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Hopis Say Conservationists Unwelcome on Tribal Land The Arizona Republic - 29 SEP 2009
The Hopi Nation's Tribal Council sent a message Monday to the
Sierra Club and a handful of other environmental groups: Stay off
Tina May, a council spokeswoman, said council members meeting in
Kykotsmovi unanimously adopted a resolution declaring that the
conservation groups are unwelcome on Hopi lands because they have
damaged the tribe's economy by pushing for closure of a coal-fired
power plant near Page.
The resolution says environmentalists have "spread misinformation"
about Hopi water and energy resources, attempting to
"instill unfounded fears into the hearts and minds of Hopi
Energy Poll Results Mirror Debate Surveys Show Different Views of
Global Warming iStockAnalyst - 26 SEP 2009
State global warming legislation will send jobs out of Wisconsin or
create jobs in the "green" economy, likely voters say -- depending
on whose poll you believe.
Voters surveyed this month by a firm hired by Wisconsin
Manufacturers & Commerce say they are concerned about jobs and the
economy far more than global warming -- and they are leery of any
mandates that would push up electricity prices.
Voters surveyed this month by a firm hired by the Forest County
Potawatomi tribe say they are concerned that global warming is
happening, the state should move ahead with legislation and the
state needs to expand its reliance on sources of energy that don't
emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere....
Tuba Dump Finally Getting Feds' Attention The EPA will drill test holes looking for
uranium-contaminated waste that villagers fear is a threat to
their downstream springs. Arizona Daily Sun - 26 SEPT 2009
A dump near Tuba City that
has been leaching low levels of radioactive waste into the shallow
aquifer finally is getting some federal attention, if not an
actual cleanup yet.
The Environmental Protection Agency plans to fence off a remaining
section of an old dump, near two Hopi villages, and test for hot
spots of radioactivity close by. This includes one area where the
agency says uranium levels in the water exceed by eight times what
is federally considered safe for drinking water.
Local villagers who believe their downstream springs are threatened
have long sought a total excavation of the dump....
Air Permit for Coal Power Plant on Navajo Land Sent Back to EPA Environment News Service - 25 SEP 2009
California—The contested air permit for the Sithe
Global Desert Rock coal-fired power plant on the
Navajo Reservation in New Mexico today was sent back
to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for
Environmental Appeals Board remanded the
air permit back to the agency due to
deficiencies in the permit's environmental and technological
Protestors rally against snowmaking and the expansion of Snowbowl
Resort in Arizona.
Snowmaking Squabble Environmental group
and local indian tribes seek to shut down snowmaking and expansion
at Arizona's Snowbowl Resort ESPN - 23 SEP 2009
"Don't eat yellow snow."
Yellow marks a spot where someone or something relieved
itself. That's a given.
But can you be guaranteed the snow is clean just because it
isn't yellow? This is a much more complex question being posed in
a recent lawsuit filed by the
Save The Peaks Coalition against the
U.S. Forest Service.
The suit is the second this summer filed against the expansion
Arizona Snowbowl, which is under the domain of the
Forrest Service. According to the
Arizona Daily Sun, the suit contends that the Forrest
Service "did not adequately weigh or analyze the human
health or environmental risks of making snow with reclaimed
wastewater, in violation of the National Environmental
Policy Act and other federal laws." The kicker is whether
the artificial snow is "safe for human contact and
Snowmaking Faces New Suit Arizona Daily Sun - 22 SEP 2009
After losing one legal case this summer, opponents of making snow
with reclaimed wastewater at Arizona Snowbowl are trying a second.
Save the Peaks Coalition and nine individuals in Flagstaff filed
suit Monday in the U.S. District Court in Arizona against the U.S.
Forest Service. The plaintiffs contend the agency did not
adequately weigh or analyze the human health or environmental
risks of making snow with reclaimed wastewater, in violation of
the National Environmental Policy Act and other federal laws.
They are seeking an injunction to prevent snowmaking at Snowbowl
until the case is decided....
Fight Continues Over
Use of Sewage to Make Snow on Mountains Sacred to Arizona Tribes Courthouse News - 22 SEP 2009
PHOENIX (CN) - The U.S. Forest Service did not
thoroughly analyze the impact of using reclaimed sewage to make
snow at a Flagstaff ski resort, the Save the Peaks Coalition
claims in Federal Court. The group claims the artificial snow
could hurt children and skiers.
Save the Peaks wants the Forest Service
enjoined from expanding the Arizona Snowbowl and using reclaimed
sewage to make snow there until people who may be affected by it
are "properly informed."...
to Stop Expansion of Arizona Ski Resort The Sierra Vista Herald - 22 SEP 2009
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Critics of a plan to
expand a ski resort on an Arizona mountain are suing the U.S.
Forest Service in what has been a years-long battle to protect a
site considered sacred by American Indians.
The lawsuit filed Monday comes more than three
months after the U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal from tribes
that said the use of treated wastewater to make artificial snow on
the mountain threatened their religious and cultural survival.
The lawsuit filed by the Save the Peaks
Coalition and a group of citizens contends the Forest Service
failed to consider the human health risks of ingesting snow made
with treated wastewater at the Arizona Snowbowl resort outside
Navajo Yellowcake Woes Continue
When the EPA evacuates your town for Superfund cleanup,
what happens to the people left behind? Mother Jones - SEP 2009 After decades of uranium mining turned the tiny town of
Church Rock, New Mexico, into a Superfund site, in August the EPA
moved seven resident Navajo families to Gallup apartments, where
they'll wait for five months while the EPA scrubs their town of
radioactive waste. But as the EPA hauls away the uranium tailings
and radium-infused topsoils that have been permanent fixtures
since mining ceased in the 1980s, Church Rock's remaining
residents are asking why they have been left behind. In 1979, the
largest spill of radioactive waste in US history occurred in
Church Rock when 94 million gallons of mine waste were
accidentally released into a stream. Children swam in open pit
mines and the community drank water from local wells as recently
as the '90s. (Now they haul in drinking water.) Cancer rates and
livestock deaths remain higher than they should be. As for the
families who remain, Church Rock evacuee and local activist Teddy
Nez says the agency "drew an imaginary line in the sand" that
excludes a residential area half a mile west of the Superfund
Uranium Mining Could Resume North of Grand Canyon Arizona Republic - 02 SEP 2009
Uranium mining could resume within the year at a site north of the
Grand Canyon after state officials signed off on the last permit
needed to restart operations.
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality issued an
air-quality permit Tuesday to Denison Mines for the Arizona 1
mine, about 35 miles south of Fredonia. The permit clears the way
for Denison to extract uranium from the region for the first time
in almost two decades.
Denison officials have said they could restart Arizona 1 within a
year after the final permit is issued.
The prospect of new uranium mines on public lands near the national
park has stirred opposition...
