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.
Indigenous businesses in Arizona can apply for 1st USDA tribal trade mission to Canada
The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service recently announced a first-of-its-kind agribusiness trade mission to Vancouver, Canada, this summer. It’s aimed at spotlighting tribal products, and interest is mounting among agribusinesses in Arizona.
Mar. 1, 2024
Poll shows support for monument near Grand Canyon
Arizona Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly recently introduced legislation to create a national monument around Grand Canyon National Park, and the proposal appears to have overwhelming public support.
Aug. 2, 2023
New Mesa pipeline will send reclaimed water to tribe
Construction began this week on a new 10.5-mile water pipeline in Mesa. It’s part of an agreement between the city and the Gila River Indian Community that allows reclaimed water to be exchanged for Colorado River rights.
July 26, 2023
Wood for Life project helps thin Arizona forests, fuel Native American communities
A few miles west of Flagstaff, about a mile and a half off Interstate 40, on a dirt road in the Coconino National Forest, past campsites and joggers running through the trees, several crews are cutting up downed trees that will become firewood for tribal members.
More tribal natural resources stories
July 25, 2023
Navajo groups push back on hydro energy project
A Phoenix firm has proposed building a dam on a tributary of the Little Colorado River for hydroelectric power, but the project has drawn criticism from Navajo Nation residents.
July 17, 2023
In historic first, VP Harris visits Gila River Indian Community to discuss tribal issues
As part of an effort to illustrate the Biden administration’s commitment to Native Americans, Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Gila River Indian Community on Thursday to meet with tribal leaders from around Arizona. It was the first visit to the Gila River community by a sitting U.S. president or vice president.
More coverage of tribal resources
July 7, 2023
Supreme Court rules against Navajo Nation in water rights case
In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government does not have to take affirmative steps to secure water for the Navajo Nation.
June 22, 2023
Report: AZ makes it uniquely hard for tribes to get water
The Show spoke with reporter Umar Farooq on the inconsistent water sources in the Navajo Nation and how a lack of resource has left a $128 million facility unable to open.
June 20, 2023
GOP coalition calls for investigation after Chaco Canyon decision
On Monday, a coalition of House Republicans, including Arizona’s Paul Gosar, signed a letter calling for an investigation into Haaland’s work with the Pueblo Action Alliance, a New Mexico advocacy group opposed to drilling in the Chaco Canyon region.
June 5, 2023
Some Indigenous people not happy with proliferation of psychedelic drugs
Growing Western interest in psychedelic drugs has many Indigenous people sounding the alarm. These are plants they have been cultivating relationships with for millennia and, to do it right, they say, Western medicine should create bridges with traditional knowledge holders.
June 5, 2023
Navajo president criticizes ban on new mine leasing around Chaco Canyon
The Navajo Nation’s government criticized the U.S. Department of the Interior for protecting a swath of Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico from new oil and gas leasing for the next 20 years.
June 2, 2023
Hobbs urges Biden to designate proposed Grand Canyon monument
Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs has urged President Joe Biden to use the Antiquities Act to designate the proposed Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument.
June 1, 2023
Mohave official speaks against national monument
The Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni National Monument has been proposed by Tribal leaders to protect native land and Colorado River water.
May 26, 2023
Gila River Indian Community played key role in water negotiations
Lower Basin states recently announced a short-term agreement that will keep water in the Colorado River’s reservoirs. Gov. Katie Hobbs, Arizona water managers and Gila River Indian Community Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis recently talked about the accord at a press conference.
May 25, 2023
Energy secretary announces new grants for tribes
In a visit to Arizona this week, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced several grants to fund projects benefiting Indigenous communities.
May 23, 2023
Retired farrier is teaching the art — and science — of horseshoeing to fellow Native Americans
On a windy day in late April, with dust blowing across an arena on the San Carlos Reservation east of Globe, eight young men, all members of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, are gathered around several horses and a trailer workshop.
May 19, 2023
Report finds issues in federally run jails in Indian County
A government watchdog advisory released at the end of April finds persistent safety issues with federally run detention centers on tribal land.
May 2, 2023
Tucson is giving a stretch of land back to the Tohono Oodham Nation
The city of Tucson is returning a portion of ancestral land to the Tohono O’odham Nation in a new resolution unanimously passed by the City Council this week.
April 20, 2023
Tribe, U.S. officials reach deal to save Colorado River water
A Native American tribe in Arizona reached a deal Thursday with the U.S. government not to use some of its Colorado River water rights in return for $150 million and funding for a pipeline project.
April 7, 2023
Raúl Grijalva makes the case for Oak Flat legislation
In a letter to Republican Congressman Bruce Westerman of Arkansas this week, Arizona Congressman Raúl Grijalva says he wants a committee hearing on a piece of legislation that would prohibit mining at Oak Flat.
April 6, 2023
San Juan Southern Paiute lands up for ratification again
Republican Representative Eli Crane of Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District has reintroduced a bill to ratify a treaty that establishes tribal lands in the state for the San Juan Southern Paiute tribe. Crane’s predecessor, Democrat Tom O’Halleran, introduced the same legislation during his term.
April 5, 2023