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As we imagine new ideas for our natural resources, a new green economy presents us with a second chance at making good with both the earth and our communities. What will it take to transition to renewable energy, and what can we learn from both indigenous peoples and new technology? Navajo climate activist, Wahleah Johns, joins Mary & Maeve in the studio this week to share how she’s been getting it done.

Episode 4 Notes:

75% of unelectrified homes in the United States are located on the Navajo Nation, despite housing the nation’s largest coal field power plant which currently powers the entire Las Vegas strip.


Indigenous climate activist Wahleah Johns shares her journey to establishing the Navajo Green Economy Act, bringing solar power to families on the reservation, and creating vital green jobs for the community.


Wahleah discusses youth organizations with founder of TierrActiva Peru, Majandra Rodriguez Acha. Majandra recounts her memories of the Bagua Massacre, a bloody protest of the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement which gave permission to explore oil, gas and logging in the Amazon on indigenous land. In Paris, we catch Israeli inventor, Inna Braverman as she wins the C40 Women4Climate Tech Challenge. She shares her story of survival during the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and how it inspired her to reinvent wave power.



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Wahleah Johns

Indigenous leader, cofounder of Native Renewables

Oakland, California

Wahleah is the co-founder of Native Renewables and Black Mesa Water Coalition located on the Navajo Nation in Northern Arizona. She is also co-author of the Navajo Green Economy Act.


Wahleah established the Black Mesa Water Coalition with other indigenous youth to translate climate terminology into Navajo traditional concepts. This effort convinced tribal elders to disallow use of its essential water aquifers to transport coal from the local mine.


18,000 people in Navajo Nation still live without access to electricity. Wahleah established Native Renewables, a woman-led company creating green jobs for the community and bringing solar energy to families across the reservation spanning Arizona, New Mexico & Utah - a land mass the size of Ireland.

Follow Wahleah & Native Renewables: 









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Majandra Rodriguez Acha

Activist, cofounder of TierrActive Peru

Lima, Peru

Majandra is the co-founder of TierrActiva Peru, a former youth activist and board member at FRIDA.


Majandra was deeply affected by the 2009 national crisis resisting oil exploration in the Peruvian Amazon. She was only 19 years old but it propelled her onto a path of support for women's and indigenous rights.


In June 2013, Majandra joined 500 young climate activists at’s Global Power Shift in Istanbul. This event inspired similar meetings all over the world. Those held in Peru were named TierrActiva, and sought to connect urban leaders and activists to indigenous communities to help facilitate mitigation strategies. TierrActiva as also organized in Bolivia & Colombia.


Majandra moderated a panel on “just transition” at the UNFCCC representing WEDO in Bonn 2016.


Support Majandra:

- For those who speak Spanish, she asks that you read this important publication that came out recently - it's a book that compiles perspectives and experiences of indigenous women in the context of climate change in Peru & Latin America. It will be translated to English, hopefully in the next few months.  

- She also encourages folks who can, to donate to organizations which are making sure resources and power are put in the hands of groups at the local level. If folks are interested in specifically supporting young women and young feminist activists who are fighting for climate and environmental justice, as well as for gender justice, FRIDA - The Young Feminist Fund is one of those.

Follow Majandra:








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Inna Braverman

Inventor, Founder of EcoWave Power

Tel Aviv, Israel

Inna Braverman is the co-founder of Eco Wave Power.


Born in the Ukraine, Inna almost died of complications as a baby shortly after the Chernobyl nuclear reactor exploded 200 miles from her home in 1986. Her family migrated to Israel where she has lived as a citizen ever since. Although not a scientist herself, she invented Eco Wave Power at age 24.


Unlike other wave energy innovations, Eco Wave Power cannot be found offshore which is expensive to build and tough to manage. Eco Wave Power attaches arms to existing breakwaters, jetties and piers to generate more energy than solar. Eco Wave Power installed the first commercial-scale wave energy array in Gibraltar where it is still in use.


Smithsonian Magazine declared Inna one of “Eight Young Energy Innovators With Ingenious Ideas”, she was included in WIRED Magazine’s list of females changing the world and CNN’s Sanjay Gupta featured her on “Tomorrow’s Hero”.


She was the winner of C40 Women4Climate 2019 Tech Challenge in Paris in February 2019.


Support Inna:

Support Inna by getting your electricity from a renewable energy power station, or simply putting plastic bottles in recycling bins.

Inna believes everything we do has an impact on the world, so let’s leave a positive footprint, big or small! Watch Inna’s TED Talk here.

Follow Inna & Eco Wave Power:








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