EPA Seeks Reduced Emissions at Four Corners Plant The Daily Times - 31 AUG 2009
FRUITLAND—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
working to improve regional air visibility, has requested
reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions at the Four Corners Power
Plant, a coal-fired facility that emits the nation's highest
levels of the pollutant.
Regulators on Friday initiated a 30-day public
comment period on the proposed plan to require the Arizona Pubic
Service Co. facility to install the most efficient available
technology to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide and particulate
matter, pollutants believed to cause haze throughout the Four
The action is being taken through the EPA
Regional Haze Program, designated by Congress in 1999 to improve
visibility in all national parks, national monuments and
wilderness areas. The EPA has cited 16 protected locations within
a 300 kilometer radius where air visibility is reportedly hindered
by the Four Corners Power Plant, including the Grand Canyon,
Arches National Park and Mesa Verde National Park....
Grassroots Organization Asks Interior Secretary to Intervene Indian Country Today - 22 AUG 2009
HOPI, Ariz. – The Hopi Organizational Political Initiative has
submitted documents asking U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to
take action on behalf of the Hopi/Tewa people, who are currently
being governed by an illegally-constituted tribal council, without
benefit of an executive branch or a judicial system.
The Hopi Constitution mandates that the “Hopi Tribal Council shall
consist of a chairman, vice chairman, and representatives from
various villages.” Therefore, without the chairman and vice
chairman, there can be no constitutionally authorized council to
conduct business, expend tribal funds, or accept federal grants
Activist Peltier Denied Parole Arizona Central - 21 AUG 2009
BISMARCK, N.D.—American Indian activist
Leonard Peltier, imprisoned since 1977 for the deaths of two FBI
agents, has been denied parole after authorities decided that
releasing him would diminish the seriousness of his crime, a
federal prosecutor said Friday.
Peltier, who claims the FBI framed him, will
not be eligible for parole again until July 2024, when he will be
79 years old.
U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley announced the
decision of the U.S. Parole Commission....
Village Leaders Speak Out Conflict revolves around
tribal attorney’s stance on Hopi interests Indian Country Today - 17 AUG 2009
FIRST MESA, Ariz. – Four traditional leaders
from the Walpi area have entered the running battle over who
represents the Hopi Tribe in a conflict over coal mining at the
Black Mesa Mine Complex in northern Arizona.
“The Hopi Tribe’s coal lease and permit
revision do not adequately address Peabody’s use of the Hopi
Tribe’s water,” states a letter to other Hopi traditional leaders
(Sinom) and a tribal attorney.
“The long-term pumping and use of the Navajo
aquifer by Peabody Western Coal Company is a primary concern of
the Hopi Sinom,” it states....
to Ask More of Passengers-- Rights Infringement
Government Says Extra Information Will Prevent Watch-List
Mismatches Washington Post - 13 AUG 2009
U.S. airlines on Saturday will begin asking
travelers to provide their birth date and sex for the first time
under a new aviation security requirement, federal officials said
The change comes as the Department of Homeland
Security takes over responsibility for checking airline passenger
names against government watch lists. The additional personal
information, which airlines will forward to the Transportation
Security Administration, is expected to cut down on cases of
mistaken identity, in which people with names similar to those on
terrorist watch lists are erroneously barred or delayed from
Web-Tracking Plan Stirs Privacy Fears-- Rights Infringement Washington Post - 11 AUG 2009
The Obama administration is proposing to scale back a
long-standing ban on tracking how people use government Internet
sites with "cookies" and other technologies, raising alarms among
A two-week public comment period ended Monday on a proposal by
the White House Office of Management and Budget to end a ban on
federal Internet sites using such technologies and replace it with
other privacy safeguards. The current prohibition, in place since
2000, can be waived if an agency head cites a "compelling need."...
Development of Risk Maps to Minimize Uranium Exposures
in the Navajo Churchrock Mining District Directions Magazine - 11 AUG 2009 Background: Decades of improper disposal of uranium-mining
wastes on the Navajo Nation has resulted in adverse human and
ecological health impacts as well as socio-cultural problems. As
the Navajo people become increasingly aware of the contamination
problems, there is a need to develop a risk-communication strategy
to properly inform tribal members of the extent and severity of
the health risks. To be most effective, this strategy needs to
blend accepted risk communication techniques with Navajo
perspectives such that the strategy can be used at the community
level to inform culturally–and toxicologically–relevant decisions
about land and water use as well as mine-waste remediation....
Navajo Nation Taking the Lead in Green Economy Arizona Republic - 11 AUG 2009
Yesterday [10 August 2009], the Navajo Nation signed into law
promising green-jobs legislation that could serve as the first
step in a broader transition for the Navajo Nation and other
low-income communities in the Southwest.
The bill, passed by the Navajo Nation Council in July, creates the
Navajo Green Economy Commission that will coordinate a long-term
green transition plan for the Navajo Nation and a Green Economy
Fund that will support green-business development in the
community. These enterprises range from weaver's cooperatives to
small-scale clean energy projects. While a green economy is not a
new concept to Navajos, it does stand in stark contrast to our
recent past and present....
Don't Drink the Uranium examiner.com - 01 AUG 2009
On July 21, 2009, Obama Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced a
two year "time out" on new uranium mining claims on nearly a
million acres of federal land near the Grand Canyon, in response,
it seemed, to the protest of environmentalists, and, Native
Americans, who still suffer cancers and other illnesses at rates
many times higher than the general population, consequent to
uranium mining on or near tribal lands.
Cause for celebration? Not in the least. Salazar's announcement is
straight out of Orwell's 1984. This two year "time out" is no time
out at all, because...
Navajo Nation Concentrates on Roots
A new green jobs initiative stands to reinstitute weaving and
caring for the land Newsreview.com - 31 JULY 2009
Last week, the
Navajo National Council made a decision that will lead its members
back to the earth-friendly ways of its ancestors. The council
enacted the Navajo Green Economy Commission, which will devote
money to creating green jobs....
EPA Settlement Requires United Nuclear Corporation to Clean up
Additional Soil Released from Northeast Church Rock Mine
Work will cost approximately $5 million EPA Web site - 28 JULY 2009
SAN FRANCISCO -- The
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency settled with United Nuclear
Corporation and General Electric, UNC’s indirect parent
corporation, requiring the companies to immediately clean up a
portion of radium-contaminated soil released from the Northeast
Church Rock Mine Site, near Gallup, N.M....
Diné Fundamental Laws to be
Repealed? Navajo lawmakers cite abuse,
misinterpretation of laws Navajo-Hopi Observer -- 28 JULY 2009 WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - Last Thursday, the 21st
Navajo Nation Council tabled a measure that would have repealed
the Diné Fundamental Laws - a codified set of laws based on
centuries-old Navajo traditional values and customs. The measure
was tabled until the fall session with a vote of 48-21.
