Tribal Natural Resources News


Native American tribes around the West are making critical decisions regarding the management of their resources — land, water, fossil fuels and renewable resources. The Tribal Natural Resources Desk aims to produce objective reporting to tell stories of tribes empowering themselves through stewardship and decision-making around their resources.
Navajo hospital gets $177M overhaul, 1st since 1930
Ganado is home to Sage Memorial Hospital, a Native-managed comprehensive health care system serving thousands of people in surrounding Navajo communities. It had been operating out of the same facilities since 1930 — until now.
May. 14, 2024
A Navajo family honors late Diné grandmother by shearing 134 sheep over Mother’s Day weekend
Many in the U.S. may celebrate Mother’s Day with brunch, flowers or a card. But every Mother’s Day weekend, one Navajo family has a more hands-on observance, filled with hard hard work to help preserve a centuries-old Diné custom that’s in decline today.
May 13, 2024
Navajos urge House to extend aid for radiation exposure
Members from the Navajo Nation and Pueblo of Laguna in New Mexico are calling on House Speaker Mike Johnson to bring a floor vote on an already-passed bipartisan Senate bill to renew aid for downwinders through the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, or RECA, which is set to expire next month.
May 13, 2024
Tohono Oodham Nation names jaguar spotted on tribal lands in southern Arizona
The fourth jaguar spotted in Arizona since 2015 had been trekking across tribal lands south of Tucson. Now, nearly 1,000 Tohono O’odham tribal members, from students to elders, voted online and in-person to give that iconic animal a unique name.
May 12, 2024
This nonprofit animal rescue team is trying to save pets, strays on the San Carlos Apache Reservation
There are plenty of dogs, cats and other stray animals on tribal reservations. These volunteers have made it their mission to take care of them, and one is getting national recognition.
More tribal natural resources stories
May 6, 2024
Mohave Community College names CRIT chairwoman commencement speaker
More than 800 Mohave Community College students are set to graduate on Friday, and a special tribal guest has been invited to speak at their commencement.
May 6, 2024
Why the Navajo-dubbed ‘Star Wars’ film is celebrated on May 4
Today is May 4, which sounds like ‘May the Fourth Be With You’ to Star Wars fans, and one effort to help keep the Navajo language alive can be observed on this unofficial holiday, celebrated among fans of the iconic sci-fi franchise.
May 4, 2024
Colorado River deal means more say for Indigenous people in water decisions
A new agreement between six tribes and the Upper Basin states might give their Colorado River proposal more weight as the federal government considers it alongside a proposal from the Lower Basin states, which includes Arizona.
April 30, 2024
Tribe asks 9th Circuit Court to revisit Oak Flat case
An Arizona tribe has asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reopen the Apache Stronghold case. The court upheld a ruling last month that the site of the planned Resolution Copper mine is not subject to laws protecting religious freedom.
April 29, 2024
Interior secretary, tribes sign historic water agreement
The Interior Department, Arizona and Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) signed a trilateral agreement along the banks of the Colorado River on Friday.
More from the Tribal Natural Resources desk
April 27, 2024
A Navajo cattle-raising family is calling for oversight after an oil spill in Shiprock, New Mexico
Navajo farmers and ranchers, like the Maxwell family, have raised concerns over the long-lasting environmental and ecological impacts on vegetation and groundwater around that contaminated site near the San Juan River months after over 1,000 barrels of crude oil were spilled in Shiprock, New Mexico.
More tribal natural resources stories
April 26, 2024
You cant call 811 before digging on the Navajo Nation. That may change after Shiprock oil spill
Back in December, a severe spill of crude oil on the Navajo Nation contaminated the land. Remediation efforts are still underway, but this accident has a silver lining, one that may facilitate faster emergency responses on the largest reservation in the U.S.
April 25, 2024
We Are Grand Canyon, a new film on the 11 culturally associated tribes, premieres
Screenings of the new film focused on Grand Canyon National Park’s tribal communities are scheduled for Wednesday at the Grand Canyon National Park Visitor Center.
April 24, 2024
USDA is hosting consultations, listening sessions with tribal leaders
These formal consultations with leaders from among the 574 federally-recognized tribes will focus on a lot of topics, including, economic development, trade, food safety, farming, ranching, conservation as well as forests and public land management.
April 23, 2024
2 AZ tribes join White House’s new effort to preserve freshwater, wetlands
The Navajo Nation and Gila River Indian Community were named alongside more than 100 inaugural members participating in “The America the Beautiful Freshwater Challenge,” an initiative that is intended to restore the country’s waterways.
April 23, 2024
Uranium transport through northern Arizona is about to begin. Why some are concerned
Conservation groups have asked the U.S. Forest Service to lay out how it will manage mined uranium as it’s transported across northern Arizona. KJZZ posed those concerns to Energy Fuels, the company that owns the Pinyon Plain Mine just south of the Grand Canyon.
April 23, 2024
Life without electricity is an ordinary Navajo Nation struggle. Some homes finally getting power
More than 250 volunteers from 41 utilities across 16 states are expected to travel between now and July to the largest reservation in the U.S. to donate their time and talents during the fourth annual Light Up Navajo mutual aid project.
More tribal natural resoures stories
April 22, 2024
Diné College gets national grant for boarding school project
Diné College is one of 14 tribal grant recipients from the National Endowment for the Humanities to fund projects that recognize the traumatic legacies of federally run boarding schools.
April 15, 2024
A new Navajo film honors a larger-than-life Diné folk hero who hid out in Antelope Canyon
“Bad Indian: Hiding in Antelope Canyon” premiered at the Phoenix Film Festival and tells the story of Hastiin Tadidinii — whose name translates to "Corn Pollen Man" and who avoided the Long Walk forced on the Navajos starting in 1863.
April 12, 2024
UA to host Indigenous data sovereignty, governance summit
This historic gathering has attracted hundreds of experts, scholars, researchers and activists to southern Arizona to establish a national standard for Indigenous data governance and help tribal communities protect their traditional knowledge.
April 11, 2024
ASUs Labriola National Data Center gets new space
Last Wednesday, Arizona State University held an open house at Hayden Hall on the Tempe campus to honor a new space for the Labriola National Indian Data Center.
April 10, 2024