EnerTribe is a Native and Woman owned consulting firm

We specialize in tribal government and tribal enterprise with a focus in environmental, cultural, communications & broadband, funding, permitting, engineering and economic development. We provide services to tribal governments, tribal enterprise, non-profit and for-profit companies, government agencies, municipalities and others. Our company is staffed with industry professionals with decades of experience in environmental compliance, permitting, cultural, telecommunications & broadband, economic development, project management, grant funding, construction oversight and engineering. Most of us at EnerTribe were born and raised in and around tribal government and tribal enterprise. We have had the privilege of assisting tribes build infrastructure, companies, separate business from government, create and sustain entire departments, and fund long-term economic development projects. Our unique understanding of the intricacies of tribal governments have opened the door to servicing companies and government agencies looking to do business in Indian Country, companies needing assistance in stabilizing projects among an ever-changing government structure and even new vertical formation and training needed to keep pace with a growing market.

EnerTribe has successfully funded projects worth over $250m

Our goal is to assist tribes, governments and companies in successful partnerships. We author a quarterly article for the TribalNet Magazine and contribute grant applications to one tribe each year. To date EnerTribe has successfully funded over $250,000,000.00 worth of projects in and around Indian Country in addition to helping carry them out. We have secured funding from dozens of agencies. We are currently operating projects varying from simple services to as large as 25+ million dollar infrastructure & economic development projects. Each tribe, government and company are unique to their needs and structure. We do not believe in a “one size fits all” approach and as such have made many successful companies and partnerships over the past ten years. We are we’ll experienced in working with tribal leadership, department heads, government officials and funding agencies, permitting, environmental and cultural departments of the tribe, the federal government and the state. If you are a tribe, consider asking us for an initial meeting to determine if we are a good fit for your needs. We do provide free initial consultations. If you are a for-profit company, we’d be happy to conduct an introductory presentation and learn.

Our Commitment

Whether you are a tribal government, tribal enterprise, government agency or company we are committed to working with those looking to do business in and around Indian Country. Please feel free to reach out for more references, past work or a free consultation to help determine how we can best serve you. Shu’ shaa nin-la (Thank you), for your interest! We look forward to working with you and your team!

Forest James

EnerTribe, Inc. Chief Executive Officer

Forest James (Ch'ee-taa-ghee-ne)


An artistic thinker from childhood Forest has a creative & diverse secular background ranging from over a decade in the film and entertainment industry to building telecommunications companies for Native & Rural America.

Joni Theobald

Chief Operations Officer

Joni Theobald is a member of the Lac du Flambeau Lake Superior Chippewa Tribe in northern Wisconsin and has worked in fields of technology since 2010.

Kelly Jackson

Permitting Specialist

Kelly Jackson, an enrolled member of the Lac du Flambeau Band, has over 28 years of experience in tribal relations.

Read More About Forest

An artistic thinker from childhood, Forest has a creative & diverse secular background, ranging from 20+ years in film and entertainment to planning, funding, and building infrastructure projects for Native & Rural America. Forest is an enrolled citizen of the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation and has spent many years in and around tribal government and tribal business. Forest has 10 years of experience as a wireless engineer, designing and constructing city-wide and reservation-wide Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISP). In recent years Forest represents a consortium of native & woman-owned companies that assist in the stabilization of intergovernmental infrastructure projects, assist in the mediation between federal, state agencies, tribal governments, and tribal businesses. To tribes, he has helped execute planning, funding & build efforts with the goal of economic diversity for our tribal communities. To providers, Forest helps structure and mitigate risk for projects and investments throughout Indian Country. Forest can assist in the successful execution of federal, state, and private funded infrastructure projects (e.g. energy, telecommunications, data centers, agriculture, etc.).

In the past, Forest spent 8 years as the Vice President of Datasat Technologies for North America, in charge of product development, contract manufacturing, new vertical formation and product offerings. Forest spends a great deal of time assisting communities with telecommunications infrastructure, data centers, renewable energy, and large-scale agriculture.

Read More About Joni

Joni Theobald is a member of the Lac du Flambeau Lake Superior Chippewa Tribe in northern Wisconsin and has worked in fields of technology since 2010. From 2011-2015, she served as the Tribal liaison between telecommunication/Internet providers through the Tribal Rules of Engagement team, carry-out the FCC tribal consultation requirements of Telco’s. From 2012-2014, assisted the FCC through organizing a regional tribal workshop, presenting on FCC panels on Connect American Funding and understanding Erate (USAC).  She also served on the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) broadband committee.

Within that timeframe, she led the northern WI. tri-county broadband feasibility study, as well as the tribal feasibility study in order to bring more economic and educational opportunity in rural Wisconsin. She served on the Vilas County Economic Board (2012-2015) and as the spokesperson for the broadband sub-committee, presenting broadband needs in northern Wis., to northern rural town boards.

She currently resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, development technology-based training to meet local Employer demand in these fields.