Council Delegate Raymond Joe (Tachee/Blue
Gap/Whippoorwill) introduced the measure during the final day of
the council's summer session. He and others cited that these laws,
which are primarily meant to govern the upbringing of Navajo youth
and promote balance and harmony among Navajo people, are being
abused and misinterpreted by Navajo lawmakers in order to promote
their own political agendas....
District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals Throws out Indian
Trust Ruling Figure set by
earlier judge might be fair to the whole,
but not to all individuals, decision on appeal says News OK - 25 JULY 2009
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Interior Department must determine how much
money should be in the government-run trust accounts held by
individual Indians, a federal appeals court ruled Friday in the
long-running legal battle over the trust system.
The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a
district judge’s award of $455.6 million in restitution to the
Indian account holders and said the judge must order the Interior
Department to do the best accounting possible with the money
Congress is willing to spend on it.
The ruling was a victory for the Interior Department and a major
defeat for the Indians, who sued the government in 1996 claiming
their accounts were being mismanaged....
to Consider Green Building Bill The Farmington Daily Times - 21 JULY 2009
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz.—The Navajo Nation Council
today will consider legislation that would establish a green
The bill, backed by the Navajo Green Economy
Coalition, is expected to create hundreds of sustainable jobs and
revitalize the economy on the 27,000-square-mile reservation.
The bill also would establish a five-person
Navajo Green Economy Commission to seek dollars from federal,
state and private donors, review project proposals and oversee
spending from the fund....
The Rights of Arctic
Peoples Not a Barren Country More political powers for the indigenous people of the
could soon be matched by more economic clout The Economist - 16 JULY 2009
NUUK, GREENLAND—The crowds in Nuuk, Greenland’s
pretty coastal capital, marked the devolution of more powers from
Denmark, on midsummer’s day, with cheers, processions and flags.
The town thronged with men in white anoraks and women in
kalaallisuut, an outfit of sealskin boots and trousers set off
with a beaded top. Even a dusting of summer snow failed to chill
The newly elected prime minister of Greenland, Kuupik Kleist, who
represents an Inuit-dominated
that his country would act as an “equal partner” with Denmark, the
old colonial power. The Danish prime minister, Lars Løkke
Rasmussen, responded with a pledge that Greenland could claim full
independence whenever it chooses. A more cordial separation is
hard to imagine.
As in other parts of the Arctic, the indigenous
people of Greenland are flexing their political muscles. In
Greenland the Inuit, or part Inuit, account for nearly 90 percent
of the total population of 57,000 or so; and they have been
asserting ever-greater independence from Copenhagen, some 3,500km
(2,175 miles) away. In similar fashion, the Inuit of Canada won
some powers of home rule over much of the country’s Arctic
Archipelago when the new territory of Nunavut was set up a decade
ago. In northern Norway and Sweden (and to a lesser extent in
Finland and Russia), the Sami people have claimed autonomous
powers. Some 50,000 in Norway even have their own parliament.
Within the Russian Federation, two northern indigenous peoples, the Komi and Sakha (Yakuts) have, at least in theory, their
autonomous republics; though what powers that gives them in
practice depends on the ebb and flow of politics elsewhere in
Radiation Spill in Church Rock Still Haunts 30 Years Later Farmington Daily-Times - 16 JULY 2009
CHURCH ROCK — Thirty years ago today on July 16, 1979, a dam at the
United Nuclear Corporation's Church Rock Uranium Mill broke,
spilling 90 million gallons of radioactive waste into the Rio
It was the largest radioactive accident in U.S. history, releasing
more radiation than the Three Mile Island accident, which happened
in March of the same year. The spill in Church Rock is the second
largest in the world, only surpassed by the 1986 Chernobyl reactor
meltdown in Ukraine....
L.A.'s Coal Ban Leads to Another Abandoned Power Plant Reuters.com - 13 July 2009
The Sierra Club
enjoyed a victory last week when a Utah-based utility announced it
would walk away from plans to build a coal-fired generating unit
in the state.
According to the environmental group’s tally, 100 coal plants have
been foiled or abandoned since 2001, the beginning of an era it
dubbed the “Coal Rush.”...
EPA to Rebuild Uranium-contaminated Navajo Homes Google-Hosted News - 14 JUN 2009
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The federal government plans to spend up to
$3 million a year to demolish and rebuild uranium-contaminated
structures across the Navajo Nation, where Cold War-era mining of
the radioactive substance left a legacy of disease and death.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its Navajo counterpart
are focusing on homes, sheds and other buildings within a
half-mile to a mile from a significant mine or waste pile. They
plan to assess 500 structures over five years and rebuild those
that are too badly contaminated....
Battle for Sacred Mountains
Tribes win say in future Tsoodzil developments Navajo Times - 11 JUN 2009
Native American tribes won a small victory June 5 when the state of
New Mexico designated Mount Taylor - Tsoodzil to Navajos - as a
"traditional cultural property."
The designation provides five tribes with a say in future
developments that may take place on the mountain, the southernmost
of the Navajos' four sacred mountains.
The Navajo Nation joined with the Hopi Tribe and the pueblos of
Acoma, Laguna, and Zuni in nominating Mount Taylor as a
traditional cultural property....
Radioactive Revival in New Mexico The Nation - 10 JUN 2009
Mitchell Capitan points to a flock of sheep grazing in the shadow
of a sandstone mesa. The sheep belong to Capitan's family, along
with a few head of cattle and twelve quarter horses standing in a
corral near his mother-in-law's house in Crownpoint, New Mexico.
"All of this area," Capitan says, gesturing to the valley of sage
and shrub brush below, "there's a lot of uranium underneath there.
That's what they're after."...
California Edison Closes Mohave Generating Station in
Laughlin--for Good kdminer.com - 11 JUN 2009
KINGMAN - Southern California Edison (SCE) announced Wednesday that
it is closing the door on the Mohave Generating Station near
Laughlin, Nevada, for good. The company will decommission and
start dismantling the plant in the next few months. The generating
equipment will be removed and the permits to run the plant will be
terminated in 2010.
The plant's transmission switchyard and some related facilities
will remain in place. According to a news release, no final plans
have been made for the property. However, the company is
considering selling the property and building a renewable energy
Edison to Decommission Coal-fired Nevada Power Plant Mercury News - 10 JUN 2009
owners of the shuttered Mohave Generating Station in Laughlin,
Nev., said Wednesday that they will decommission the coal-fired
power plant that once supplied electricity to 1.5 million homes.
Southern California Edison operated the 1,580-megawatt plant since
it came on line in 1971, and the company owned 56 percent of the
facility on the Colorado River.
Edison shut down the plant in 2006 because...
Navajo Water Settlement Not Without Flaws Farmington Daily-Times - 10 JUN 2009
Officials from all
levels of government celebrated last week when President Obama
signed an omnibus bill into law to quench the Four Corners'
The bill appropriates money to bring running water to 80,000
Navajos in between Shiprock and Gallup who do not have it by
constructing a pipeline connecting the two cities. $870 billion
was set aside thanks to the work of many of our elected officials,
including the state government, Navajo President Joe Shirley,
Senator Jeff Bingaman and many others....
