Category: Tribal/First nations

Ancient gardens persist in British Columbia’s forests

Read the full story at Hakai Magazine.

Indigenous-managed landscapes retain higher biodiversity than surrounding areas a century after the people who kept them were displaced.

Indigenous Climate Knowledges and Data Sovereignty

Listen to the podcast episode.

In this episode of Warm Regards, we talk to two Indigenous scientists about traditional ecological knowledges and their relationship with climate and environmental data. In talking with James Rattling Leaf, Sr. and Krystal Tsosie, Jacquelyn and Ramesh discuss how these ideas can challenge Western notions of relationality and ownership, how they have been subject to the long history of extraction and exploitation of Indigenous communities (practices which continue today), but also how Indigenous scientists and activists link sovereignty over data created by and for Indigenous people to larger sovereignty demands.

A new initiative uses Indigenous insights to amplify soil’s ability to absorb CO₂

Read the full story at Grist.

A coalition of scientists, ranchers, Indigenous tribes, and others are developing an idea they call ‘carbon capture with benefits.’

White House releases facts sheets with connections to the EPA P2 program

The White House has released factsheets on how President Biden’s American Jobs Plan advances racial equity and supports rural America. Both factsheets emphasize how the plan would impact manufacturing and economic development, provide opportunities to support environmental justice and tribal communities, and reduce the impacts of climate change.

Denver returns 14 bison to tribal land in reparations, conservation effort

Read the full story from NPR.

Fourteen American bison headed to their new homes on native land this month. Indigenous tribes received the bison from Denver Parks and Recreation as a form of reparations, the first gift in a 10-year ordinance to donate surplus bison that will also go toward tribal conservation efforts.

Blackfeet woman creates international travel website and app to share history, resources, information

Read the full story at KULR8.

A Blackfeet woman has started a non-profit organization to gather and share information, resources, and history of the tribe with travelers across Montana and Canada. The project promotes interaction and contribution from the public. Souta Calling Last collects centuries worth of information through storytelling, factual data, and social trends to help tribal members and tourists better understand the area where they live or explore.

The Navajo Nation generates a ton of power — but 14,000 homes don’t have electricity

Read the full story at Grist.

Electricity has long been a contentious issue for Navajo Nation residents. Of the roughly 55,000 Indigenous households located on Navajo lands, which stretch across large parts of Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico, around 15,000 do not have electricity. And yet the reservation is an energy-exporting hotspot, having until recently been home to the Navajo Generating Station, the largest coal-fired power plant in the western U.S, as well as many coal, uranium, oil, and fracking operations.

The Navajo Generating Station, or NGS, was officially decommissioned in 2019, marking one of the first big transitions away from coal in the region. The City of Los Angeles, which has historically gotten its energy from the facility, has been working with the tribe to transform the land into a hub for utility-scale solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. Whether Navajo residents will be able to take advantage of that new renewable energy is another matter. While the tribe’s members have long been able to apply for federal grant money to help them get on the grid, strict eligibility criteria — such as income limits and minimum community population density — made the program inaccessible to many families.

A just energy transition in action: Developing 1G of wind power with tribes

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

For millenia, the ancestral homelands of the Oceti Sakowin or Lakota — the proper names for the people commonly known as the Sioux — spread across an area equivalent to 159 million acres. The territory included present day North and South Dakota, stretching into parts of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana.

After enduring the plights of colonial-settlerism, broken treaties, acts of genocide and mass disposition of land, the Oceti Sakowin ultimately were forced onto reservations specifically identified as resource-barren and unfit for farming or homesteading. They now steward a small fraction of what was originally theirs — 2 percent, or 3.2 million acres.

Today, tribal leader Lyle Jack, an Oglala Lakota Sioux member born and raised on the Pine Ridge reservation, laughs. “Little did they know that they would stick us in some of the windiest places on earth,” Jack muses.

It’s true: Present-day tribal lands in South Dakota are home to some of the best onshore wind resources in North America, positioning Jack and his people to become leaders in our collective effort to build a clean energy future. 

Global Water Institute leads effort to improve water and food security with the Navajo Nation

Read the full story from Ohio State University.

A new effort led by researchers at The Ohio State University will help the Navajo Nation mitigate the lack of water and food security at a time when the Navajo communities are facing new challenges due to COVID-19.

The Global Water Institute (GWI) is partnering with the Navajo Nation and a consortium of partners including Assist InternationalNetafimSuez WTS USA, Inc.WorldServe International and the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment to confront the critical water crisis and improve agriculture and public health outcomes of the Navajo Nation. This federally recognized tribe with reservation lands in the states of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah is one of the largest in the country, with over 330,000 members, 175,000 of whom reside on the reservation.

Lead Awareness in Indian Country: Keeping our Children Healthy!

This curriculum is a robust set of educational tools that provide practical, on-the-ground, community-based resources to reduce childhood lead exposure in communities. The Curriculum creates a starting point to hold informed conversations within communities to teach parents and caregivers about lead. The Curriculum also empowers individuals to act within their own homes to protect their children and communities from potential lead exposure.

EPA designed the Curriculum with over 200 tribal partners to:

  • Raise awareness in tribal communities (and other interested communities) about childhood lead exposure;
  • Expand understanding of lead’s potential impacts on children’s health and cultural practices; and
  • Encourage actions that can be taken to reduce and/or prevent childhood lead exposure.  

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