A force for climate action—5 facts about Julian Brave NoiseCat, Fresh Energy’s 2022 Virtual Benefit Breakfast speaker

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Julian Brave NoiseCat has become a force for climate action across movements, standing at the intersection of climate journalism, research and advocacy, art, activism, and policy. This year, Fresh Energy gets to host Julian as featured speaker for our annual Benefit Breakfast in October, an event known for convening diverse, leading voices in the clean energy space.

Everything that Julian does is grounded in the belief that Indigenous peoples can contribute to understanding and addressing the world’s most pressing challenges.

Named to the TIME100 Next list of emerging leaders in 2021, alongside the starting point guard of his fantasy basketball team, Luka Doncic, Julian has developed and advocated for ambitious climate policies for several different organizations.

We’re thrilled to host Julian as the featured speaker for our 2022 Virtual Benefit Breakfast in October. Read on for five interesting facts about him!


Julian is a member of the Canim Lake Band Tsq’escen and a descent of the Lil’Wat Nation of Mount Currie.

Although born right here in the North Star State, Julian was raised in a single-mother household in Oakland, California, and is a proud member of the Canim Lake Band Tsq’escen and a descendant of the Lil’Wat Nation of Mount Currie. In 2019, Julian helped lead a grassroots effort to bring an Indigenous canoe journey to San Francisco Bay to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Alcatraz Occupation. Eighteen canoes representing communities from as far north as Canada and as far west as Hawaii participated in the journey, which was covered by dozens of local and national media outlets, including The New York Times.

Julian’s work has been published in over 45 publications.

Julian is no stranger to seeing his name in print. With articles appearing in RollingStone to The New York Times, NoiseCat’s journalism has been recognized by the judges of the Livingston Awards as well as the Mirror Awards, Canadian National Magazine Awards, and Canadian Digital Publishing Awards. Julian most recently won the American Mosaic Journalism prize earlier this year for his reporting on under-represented communities. See all the publications in which Julian’s work has been published. Julian has also written and recorded episodes for podcasts and radio programs like A Matter of Degrees and Snap Judgment.

Julian (right) in conversation with Naomi Klein (left) and Jane McAlevey (not pictured) for the keynote panel at the University of Pennsylvania’s “Designing a Green New Deal” conference in 2019. Photo/Lou Caltabiano.

Julian is currently working on a book that weaves together reporting on Indigenous peoples in the United States and Canada with a personal narrative about his own journey as a young man and writer. He’s also making a documentary about the search for unmarked graves at residential schools in Canada and the U.S.

In 2020, Julian was among the first to suggest that then-Representative Deb Haaland of New Mexico, a citizen of the Laguna Pueblo, should be appointed as U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

Working with key stakeholders across Indian Country, the environmental and climate movement, and the public, he helped lead and coordinate a sophisticated inside-outside strategy that leveraged media, research, organizing, advocacy, and lots of memes to persuade key Democratic Party decision-makers to make history. When President-elect Joe Biden tapped Haaland for his Administration, she became the first Native American to serve as a Cabinet secretary.

Julian wrote the foreword to the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada.

Photo/Ward Long.

Julian wrote the foreword to the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada and was invited to consult for the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’ general comment on land rights. Julian has authored and edited many public policy briefs, memos, reports, polls, scorecards, and other materials, shaping progressive platforms like the Green New Deal. He is currently an 11th Hour Fellow at New America and a Fellow at Type Media Center. In both roles, Julian is a voice for advancing equity, justice, and Indigenous leadership in all aspects of life, and particularly as we take collective climate action to secure a healthy future for all.

He was the first employee and Vice President of Policy and Strategy at Data for Progress.

Fresh out of high school, Julian interned for Representative Barbara Lee. Before filling the inaugural role at Data for Progress, Julian studied history at Columbia University and the University of Oxford, where he was a Clarendon scholar. He then went on to lead 350.org’s U.S. policy work and was an Urban Fellow in the Commissioner’s Office at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. At Data for Progress, he has built a team to research, develop, and advocate for progressive climate policy.


As a self-identified writer, son, brother, nephew, cousin, godfather, friend, and community member, Julian’s extensive yet personable expertise on climate action and advocacy is unparalleled. Join Julian and Fresh Energy this October for an inspiring conversation about driving an ambitious, and sometimes seemingly impossible, climate and clean energy agenda at this critical moment in human history.