Custer Rides Again in McDonald's Happy Meal Huffington Post - 09 JUN 2009
Say it isn't so! Lt.
Colonel George Armstrong Custer has invaded Lakota country again,
this time through the Happy Meals sold to little children at
Bobbie DuBray, Administrative Assistant for the Lakota Peoples Law
Project was not only shocked by this apparent display of racial
insensitivity, but also angered by it.
DuBray says, "I went through the drive thru at McDonalds on East
North Street to get a Happy Meal for my five-year-old son. I got
home and my brother opened the meal and found the Custer doll."
She said he then asked her to come and look at what he found. To
her shock it was Custer toy. Her son wanted the toy and she told
him, "No. that's a bad toy." She said that her 10 year old
daughter did not understand why the toy was bad. She and her
mother, Betty Handley, then gave the girl a history lesson "My
daughter was not taught about this in school. What are they
teaching our children?" she asked....
Supreme Court Steers Clear of Arizona Ski Resort Dispute The Arizona Republic - 08 JUN 2009
The United States
Supreme Court on Monday turned down a request by several Arizona
Indian tribes to stop a Flagstaff ski area from making artificial
snow from treated wastewater on the San Francisco Peaks.
The case has bounced through federal court for several years, and
the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals considered the case twice,
first siding with the Native Americans, who revere the mountains
as sacred sites. Last August, the Appeals Court reconsidered in
favor of the management of Arizona Snowbowl....
RELEASE Supreme Court
Affirms Tribes Have No Religious Rights Tribes and others Call For Congressional Action to Protect
Sacred Places Save the Peaks Coalition - 06 JUN 2009
Flagstaff, AZ—On Monday, June
8th 2009, the Supreme Court denied the petition by Tribes &
Environmental groups to hear the case to protect the holy San
For nearly a decade, the Save the Peaks
Coalition, Tribes, Environmental groups, and community members
lead an effort to stop the Snowbowl ski area’s plan to expand it’s
development on the Peaks and make snow from treated sewage
effluent. The ski resort operates on the Holy Mountain through a
lease by the United States Forest Service, which sanctioned the
proposed development in 2004.
This is the second time that a
petition for the protection of the San Francisco Peaks has been
denied by the Supreme Court....
The Long Walk Revisited Public
comment wanted on plan to make routes a National Historic Trail Navajo Times - 04 JUN 2009
WINDOW ROCK--Will the route Navajos took for the Long Walk become a
National Historic Trail?
Should the trail be commemorated given it is such a painful piece
of the Navajo past?
Those will be some of the issues discussed when the National Park
Service hosts a series of open houses on the reservation in the
URI Files for Court Review over Churchrock Mine Gallup Independent - 02 JUN 2009
WINDOW ROCK — Uranium Resources, Inc. announced Monday that it is
filing a petition with the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in
Denver for an en banc, or full court review regarding its
determination that URI’s proposed Section 8 mine is in Indian
The April 17 opinion by the three-judge panel upheld a Feb. 6,
2007, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency land status
determination that certain land owned by the company’s subsidiary,
HRI, in the checkerboard area of northwestern New Mexico, lies
within a dependent Indian community....
Let There Be Light
Black Mesa residents revel in new-found power Gallup Independent - 23 MAY 2009
Ariz. — In all of Lillie Chief’s 84 years, one of the most amazing
things she has witnessed is being able to flip a switch on the
wall and watch her home light up instantaneously. It is the first
time in her life that she has had electricity.
“Now I can see inside here,” she told Navajo Tribal Utility
Authority representatives during a May 12 visit to her home atop
The kerosene lamps she once used have now been stashed in various
corners of the home, and a new electric stove sits in the corner
wrapped in plastic, still waiting to be
hooked up. A propane stove used for cooking meals sits near the
kitchen door. But the new refrigerator her children bought for her
can be heard humming away in the kitchen....
Hopis Ready Nuke Waste
Suit Arizona Daily Sun - 22 MAY 2009
After 12 years of asking various federal agencies to clean up a
federal dump they contend is leaching radioactive waste into the
local aquifer, the Hopi Tribe is tired of waiting for action.
The Hopi Tribe filed a notice of intent to sue Thursday, stating
that a plume containing uranium and other contaminants leaching
from an open dump near Tuba City was within 2,500 feet of
contaminating water supplies for two Hopi villages. The pollution
left in the unlined dump -- a dump created by the Bureau of Indian
Affairs -- is an "imminent and substantial" threat to public
health and the environment, and is a result of multiple federal
agencies approving Cold War-era mining and milling operations that
have polluted multiple landscapes in Arizona, the tribe
URI assessment looks for radiation hot spots
Gallup Independent - 22 MAY 2009
Uranium Resources Inc. and Navajo Nation Environmental Protection
Agency began a weeklong assessment Monday of Section 17 in
Churchrock where its subsidiary, Hydro Resources Inc., has
proposed in situ mining of uranium.
Rick Van Horn, chief operating officer for URI/HRI, said Tuesday
that the two entities are looking at what the radiation values are
and how they impact the air, soils, and water in the area of
Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute Ended The Arizona Republic - 09 MAY 2009
With the stroke of a
pen Friday, President Barack Obama officially ended more than four
decades of angst and anger caused by a land dispute between the
Navajo and Hopi tribes.
The presidential signature formally repealed a federal statute, the
so-called Bennett Freeze, that has prevented poverty-stricken
members of both tribes from repairing homes or even getting
electricity on 1.5 million acres of reservation lands....
Unconscionable Police Raid on Family's Home and Organic Food Co-Op Mercola.com - 04 MAY 2009
Steps have been taken to start legal action against the Ohio
Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Lorain County Health
Department for violating the constitutional rights of John and
Jacqueline Stowers of LaGrange, Ohio.
The Stowers operate an organic food cooperative called Manna
Storehouse. ODA and Lorain County Health Department agents
forcefully raided their home and seized the family's personal food
supply, cell phones and personal computers....
Mr. King Coal's Neighborhood: Washington DC, Won't You Be My
Neighbor? Huffington Post - 28 APR 2009
What does a Wyoming rancher, a Navajo elder, a Southern community
organizer, a Latino immigrant organizer from Chicago, a young
indigenous Ottawa woman from Michigan, and an Appalachian coal
miner's widow have in common?
All of their neighborhoods are under deadly assault from King Coal.
And all of these six American heroes have journeyed to Washington,
DC this week, on their own dime--unlike the paid hacks from King
Coal's payrolls--as part of the First 100 Days of the Power Past
Coal movement to testify to representatives from Congress, the EPA
and the Council on Environmental Quality about their outrageous
living conditions under government regulated coal mining
operations and coal-fired plants.