Read More About Kelly

Kelly Jackson, an enrolled member of the Lac du Flambeau Band, has over 28 years of experience in tribal relations. She has served in a number of tribal, state and federal Director/Administrative positions in addition to serve private sector and business development corporations. Jackson established InnoNative Solutions, LLC, a professional services consulting firm specializing in government relations, historic preservation, environmental management, business development and training. She has also founded several non-profit organizations. She continues to serve on various boards and teams that support tribal growth and sustainability. Her accomplishments while serving in the various positions held throughout her career demonstrate the quality, commitment and expertise Ms. Jackson delivers when working with industry.
Kelly is a “Rock Star” too, as the owner of Spirit of a Women Productions, an entertainment firm offering services in Indigenous music and entertainment. She is an international award winning recording artist with a special interest in women’s personal and professional development.

Some notable accomplishments:

  • Developed a Statewide Native American Labor Initiative designed to enhance Native American labor and business opportunities on state and federal contracts by convening a 30 member stakeholder group, establishing DWD inter-agency partnership and statewide Native American labor database exchange which included securing $190,000 annually from state revenues
  • Aided in the redrafting and implementation of the 2010 & 2019 Tribal Partnership Agreement between the 11 tribes of Wisconsin, FHWA and WisDOT. This included securing $250,000 of annual funding to fulfill the conditions of the agreement and developing an annual tribal work plan
  • Increased Tribal governments, and Native American owned business opportunities by establishing a web-based project exchange; convening a multi-agency approach to project forecasting, bidding and best practices in transportation business industry
  • Serve as the Vice-President of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) Native American Advisory Group –aiding in the development of the ACHP’s Treatment of Human Remains Policy, revisions to 36 CFR part 800, and worked directly with the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs providing guidance to USDA, HUD regarding the delegation of authority to applicants with regard to the NHPA
  • Facilitated negotiations and created an MOU between the US Bureau of Land Management, the tribe, and a private landowner which secured continued access, shared management approaches and long- term consultation and conflict resolution principles for land containing numerous cultural and natural resources significant to the tribe
  • Founded “Legacy of Survival: Boys Dormitory Interpretive Initiative” Raised over 2.3 million to support a historic interpretive Center and conducted 6 year research initiative to support exhibit and tribal archives
  • Founded Spirit of a Woman, a non-profit organization designed to enhance personal and professional development for woman and girls
    Position HighlightsInnoNative Solutions, Owner [June 2022- Present]
    SunVest Solar, Government Relations Director [Feb 2019- June 2020]
    Wisconsin Department of Transportation, State-wide Tribal Liaison [Aug 2010-Feb 2019]
    Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer [Oct 1995- Aug 2010]

Tamara Eden James

Chief Financial Officer & Principal

Tamara is an artist in many ways and is proud to be an owner in EnerTribe.

Ron Flavin

Director of Grant Services

Ron is an Apache native and the Director of EnerTribe’s grant services department

Chris Fikert

Senior Wireless Engineer

Since graduating from UC Berkeley almost 20 years ago, I have been working with various forms of RF, ranging from UHF RFID to Indoor/Outdoor Wi-Fi to Fixed Wireless, Millimeter wireless and LTE.

Read More About Tamara

Initially Tamara was the CFO for the company and quickly outgrew her role, EnerTribe is proud to have her as a principal in the company.  She has 15 years experience in various areas of business administration for medical facilities in Oregon and California. She currently holds positions in the Sister Companies of EnerTribe as the CFO Earthprint Technologies.  Specializing in financial forecasting, AP/AR, and trained in Industry standard practices for company operations. 

Tamara has quickly become an invaluable member of the EnerTribe team.

Read More About Ron

Ron is a grant specialist with a proven track record (raised over $250 million over the last ten years) of developing and writing successfully-funded competitive grant proposals and cooperative agreements for non-profit organizations, governmental agencies and private sector companies. Ron is a published author on the topic of grants and has spent time as a subject matter expert working for the federal and state funding agencies as a grant reviewer. Ron Graduated from Nova Southeastern University with his Doctorate of Business Administration.

Read More About Chris

I have a passion for wireless, new technologies, and working with the devices that are driving innovation and shaping the world we live in. Since graduating from UC Berkeley almost 20 years ago, I have been working with various forms of RF, ranging from UHF RFID to Indoor/Outdoor Wi-Fi to Fixed Wireless, Millimeter wireless and LTE. As a former sales engineer for Symbol Technologies, Motorola, and Cambium Networks I bring a wealth of product and industry knowledge to the customers I serve. Coupled with an easy-going attitude and attention to detail, you can be assured that you are getting best in class service and support.

Ruby Huang

Executive Project Manager

Ruby is a highly motivated and experienced business professional. She has a diverse background in high technology, information systems integration, and the retail industry. Her cross-industry expertise is a valuable asset for EnerTribe.

Daniela Sossa

Financial Strategist / Program Manager

Daniela has an enormous interest in finance and economic development. She worked at the Central Bank of Colombia in the International Affairs Division for almost six years, where she learned essential skills to manage operations and teams.

