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.
Native American tribes gain new authority to stop unwanted hydropower projects
Federal regulators have granted Native American tribes more power to block hydropower projects on their land after a flurry of applications were filed to expand renewable energy in the water-scarce U.S. Southwest.
Feb. 23, 2024
The World Championship Hoop Dance Contest in Phoenix takes a step toward live play-by-play
This last weekend's 34th annual World Championship Hoop Dance Contest, with deep ties to the Southwest, has been elevated to another level for audiences, both in the arena and back at home.
More tribal natural resoures stories
Feb. 21, 2024
Federal energy regulators deny permits for a controversial project on the Navajo Nation
The hydropower company Nature and People First had proposed a "pumped storage" project in the Black Mesa area. Indigenous advocates are celebrating the decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Feb. 19, 2024
Arizona tribes to benefit from funding to upgrade BIA-owned power utilities
The Interior Department announced $10 million to upgrade BIA-owned irrigation projects and power utilities serving tribal communities on Friday. Two of those projects directly benefit tribes in Arizona.
Feb. 17, 2024
Saturday’s Two Spirit Powwow celebrates Native LGBTQ community
Powwows are meant to be safe spaces where Indigenous peoples can socialize and express themselves through song and dance. For some tribes, gender can limit what a person may perform. But those rules don’t apply at the fourth annual Arizona Two Spirit Powwow this weekend.
Feb. 16, 2024
Packrats are pests, but also a prized Apache delicacy
Packrats are pests, particularly for car owners in and around the Valley. Yet this species is prized among Apaches in winter. And even an essential ingredient for their traditional diet.
More tribal natural resoures stories
Feb. 14, 2024
‘March to Oak Flat’ is still trekking along, a decade later
Annually organized by the nonprofit Apache Stronghold, this 48-mile, multi-day spiritual journey starting from the San Carlos Apache Reservation celebrates a decade, as tribal communities continue to oppose a massive copper mining project proposed on land deep within the Tonto National Forest.
Feb. 11, 2024
11 tribes are tied to the Grand Canyon. NPS wants all represented
Grand Canyon National Park generates nearly $1 billion annually from tourism, including tribal arts and crafts. National Park Service staff recently traveled to the Arizona Indian Festival to expand representation among those harder-to-reach tribal communities.
Feb. 9, 2024
Diné jazz trumpeter Delbert Anderson performs in Scottsdale
Drawing inspiration from Diné melodies old and new, the Delbert Anderson Quartet brought its jazz, funk and groove-infused selections to Scottsdale on Saturday night.
Feb. 6, 2024
Closing of Drumbeat Indian Arts inspires a new bead shop
One of Indian Country’s longtime destinations for beadwork supplies and accessories in Phoenix has closed after more than five decades on the last Saturday in January, but a former Diné employee has opened up her own bead-driven business to meet the demand from her urban Native community.
Feb. 5, 2024
River cane helped keep Native flute-making alive. Arizona wants this invasive reed gone
Flute-making is a time-honored artform among tribal communities across Arizona, but this traditional craft may also be under threat. One invasive species is seen by conservationists as an evil plant, but it's also a natural resource deeply rooted in cultural practices among the state’s original inhabitants.
Jan. 29, 2024
Environmental Day at AZ Capitol features Hopi elder
The 84-year-old former Hopi Tribal Council chairman Vernon Masayesva sat before a crowd of hundreds at Wesley Bolin Plaza to “plant a seed in your hearts” on Thursday.
Jan. 27, 2024
Timely lesson from Diné creation story at Capitol
Kyle Mitchell told a story to hundreds of activists and state lawmakers on Thursday at Wesley Bolin Plaza in Phoenix.
Jan. 26, 2024
New mine has opened near Grand Canyon. What this means for tribes
The Show spoke with Maanvi Singh, west coast reporter for the Guardian, about what a new uranium mine near the Grand Canyon means for tribal lands.
Jan. 25, 2024
Some concerned about medicinal, recreational peyote use
The Show spoke with Annette McGivney, a freelance author and journalist, about an piece she wrote for the Guardian looking at the conversation around peyote cactus and psychedelics in therapeutic treatments.
Jan. 24, 2024
2 meetings this week on proposed Arizona forests land exchange with Yavapai-Apache Nation
The Forest Service is hosting a pair of community meetings in Camp Verde and Prescott this week to discuss a proposed exchange of federal land for land owned by the Yavapai-Apache Nation.
Jan. 16, 2024
Navajo-owned Skoden Coffee & Tea relocates to Phoenix after closing up shop in Window Rock
One Diné entrepreneur’s budding urban business, once based in the capital of the Navajo Nation, has since moved to the Valley last month. Now, they’re nestled inside the Uptown Phoenix furniture and design store, For the People, located off North Central Avenue.
More news on tribal natural resources
Jan. 15, 2024
President Buu Nygren speaks at first-ever People’s State of the Navajo Nation
Today marks a year since Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren took office in 2023. His speech on Tuesday touched on affordable housing, economic development, climate change and capital infrastructure projects, including energy and water.
Jan. 10, 2024
Dams are coming down on rivers. Why many tribes are all for that
The Show spoke with Debra Utacia Krol from the Arizona Republic about her reporting on tribal concerns about dams along the Klamath River in Northern California.
Jan. 10, 2024
Tribes letter supports Navajos NASA complaint
This group of Native allies consisting of more than 50 large land-mass tribal communities making up more than half of Indian Country’s population are now standing in solidarity with President Buu Nygren and the Navajo Nation.
Jan. 5, 2024
2 tribal leaders instrumental in water deals named 2023 Arizonans of the Year
The Show spoke with Elvia Díaz, the Arizona Republic editorial page editor, about the 2023 Arizonans of the Year: Stephen Roe Lewis, Governor of the Gila River Tribe and Colorado Indian Tribes Chairwoman Amelia Flores.
Jan. 2, 2024