In Mr. King Coal's neighborhood, these are their daily burdens:
Mercury poisoning, gall bladder disease, black lung disease,
devastated and impoverished strip-mined communities, depleted and
contaminated watersheds, and toxic-draped and ailing
New York-sized Ice Cap Collapses off Antarctica Reuters - 28 APR 2009
TROMSOE, Norway — An area of an Antarctic ice shelf nearly the size
of New York City has broken into icebergs this month after the
collapse of an ice bridge widely blamed on global warming, a
scientist said today.
“The northern ice front of the Wilkins Ice Shelf has become
unstable and the first icebergs have been released,” Angelika
Humbert, glaciologist at the University of Muenster in Germany,
said of European Space Agency satellite images of the shelf....
A-Twitter About Malaria An unusual competition
brings attention to a killer disease Washington Post -- 25 APR 2009 AT FIRST BLUSH, the hyped contest between Hollywood actor
Ashton Kutcher and CNN to see who could get 1 million "followers"
on Twitter struck us as, well, pointless. That is until we learned
that the bet resulted in 10,000 insecticide-treated bed nets being
sent to Africa to help stop malaria, a disease that kills almost 1
million people, most of them children, around the world annually.
On this World Malaria Day, such efforts by private citizens and
businesses, not to mention by organizations around the world that
have been pushing for decades to control and eliminate the
disease, are to be applauded. But there's a lot of work to be
Black Mesa Trust Hosts Water Braiding Conference Navajo-Hopi Observer - 21 APR 2009
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Bridging contemporary western science and
indigenous wisdom was the topic of a conference that was sponsored
by Black Mesa Trust, The Center for Sustainable Environments at
Northern Arizona University, Grand Canyon Trust and the Museum of
Northern Arizona this past week at the Woodlands Radisson Hotel
and Conference Center.
A number of internationally acclaimed scientists, teachers and
artists including water science pioneer Dr. Masaru Emoto,
painter/environmental space artist Lowry Burgess of Carnegie
Mellon University and artist Michael Kabotie of the Hopi Tribe
gathered with Black Mesa Trust Board members, over 200 adult
participants and 20 young Hopi and Navajo student interns during a
four day conference that began at the Hopi Reservation and ended
at Lake Mary.
The focus of the conference was...
A-Twitter About Malaria
An unusual competition
brings attention to a killer disease. Washington Post - 25 APR 2009
AT FIRST BLUSH, the hyped contest between Hollywood actor
Ashton Kutcher and CNN to see who could get 1 million "followers"
on Twitter struck us as, well, pointless. That is until we learned
that the bet resulted in 10,000 insecticide-treated bed nets being
sent to Africa to help stop malaria, a disease that kills almost 1
million people, most of them children, around the world annually.
On this World Malaria Day, such efforts by private citizens and
businesses, not to mention by organizations around the world that
have been pushing for decades to control and eliminate the
disease, are to be applauded. But there's a lot of work to be
INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE
INDIA: TRIBES STAGE MASS PROTEST AGAINST BRITISH COMPANY VEDANTA 25 APR 2009
Several hundred tribespeople today staged a protest against
FTSE-100 company Vedanta, as it bids massively to expand its
controversial aluminum refinery in Lanjigarh, Orissa.
The refinery occupies land belonging to the Majhi Kondh tribe, and
lies at the foot of the Niyamgiri hills, home of the isolated
Dongria Kondhs. Both tribes took part in the protests.
The refinery has already been condemned by government officials for
regularly breaching safety standards, and emitting ‘alarming’
pollution. Over a hundred families lost their homes to their
refinery. Many more lost their farm land and with it their
food-security and self sufficiency....
Navajo Uranium Mine Workers Seek Health Assistance Farmington Daily-Times - 22 APR 2009 The Navajo Nation Dependents of Uranium
Workers Committee will meet for the second time in a month to
update community members and hear feedback from residents who
suffer from cancer, kidney disease, birth defects and other
illnesses resulting from prolonged radon exposure from uranium
The health problems date back to work in the 1950s and '60s, said
Phil Harrison, Council Delegate for Red Valley/Cove Chapter of the
Navajo Nation. During that time, uranium mine workers were exposed
to high levels of radon, which has caused inter-generational bouts
of illnesses in communities across the Navajo Nation....
From wagon trails to pavement
Gallup Independent - 18 APR 2009
BLACK MESA — Snow fell
Friday morning as Black Mesa residents broke ground on
what soon will be a 7-mile stretch of pavement on
N-8066. Although the light dusting soon turned the
dirt road to mud, it was viewed as a blessing, sealing
30 years of planning and lobbying for transportation
A festive atmosphere
prevailed at Black Mesa Community School where local
residents, tribal and Bureau of Indian Affairs
dignitaries gathered to celebrate the occasion....
Opening Up Government
A welcome change of heart on freedom of information
Washington Post - 28 MAR 2009
DURING ITS eight years, the Bush administration treated the Freedom
of Information Act (FOIA) at best as a joke, at worst as an enemy.
Attorney General John D. Ashcroft determined that the Justice
Department would defend agency determinations to withhold
information unless those decisions were found to "lack a sound
legal basis or present an unwarranted risk of adverse impact on
the ability of other agencies to protect other important records."
Translation: Agencies were empowered and even encouraged to resist
compliance with FOIA, which was meant to provide citizens a
reasonable means to obtain information about the workings of their
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. rescinded the Ashcroft
memorandum last week and in its place installed guidelines that
should promote a more faithful application of the freedom of
SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE
PARAGUAY: BRAZILIAN RANCHER GREETED BY ‘ILLEGAL’ ADVERT
Survival International - 26 MAR 2009
A Brazilian rancher destroying uncontacted Indians’ land in
Paraguay has today arrived in that country to be greeted with a
national newspaper advert denouncing his actions as ‘illegal’.
Sr. Marcelo Bastos Ferraz represents the Brazilian firm Yaguarete
Porá, which created a storm of controversy last year after
satellite photos revealed it was illegally clearing vast areas of
forest in western Paraguay. The area is home to the last
uncontacted Indians outside of the Amazon basin, who are members
of the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode tribe....
Education of Native American Culture Stressed Cronkite News Service - 26 MAR 2009
A lack of knowledge
about Native American history hinders politicians as they deal
with issues important to Arizona's tribes, a Navajo lawmaker said
"We need to educate them on the foundations of Native governments,"
Sen. Albert Hale, D-Window Rock, said as the Legislature's Native
American Caucus held its first meeting. "We can step forward and
be an example of how we can deal with these issues in Arizona."...
Awarded $20,000 for Environmental Justice Project
$800,000 for Environmental Justice in 28 States
USEPA - 25 MAR 2009
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is
awarding $20,000 to Forgotten People CDC of Tonalea, Ariz., an
organization working with western Navajo Nation communities to
tackle environmental justice challenges.
