Sustainability Report 2015


Case studies

Working with clients to heighten cultural awareness

Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

Over the last 10 years, ERM has assisted clients in the energy industry with various capacity-building training designed to heighten their cultural awareness to work more effectively with Indian tribes on energy development projects.

Jon Berkin, an ERM Partner in the Minneapolis, Minnesota office, has developed a unique partnership with Ron Maldonado, the recently retired Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Navajo Nation, to co-present these trainings at energy industry trade association meetings and conferences and to academic groups. Jon and Ron gave their first presentation in 2006 and have spoken at over 25 events since that time.

During FY15, Jon and Ron spoke to over 250 people at four cultural heritage events throughout the United States. These presentations illustrate the challenges of maintaining a balance between development and the protection of sacred lands that are central to tribal identity. Of particular note, Jon and Ron were invited to present to students and faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Cultural Heritage Center in Philadelphia. The pair will also present in October 2015 at a conference on Cultural Resources Law and Consulting with Tribes on Energy Projects, which Jon is co-chairing in Minneapolis.