Native-owned Ho-Chunk Inc., having spent the past 16 years building economic security for the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska as its development arm, is now turning its attention to green energy, according to KTIV, NBC’s Sioux City affiliate.
The company is producing some of its own energy by installing solar panels on its headquarters in Winnebago, Nebraska, and putting personal windmills on some of its housing developments, the station reported. Both moves are offsetting utility costs and helping the environment.
The experimental projects are in line with Ho-Chunk officials’ desire to care for the environment as well as they are caring for their tribe, while reducing costs both for residents and at company facilities.
“We started looking at alternative energy because we figured if we’re Native American and we can’t be concerned about the environment, who else is going to be,” Annette Hamilton, Ho-Chunk’s chief operations officer, told the news station.
Ho-Chunk, Winnebago’s economic development corporation, funds educational and other programs that encourage the tribe’s young members to attend college and get involved in their communities, the company said in a release.
Over the 16 years since its founding, Ho-Chunk has garnered millions of dollars in government and other contracts under the auspices of 18 subsidiaries that operate in everything from retail to construction and now employs more than 1,000 people, the company’s literature says.