Moab Happenings Archive
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Native Voices
by Mila Dunbar-Irwin, Moab City Sustainability Director.

“Through difficult times my people have a word in our language and it’s ‘aminik.’ That means to sit still, be quiet; it’s ‘listen.’ And that isn’t just listen to another human being talking, that’s listen to the land, listen to your environment. Be alert to what’s around you and listen. You won’t hear it if you’re talking. So listen. Aminik.”
-Regina Lopez Whiteskunk, Ute Mountain Ute (transcribed from audio from the Moab Museum)

As we move through fall into winter and the hectic holidays, it’s a good time to take a moment for reflection. Rather than continuing to bluster forward, perhaps we can slow down and think about our place in the world. As a culture, we are in a moment of truth-telling. The structures that have marginalized groups of people have been laid bare, and these groups are now telling their own stories and enacting their own visions for the future.

One of the most important things we can do as we engage in the work of reaching equity is to listen. Aminik. We can listen as we uplift and amplify other voices, and learn, and guide our actions with the knowledge we gain.

“Traditional knowledge refers to how the tribal intergenerational teachings have been handed down for millennia. It describes a relationship that is reciprocal, rather than one being superior over the other.”
-Nikki Cooley, Diné (transcribed from audio from Science Moab Native Voices series)

The Moab and Spanish Valley area, as well as our surrounding lands, is rich in Indigenous history. This land is the ancestral home of the Ute (Noochew), Navajo (Diné), Paiute (Nuwuvi), and Hopi (Hisatsinom), who are all still connected to this region today. If you have some time this winter, take a moment to learn about whose land we live on and the people who are still connected to this place. We all have a lot to learn from listening.

A few suggested resources:

Full Circle Intertribal Center
Moab Museum, 118 E Center St,
Science Moab, Colorado Plateau Native Voices in Science and Knowledge,
Back of Beyond Books, 83 N Main St
Grand County Library, 257 E Center St,

Rocky Mountain Power Receives Grant for Sustainable Energy Framework


Rocky Mountain Power has been named as a recipient of a $6.42 million U.S. Department of Energy grant to help develop a “connected community” in Utah. The money will be used to implement advanced grid solutions along with gathering data and conducting analysis that will help produce a long-term plan to build out a sustainable power grid for the energy needs for the next generation.

“This is about developing the ‘grid of the future.’ We want to keep costs down while integrating clean resources that reduce carbon emissions and allow for greater reliability and resiliency,” explained James Campbell, Director of Innovation and Sustainability for Rocky Mountain Power. “Since we’re enhancing the way we operate the grid while integrating renewables, we’re going to need solutions like this to make it happen. The end result is to keep the lights on and have the customers not notice.”

The project will establish a connected community, which will be a group of grid-interactive efficient buildings with diverse, flexible end-use equipment and other distributed energy resources that collectively work to maximize building, community and grid efficiency, while meeting occupants’ comfort and needs.

Giv Group, Utah Transit Authority, Utah State University, University of Utah and Packsize number among the project participants that are collaborating on this innovative work. Over the next five years, energy and innovation experts will work to develop actionable recommendations to move electricity production into the decades ahead, with Rocky Mountain Power and Utah leading the way forward.

“This project will help lead us to the next level of long-term, sustainable energy generation,” said Regan Zane, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Utah State University. “Collaborative efforts like this bring together creative, visionary ideas from multiple sources that result in innovative solutions that will serve communities in Utah and elsewhere in the years to come.”

Rocky Mountain Power provides safe and reliable electric service to more than a million customers in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho. The company works to meet customers’ growing electricity needs while protecting and enhancing the environment. Rocky Mountain Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity providers in the United States. More information at

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