Rebecca Lin

Project Manager

As a former strategic marketing and project specialist, Rebecca helps EnerTribe build reports and coordinate projects.

Read More About Ruby

Ruby is results-oriented, and people focused. Previously, she managed the Taipei Metro IT infrastructure upgrade in Taiwan. As a Project Manager for EnerTribe, she coordinates with government agencies and private firms to develop broadband infrastructure and telecommunication solutions.

After completing her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Ruby’s passion for public affairs led her to the US, where she received her Master’s in International Public Policy and Management degree from the University of Southern California.

Read More About Daniela

Before coming to the U.S., she worked at the Superintendence of Finance, overseeing the financial performance of local banks. Daniela’s desire to work on economic development and social impact led her to EnerTribe, where she does financial analysis for the company and planning for projects.

Read More About Rebecca

Upon obtaining her Bachelor’s in Business Management and Information Science in Pretoria, she relocated to London, received her first Master’s in Management, and started her career in a global bank. Before moving to the U.S., Rebecca also created her event planning brand. She also received her second Master’s in International Public Policy and Management and Marketing Communications Management from the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles.

Rebecca is a multicultural global citizen who has lived on four continents and spent time in 26 countries. She is passionate about design, architecture, languages, and making food. She reads and draws mindmaps on everything and anything in her spare time.

Gilbert Martinez

Field Engineer

Having started out pursuing a degree in Biochemistry at Southern Oregon University early on, Gilbert later took an opportunity to assist in Disaster Relief work after Hurricane Katrina hit the Greater New Orleans region.

Dr. Penny Eckert

Environmental & Permits Director

Dr. Eckert has over 30 years of experience in natural resource management, research, and education.

Brent McFarland

Chief Strategist

Brent McFarland has worked as an economic development professional since 2008, specializing in Native American Indian Tribal economic development. He started out serving in executive roles for a tribal member-owned company, and then progressed to tribal-owned business development corporations.

Read More About Gilbert

He spent almost a year in this environment rebuilding homes after the disaster, learning from many talented individuals in the construction trades. After returning he built a reputation as a talented and detailed construction and remodel contractor. An avid outdoorsman and traveller, he is very comfortable being in remote areas, off-grid and with limited reception and resources. This background has proven invaluable when working with many of Ener Tribes Native clients as they are oftentimes in remote areas and require many off grid, remote sites to sustain their telecommunication needs.

Gilbert is a problem solver and creative thinker, when a challenge presents itself he views it as an opportunity to create a solution instead of focusing on what caused the problem. As the Field Engineer for Enertribe, he will coordinate with all of the contractors and builders in developing or refurbishing towers, huts and other communication facilities. His innate ability to see the big picture as well as the small details allows him to successfully coordinate several teams during deployments, keeping the projects on track.

Read More About Penny

She has worked extensively with watershed analysis, land use, land tenure, and land management analysis. She has worked both nationally and internationally with environmental impact assessment of large and small projects, and has authored numerous environmental documents. She has led interdisciplinary teams in complex environmental assessment projects and has been responsible for the completion of the technical reports. In addition to her technical skills, Dr. Eckert excels at establishing successful working relationships with regulatory agencies and negotiating terms and conditions of environmental permits that are practical, economically feasible, and environmentally compliant. Her skills in strategic thinking and her inclusive approach to project leadership have enabled her to be successful in complex problem solving and in finding solutions that are acceptable to all parties. Dr. Eckert is an experienced project manager with specialized skills in federal and state environmental permitting and compliance. She has worked with clients in the private and public sectors to successfully analyze and permit projects. She has managed projects ranging in value to $10 million, and projects of both short and multi-year duration.

Read More About Brent

Brent’s skill at developing business concepts into mature, profitable enterprises has elevated him to a highly sought advisor for Native American Indian tribes. He has been a speaker at the annual economic development conference hosted by the National Center of American Indian Economic Development and at numerous regional tribal economic development summits.

Brent is one of the founders of Tribal Business Journal magazine. Since 2008, he has been directly responsible for creating more than 40 tribally owned businesses through start-up or acquisition, resulting in the generation of $1 billion in assets.

Brent engaged EnerTribe with the mission of bringing the highest quality partnerships and business structure to tribal clients, capital partnerships, and servicing vendors. In today’s world, this construct is more important than ever and requires a combined effort by all parties to be successful. His team has successfully managed this process with current tribal clients and vendor partners.

Brent received his baccalaureate in history from Ripon College. His career has been focused on entrepreneurial ventures spanning wealth management, Registered Investment Advisor , restaurant businesses, real estate development, and consumer lending. Brent has served on numerous panels and boards including the Wisconsin Economic Development Association, the Native American Financial Services Association, and the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act panel for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed rule changes. He currently serves as EnerTribe’s Chief Strategist, working directly with sovereign tribal nations to promote economic development in tribal communities.