Nationally, the agency is awarding 40 grants in 28 states totaling
approximately $800,000 to community-based organizations and local
and tribal governments for community projects aimed at addressing
environmental and public health issues.
“These grants mark the beginning of a full-scale revitalization of
what we do and how we think about environmental justice,” said EPA
Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Environmental justice is not an
issue we can afford to relegate to the margins. It has to be part
of our thinking in every decision we make.”...
Obama Defends Push to Cut Tax Deductions for Charitable Gifts Washington Post - 25 MAR 2009
President Obama defends his proposal to cut the tax deductions that
wealthy Americans can claim for their charitable donations by
arguing that the shift would not have an adverse effect on giving,
but two independent analyses concluded that the proposal could
result in a drop of as much as $3.87 billion for the already
reeling nonprofit sector....
Bennett Freeze Officially Thawed Arizona Daily Sun - 14 MAR 2009
The U.S. Senate has
voted to lift a decades-old ban on development on about 700,000
acres in Arizona's Black Mesa region that both the Navajo and Hopi
tribes claimed as their own.
The Senate unanimously approved a bill by Arizona senators John
McCain and Jon Kyl on Thursday night to lift a ban on development
in the "Bennett Freeze" area. The ban had prevented about 8,000
Navajos who live there from putting in electric lines, repairing
leaky roofs and running water lines to their homes unless the
improvements were approved by the neighboring Hopi Tribe. Action
by the House is still required, but no opposition is expected....
A Global Retreat As
Economies Dry Up
As World Trade Plummets,
Bustling Ports Stand
Idle And Foreign Workers Track Back Home Washington Post - 05 MAR 2009
SINGAPORE—This shimmering city-state was the house globalization built. When
world trade boomed, Singapore's seaport at the crossroads of East
and West became the Chicago O'Hare of freighters and supertankers.
Singapore Airlines took off despite serving a country with no
domestic air routes. Nearly everything manufactured here is made
for export. One out of every three workers is a foreigner.
the world enters a period of deglobalization, Singapore is a
window into the reversal of the forces that brought unprecedented
global mobility to goods, services, investment and labor. With
world trade plummeting for the first time since 1982, the
long-bustling port has become a maritime parking lot in recent
weeks, with rows of idled freighters from Asia, Europe, the United
States, South America, Africa and the Middle East stretching for
miles along the coast. "We're running out of space to park
them," said Ron Widdows, chief executive of Singapore-based
NOL, one of the world's largest container lines....
For Indian Tribes,
Economic Needs Collide with Tradition USA Today - 03 MAR 2009
LAME DEER, Mont.—Jobs
are scarce and poverty is pervasive on the Northern Cheyenne
Indian Reservation, but rich coal deposits lie beneath the buttes
where wild horses roam.
For decades, many members
of the tribe have resisted coal mining. Now, increased demand for
coal and the election of a new tribal president who is determined
to create jobs are reigniting debate over energy development among
the reservation's 4,500 residents. It's a conflict between tribal
traditions and economic self-sufficiency that has long divided
people here and on other reservations across America with coal,
oil and gas and other mineral reserves....
Offense Thousands protest against coal in
front of D.C.'s Capitol Power Plant Grist.org - 02 MAR 2009
one was arrested, but not for lack of trying.
An estimated 2,500 people protested
outside Washington, D.C.'s Capitol Power Plant on
Monday -- the nation's largest act of civil
disobedience against coal power.
Anti-coal activists from all corners
of the country braved the sub-freezing
temperatures and six inches of snow the city
received Sunday night. The uncharacteristically wintry
conditions egged on global-warming skeptics, but
the crowds marching around the plant weren't
deterred by the bad weather....
Greetings from the Forty
On February 4, 1967 in the Central Highlands of South
Vietnam (II Corps), in the general area of Pleiku, a member of the
United States Army became a casualty of the 10,000-day war and a
statistic of what eventually exceed 58,000 Americans. His name
holds a place of honor on Panel 37E - Line 23 of the Vietnam
Veterans Memorial in Washington , D.C.
His name is not easily perceived, Huskie Yazzie Begay
Ten, but his spirit is reminiscent of that of the Navajo Code
Talkers and the heritage of our Native Americans. Born in Arizona
in 1945 and drafted into the Army, Huskie Y. B. Ten entered into
the ranks of hero protecting his fellow soldiers in combat. For
this, he was awarded the Silver Star for Gallantry in Action....
Council OKs Power Plant
Arizona Star - 28 FEB 2009
The Navajo Nation Council voted 71-8 Friday in Window
Rock to approve right-of-way easements for a proposed coal-fired
power plant on the reservation, marking the tribe's last step in
what has been a long process.
The tribe will receive $3.5 million in fees in
exchange for granting rights of way for transmission, data,
electrical and water lines, water wells and road access for the $3
billion Desert Rock Energy Project in northwestern New Mexico....
Petition from the Big Mountain Situation From Bahe Katenay - 27 FEB 2009
As we speak, there exists a state of fear and anxiety
in a traditional community at Big Mountain in the heart of Black
Mesa. And as we speak, the federally deputized officers of the BIA
Hopi Agency Police and Rangers are patrolling this region where a
few traditional elders continue to live and also resist federal
mandates to relocate. I want to bring your attention to one
particular situation that is an example of the wide-spread acts of
injustice, human rights violation, religious intolerance, and
threats of property destruction....
Nation gets $34M for Housing Stimulus The Farmington Daily Times - 27 FEB 2009
The Navajo Nation will receive $34.4 million in
housing funds under the national stimulus package.
The money comes from the Department of Housing and
Urban Development. It will be used for new home construction,
housing rehabilitation and housing-related infrastructure....
for American Indians NY Times - 23 FEB 2009
The federal government has a long history of cheating
American Indians, and not all of this dirty dealing is in the
distant past. On Monday, the Supreme Court hears arguments in a
suit by the Navajo, who lost millions of dollars’ worth of coal
royalties because the government helped a coal company underpay
for their coal. A lower court ruled for the Navajo Nation. The
Supreme Court should affirm that well-reasoned decision....
Green Coalition Says Time
Is Right for Initiative Navajo Times - 19 FEB 2009
WINDOW ROCK—The time is ripe to start "greening" the Navajo
Nation, say representatives of the Navajo Green Economy Coalition.
The coalition hopes the Navajo Nation Council will pass two
bills during its spring session that would establish offices aimed
at creating green jobs. The bills are sponsored by Speaker
Lawrence T. Morgan (Iyanbito/Pinedale).
The coalition is made up of the Black Mesa Water Coalition, the
Grand Canyon Trust, and Sky One New Mexico - non-governmental
organizations that have in the past sometimes been on the other
side of projects supported by the Navajo government....
