Speaker Profile

Elsa Johnson

Elsa Johnson, a Navajo tribal member, founded IINA Solutions, a 501 c 3 non-profit to improve the quality of life (iina) for marginalized rural Navajo residents challenged by lack of running water and electricity. In 2011, with solar project partner Mark Snyder Electric, she established Plateau Solar & Wind (PSW) the first alternative infrastructure program in Indian Country using clean energy. The team designed a robust 2 kW system to withstand the harsh elements and later added a 1 kW wind generator. As a result 40 remote Navajo elders have improved health due to solar electrification, clean drinking water, and sanitation through her projects. PSW also constructed the first Energy Efficient house on Navajo Nation, and successfully turned Star School into the first NetZero charter school in the US. Her project stories are featured in several Southwest publications, and world-wide web Solar Novus Magazine, North America Renewable Energy Magazine, and Home Power Magazine. Johnson advocates for the natural environment and Indian water rights. The Navajo reservation is surrounded by six coal-fired power plants, two operate on Navajo land and two mines extract coal. She joins several active Navajo grassroots groups without much help from national organizations conduct research, community education and outreach activities about environmental and social injustices brought on by fossil fuel industries, uranium, fracking, as well as the depletion and contamination of precious water by these industries.


Netroots Nation participation