Tribal Natural Resources News

TRIBAL NATURAL RESOURCES

Native American tribes around the West are making critical decisions regarding the management of their natural 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 natural resources.
More kids in Navajo Nation are vaccinated against COVID than elsewhere in country
COVID-19 hit the Navajo Nation hard. Now, the tribe has vaccinated more than half of children ages 5 to 11; that’s compared to about a third nationwide.
U.S. agency reviewing oil and gas leases near Native American world heritage site
A judge approved an agreement to pause oil and gas drilling near Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico.
Ban on Russian uranium puts pressure on Southwest tribes
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused ripple effects across the globe, including one that could be felt strongest in the Southwest. And it involves an element found underground.
U.S. Senate committee hears 2 bills on tribal water rights in AZ
Two tribal leaders from Arizona testified to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on Wednesday, defending a pair of bills brought by Sen. Mark Kelly and co-sponsored by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema that center on tribal water rights.
Grand Canyon National Park launches a webpage about associated tribes
If you’re planning a visit to the Grand Canyon, the National Park Service wants you to take some time to learn about the tribal communities that call the region home. Visitors to Grand Canyon National Park’s website will now see a new page dedicated to the Native American tribes associated with the region.
Environmentalists lose appeal to halt uranium mine near Grand Canyon
A federal appeals court has ruled against environmental groups and an Arizona tribe in their bid to keep a uranium mine south of the Grand Canyon from operating.
Infrastructure law brings funding for coal mine cleanup to Navajo Nation
The federal infrastructure law funds mine reclamation projects in 22 states, but the Navajo Nation is the only tribe set to receive direct funding.
For legal experts and activists, it was an unexpected win for Indigenous religious freedoms
Amber Ortega was facing charges for entering and refusing to leave a closed area where workers were building former President Trump’s border wall. Sixteen months and two hearings after, she was found not guilty. It was hailed as an unexpected win for Native American religious freedoms.
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Despite drought, this tribe has water to spare — and lease
The Colorado River is in dire straits. It provides water to millions of us here in the arid Southwest, and ongoing drought driven by climate change is threatening its future. But one Arizona tribe is in a unique position: It has water to spare.
Indigenous activist found not guilty on religious freedom grounds in border wall case
An Indigenous woman facing federal charges for blocking construction of former President Trump’s border wall in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument was found not guilty on religious freedom grounds.
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U.S. announces $83M in latest round of tribal housing grants
Emergency management officials on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota have a new building, but they have been operating out of an old jail that's set to be torn down.
Tonto Forest project expected to reduce wildfire risk
Officials with the Tonto National Forest are launching an improvement project to reduce the risk of wildfires. It will begin in February.
Tribes find a seat at the table during Colorado River talks
Tribal nations were once excluded from talks about how to divvy up the state’s water supply, but that has changed over the years.
Bureau of Land Management to analyze Chaco Canyon-area leases
The Bureau of Land Management will evaluate its policies on oil- and gas-rich lands near the Navajo Nation, surrounding Chaco Canyon National Historical Park.
Relief funds approved for Navajo Nation tribe members
The Navajo Nation’s tribal council has voted to send $2,000 checks to each qualified adult and $600 for each child using $557 million in federal coronavirus relief funds.
Billions headed to tribes to address water projects, health, settlements
The massive infrastructure bill signed earlier this year promises to bring change to Native American tribes that lack clean water or indoor plumbing through the largest single infusion of money into Indian Country. It includes $3.5 billion for the federal Indian Health Service, which provides health care to more than 2 million Native Americans and Alaska Natives.
The Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project promises water to 250,000 people by 2040
Arizona residents are facing water shortages as Colorado River water declines, but Navajo Nation members have been living without easy access to water for years. That’s why the federal government started building a drinking water system on the reservation.
The road to getting tribes access to clean water is lined with hurdles
Nearly half of tribal homes across the country don’t have steady access to clean water. Many in the Southwest rely on aging wells with polluted water, or truck in bottles from far away. In To'hajiilee, New Mexico, a Navajo community hopes a new pipeline from Albuquerque will remedy decades of struggle to get clean water.
Tribal perspectives shared at Colorado River conference
The Colorado River Water Users’ Association ended last week with an agreement to find more ways to conserve water, and this year’s conference included tribal perspectives.
For access to the Colorado River, the Cocopah tribe battles drought and phragmites
The Cocopah Indian Tribe has lived along the Colorado River delta for centuries. But drought, climate change and damming has transformed the once verdant stretch.
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7,500 hardship-assistance checks remain unclaimed on Navajo Nation
About 7,500 hardship assistance checks are unclaimed in the Navajo Nation. The deadline to use all funding that comes from the CARES Act is Dec. 31.

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