May Reverse Bush, Limit Carbon Emissions From Coal-Fired Plants Washington Post - 18 FEB 2009
The Environmental Protection Agency will reopen the
possibility of regulating carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired
power plants, tossing aside a December Bush administration
memorandum that declared that the agency would not limit the
decision could mark the first step toward placing limits on
greenhouse gases emitted by coal plants, an issue that has been
hotly contested by the coal industry and environmentalists since
April 2007, when the Supreme Court ruled that carbon dioxide
should be considered a pollutant under the Clean Air Act....
Protesting is not
Resistance Is Based on Profound Manifestos: “Ancient Big Mountain Supreme Ways Dictates Dineh Resistance,
Pauline Whitesinger Continues to Defy BIA Police Harassment
& Threats” by Bahe Y. Katenay
Sweet Water Stronghold,
Big Mountain, AZ. February 9, 2009—Dineh elder resister of the
traditional lands of Sweet Water is bundled up for the chilly
winds as she takes some hay out to her sheep and goats. The herds
need a little extra feed before going out to graze. The
non-Indian, volunteer supporter is dressed warm and ready to
follow the sheep as he chops some wood for grandma, Pauline,
while the herds nibble on the scattered hay on the ground. Not
many non-Indian volunteers do occasionally make themselves
available from their busy lives to come out for short stays and
help traditional, elder resisters. Very few traditional elder
residents are now left throughout such regions affected by the
harsh relocation laws of 1974....
Utility Looks to Mojave Desert Project for Solar Power New York Times - 11 FEB 2009
The largest utility in California, squeezed by rising
demand for electricity and looming state deadlines to curb fossil
fuels, has signed a deal to buy solar power from seven immense
arrays of mirrors, towers and turbines to be installed in the
The contracts amount to the world’s largest single
deal for new solar energy capacity, said officials from the
utility, Southern California Edison, and BrightSource Energy, the
company that would build and run the plants. When fully built, the
solar arrays on a sunny day would supply 1,300 megawatts of
electricity, somewhat more than a modern nuclear power plant.
That is enough electricity to power about 845,000
in Line for Top Indian Affairs Job
Interior Department: Echohawk would be first high-ranking Mormon
in Obama administration Salt Lake Tribune - 10 FEB 2009
Washington--President Barack Obama is likely to tap
Utahan Larry Echohawk as the head of the Interior Department's
Bureau of Indian Affairs, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned.
Echohawk, a Democrat who teaches at Brigham Young
University's law school, would be the first high-ranking Mormon
nominated to Obama's administration, and the only Utahan so far in
a senior role.
Reached by phone Tuesday, Echohawk declined to
comment, saying he "can't talk."
The White House did not respond to requests for
confirmation Tuesday; but...
House to Elevate Indian Affairs, Appoint Special Adviser Salt Lake Tribune - 09 FEB 2009
Washington--President Barack Obama will soon name a
senior White House adviser for tribal issues in a move that
elevates the concerns of American Indians to a higher point than
First Lady Michelle Obama told employees at the
Interior Department on Monday that American Indians have a
"wonderful partner in the White House right now," and
her husband plans to improve that relationship even more.
"He'll soon appoint a policy adviser to his
senior White House staff to work with tribes and across the
government on these issues such as sovereignty, health care,
education -- all central to the well-being of Native American
families and the prosperity of tribes all across this
country," the first lady said....
Backlash Directed at OSM over Peabody Western Coal Permit Indian Country Today - 10 FEB 2009
DENVER – A controversial federal decision
enlarging a northeastern Arizona coal mine permit area has been
appealed to the Department of the Interior on charges that the
Office of Surface Mining Regulation and Enforcement violated six
Native and environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club,
joined in the request for review that alleges violation of the
Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, National Environmental
Policy Act, National Historic Preservation Act, Religious Freedom
Restoration Act, Endangered Species Act and Administrative
filing with the Interior’s Office of Hearings and Appeals asks
that a life-of-mine permit issued Dec. 22 to Peabody Western Coal
Co. be invalidated or the organizations are prepared to take the
matter to court....
Clean Coal’s Dirty Mess
A tale of 2 power plants: Tennessee’s experience shows
how environmental concerns can be misdirected
Star-Telegram - 10 FEB 2009
On Dec. 22, a deluge of coal-ash slurry broke through
a retaining wall near the Kingston Fossil Plant, a power plant in
eastern Tennessee. Black sludge inundated a valley and destroyed
houses as it surged down to the Emory River, where hundreds of
fish soon lay dead on fouled banks.
video footage showed a landscape resembling the moon’s surface,
with more than a billion gallons of sludge covering 300 acres. The
disaster also temporarily halted an incoming train loaded with
coal. This presumably came from other industrially ravaged
landscapes to the east, where entire Appalachian mountaintops are
routinely bulldozed into valleys to access seams of Paleozoic
Tests of river water near the spill found high levels
of lead, cadmium, thallium and other toxic heavy metals. One
sample tested by the Environmental Protection Agency on Dec. 23
had an arsenic concentration 149 times the federal safety
Chinle PTSD group going
strong after a year, meets needs of Veterans of all ages Navajo Times - 05 FEB 2009
are things about post-traumatic stress disorder that only fellow
sufferers will understand.
The way a
whiff of Chinese food can trigger a flashback to a Vietnamese
village that was abandoned so quickly that family dinners were
left boiling on the fire.
strange, loud voice you get when you're talking to your wife but
really trying to shout down an uninvited memory.
hunting knife under your mattress, just in case.
Tenn. Coal Ash Disaster Raises Concerns about Similar Sites Nationwide With Streaming Video and Downloadable Audio
PBS NewsHour - 02 FEB 2009
In December, tons of spilled coal ash devastated the town of Kingston, Tenn. Tom Bearden reports on the
disaster's effects on residents, cleanup efforts and the debate over safety standards for other coal ash
storage sites around the country.
TOM BEARDEN, NewsHour correspondent: Even today, it's difficult for anybody who hasn't been to Kingston, Tenn., to understand how big the problem is. Video just doesn't do it justice.
In the pre-dawn hours of Dec. 22, 5.4 million tons of ashes created by 50 years of burning coal to generate electricity here burst through a dike, spreading like an avalanche for more than a mile, burying 300 acres of riverbank several feet deep, spilling out into the nearby river itself.
Paul Schmerbach is an environmental program manager with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, or
'We Were Denied' Groups appeal U.S. decision to meld Black Mesa Mine with Kayenta mine permit
by Cindy Yurth - Navajo Times Hard Copy - 29 JAN 2009
CHINLE - A coalition of tribal and environmental groups Jan. 22 filed an appeal seeking to reverse the U.S. Office of Surface Mining's recent decision to incorporate the idle Black
Mesa Coal Mine into Peabody Western Coal Co.'s existing life-of-mine permit for its Kayenta Mine....
Was a Navajo soldier overlooked for a Medal of Honor?
