Serena Mendizabal

Director, Student Energy

Serena Mendizabal (she/her) is a Cayuga Wolf Clan Panamanian woman from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Serena is a community-based researcher, grassroots organizer, and environmental advocate. Serena holds a Master’s of Geography & Environment with a focus on Indigenous environmental health governance and industrial health impacts. Serena first began her journey in clean energy when she was 18 working in community engagement and communications at the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation, holding the largest First Nations clean energy portfolio in so-called Canada. While working in community engagement, she found gaps in community consent with her community’s clean energy portfolio and went on to further explore what a true ‘just transition’ can look like in a community of over 28,000 members. From there on out, Serena has dedicated her studies and extracurriculars to Indigenous self-determination, climate change, environmental health impact, and just clean energy transitions. Serena’s connections to climate advocacy, research, education, and direct action are numerous.

Serena is the Just Transition Lead at Sacred Earth Solar, an Indigenous women-led organization empowering frontline Indigenous communities with climate solutions and healing justice. She is the Co-Chair of the SevenGen National Indigenous Youth Energy Council, a Subject Matter Expert on Connecting for Climate Change Action, a Youth Action & Environment Fellow with the Lawson Foundation, and also works with Protect the Tract, a Haudenosaunee-led group in her community, Six Nations, focused on enforcing the traditional governance (the Haudenosaunee Confederacy)’s moratorium on development along the Grand River (Haldimand Tract). Serena is passionate about self-determined community development, action, and futures, and believes in a future with Indigenous youth & elders leading; sovereign, healthy nations; and lands and waters back.

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