to continuous
improvement and respect for the diversity of the customers and
communities it serves.
”PG&E deserves to be commended for publicly establishing the principles
it will follow when working with Native American tribes. The company is
setting a standard for how to collaborate with, and show respect for,
the needs and interests of tribal communities,” said former Deputy
Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes, now a member of PG&E’s
Sustainability Advisory Council.
“The relationship between PG&E and the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians
is a positive example that other corporations can follow in engaging
with Native American tribes. NCAI applauds PG&E for establishing formal
protocols to respectfully govern its interactions with tribal
nations; such established corporate principles can help ensure that
regular, meaningful consultation is not haphazard, but part of its core
business philosophy,” said Jacqueline Pata, executive director of the
National Congress of American Indians.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E
Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas
and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco,
with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the
nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and
Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/
About the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians
The Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians has a long and rich history in the
foothills of the central Sierra Nevada Mountains, dating back thousands
of years. In keeping with our traditional cultural heritage, this
knowledge is passed down from generation to generation as evidenced by
numerous cultural landscapes maintained by the people. As stewards of
the land, it’s our responsibility to protect and preserve our heritage
for future generations. For more information, visit www.mewuk.com.
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