Project Manager, Thunder Valley CDC, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate
Chance Renville is an enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation in North East South Dakota. He is a family man who spends most of his time with his son Ellis and partner Josie. In his free time he enjoys the great outdoors, mainly fishing. He leads Thunder Valley's Solar/Energy program with a passion for renewable energy and a more sustainable way of living. He also assists with project management on the construction of Thunder Valley's sustainable single family homes on our 34-acre development.
Chance demonstrated an affinity for building at a very young age and has over 10 years experience working with tribal nations on projects that have a social impact.
He attended the Building Trades Program at Sisseton Wahpeton College, earning an associates degree in Carpentry Technology. Chance entered the workforce as a laborer, where over a number of years he eventually became a crew leader and supervisor. Returning to school at Minnesota State Community and Technical College, he earned an additional associates degree in Construction Management.
When Chance’s wife was offered a position at Americorps in Martin, South Dakota, the couple moved south. While coaching Cross Country at He Dog School and working as a janitor and bus driver, Chance saw the job posting for a Self-Help Program Coordinator at Thunder Valley CDC. Chance knows what it means for families to struggle to meet their energy needs. Chance asked himself: “Why not use energy that is available to use 365 days a year? Why not create a better future for our kids?”
With Keystone, Dakota Access, and Standing Rock all making front page news, Chance saw an opportunity: “I wanted to show our people what is possible. I wanted to show our young ones, they are the driving force. We need to give them the opportunity- every Rez every community.”
In the autumn of 2017, Chance’s work was gaining momentum, and it became clear that Thunder Valley CDC was ready launch a Solar Initiative, and Chance would lead the cause. It has been less than two years since Chance and the team at TVCDC first envisioned what a solar initiative might look like, and to date they have installed over 43 kW with hundreds more coming in the months ahead.