Cindy Yurth - 27 JAN 2009
KITS’IILI, Ariz. — As Tom Gorman read the
citations for the two posthumous Congressional Medals of Honor
recently awarded to veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, they
Both men had thrown themselves on live explosives,
using their bodies to shield their comrades from the full force of
Two years earlier, Gorman, the claims agent at the
Navajo Veterans Affairs’ Chinle office, had read an almost
identical account of a Navajo soldier as he entered information on
Vietnam veterans into the office’s computer database.
He went back into his files and took another look....
Our Leaders Regarding "Clean Coal Technology"
International - 25 JAN 2009
We need to send a message to our leaders, to the media, and to corporate America that, as it now stands, there is no such thing as "clean coal technology," and that before the use of coal can even be considered as a clean source of energy, much more research, development, and work must be done.
Simply "talking the talk" doesn't change the facts of the matter. Before anyone can herald the existence of "clean coal technology," it must first be developed; and a small-scale, working model must be built to demonstrate its efficiency and cleanliness.
Measurements of the amount of energy yielded per ton of coal
by "clean" methods, and realistic rather than speculative comparisons to
the energy yield of present-day "dirty" methods of burning coal must be made. The comparisons must be demonstrated and recorded. The amount and nature of pollutants and potentially harmful, cumulative emissions must be measured and recorded over a realistic test period. Effects of such emissions on the environment, on human health, and on the health of wildlife must be assessed and addressed before any entity can go forward with any coal technology that claims to be "clean."...
Going Green for Navajo is All Natural Gallup Independent - 19 JAN 2009
WINDOW ROCK—The tradition of the Navajo people long ago was to live a sustainable life in harmony with the earth.
Navajo people would tend to the cornfields to provide nourishment and build hogans out of natural materials for shelter.
So today’s Navajo Green Job initiative builds upon the traditions of the Diné, presenters said during the Power Shift to Navajo Green Jobs community summit Saturday at the Navajo Nation Museum....
Despite Agreement, Bennett Freeze Residents Still 'Poorest of the
Poor' Navajo Times - 15 JAN 2009
WINDOW ROCK--More than two years ago, President Joe
Shirley Jr. announced that the 40-year-old Bennett Freeze had been
lifted through a "historic" agreement with the Hopi
But according to a "Final All Chapter
Summit" report published Aug. 6, not much has changed in the
And in the words of Navajo-Hopi Land Development
Office director Roman Bitsuie, the people there remain the
"poorest of the poor."...
Sends Recommendations to Washington Gallup Independent - 15 JAN 2009
WINDOW ROCK — The Navajo Nation sent the
Obama-Biden transition team the “Navajo Nation Federal Agenda
for the Obama-Biden Transition Team and 111th Congress,” which
includes a list of 27 policy recommendations.
The first policy recommendation is to allow in-kind
contribution to apply toward federal matching fund requirements.
“Many programs require that Native American Tribes
provide a certain percentage of the total funding amount in
matching funds in order to receive federal funds,” the document
Time for Supreme Court to Step In Gallup Independent - 12 JAN 2009
WINDOW ROCK — It is now time for the U.S. Supreme
Court to step in, several tribes are saying with a petition to the
court for a writ of certiorari in Navajo Nation v. U.S. Forest
The Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe are among the
petitioners asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision
by the en banc Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. With that
decision, the Arizona Snowbowl is able to use treated wastewater
for artificial snowmaking on the San Francisco Peaks, which are
considered sacred to at least 13 Native American tribes....
to the Editor: Navajo Times Peabody
Plans Carry Harmful Impacts The Navajo Times - 09 JAN 2009
Peabody Coal Company's massive coal mining expansion
plans on the proposed Black Mesa Project outlines many harmful
impacts to the ecological and cultural systems on Black Mesa. The
Black Mesa Project has global repercussions particularly to the
environment, Black Mesa Navajo, and Hopi communities.
Therefore, it is important to protect Black Mesa as a
sacred (religious), cultural, and historic landscape by having the
area designated as Traditional Cultural Property under Section 106
of the National Historic Preservation Act, and under the RFRA
Black Mesa has many religious shrines and offering
places located on its landscape. However, it must be stressed that
the whole Black Mesa region, including Navajo Mountain is a female
goddess that is lying by her male mate the Chuska Mountains....
Heat Sends Southwest
Climate Back in Time Christian Science Monitor - 08 JAN 2009
Monument, N.M.—For 15
years, Craig Allen, a scientist with the US Geological Survey, has
monitored a 2.7-acre plot here in northern New Mexico. During that
time, he’s witnessed smaller tree species succeeding larger
ones. He’s seen dry years, bark beetle infestations,
large-scale tree dieback, and finally, a shift toward grassland.
To Dr. Allen, these changes tell a tale of combined human impacts
– overgrazing, fire suppression, and climate change. And they
underscore how human activity can amplify the effects of natural
cycles to alter a landscape dramatically.
American Southwest may be drying, one of the predicted
consequences of human-induced global climate change. Less water in
an already semiarid region will affect how, and for what, people
use water. Allen also suspects that tree dieback here may be part
of a worldwide phenomenon. As temperature extremes have inched
higher in semiarid regions globally, forests have succumbed to
Feds Approve Black Mesa Life-of-Mine Permit The Navajo Times - Cindy Yurth - 08 JAN 2009
CHINLE – In a move that surprised no one, the U.S. Office of Surface Mining gave Peabody Western Coal Co. a Christmas present, approving the company's application to roll the closed Black Mesa Mine into the life-of-mine permit for the Kayenta Mine.
The record of decision, available for download at www.wrcc.osmre.gov/, was published Dec. 22.
Peabody's spokeswoman Beth Sutton said the move gives the company more "flexibility" in the use of its coal leases, although any new mining in the Black Mesa Complex, as the incorporated leases are being called, will still have to be approved by OSM....
Tribes Appeal Decision in Arizona Snowbowl Case Arizona Central - 05 JAN 2009
FLAGSTAFF—American Indian tribes are asking the U.S. Supreme Court
to review a lower court's decision that allows for snowmaking on an
Arizona peak the tribes consider sacred.
The tribes met Monday's deadline for an appeal in the Arizona Snowbowl
Navajo, Hopi Citizens Vow to Stop Peabody Coal Mine Expansion Native Times - JANUARY 2009
FLAGSTAFF, ARIZ. - Two days before Christmas, officials from the U.S. Office of Surface Mining have granted a permit to Peabody Coal Company to expand their mining operations on Navajo and Hopi lands, despite opposition from local communities and problems with the permitting process including lack of adequate time for public comment on a significant revision to the permit, insufficient environmental review, and instability in the Hopi government preventing their legitimate participation in the process. OSM's "Record of Decision" is the final stage of the permitting process for the proposed "Black Mesa Project," which would grant Peabody Coal Company a life-of-mine permit for the "Black Mesa Complex" in northern Arizona. Tribal citizens protest the expanding mining operations of Peabody Coal Company.
Black Mesa Water Coalition, a Navajo and Hopi citizens organization working on indigenous sovereignty and environmental protection, has vowed to stop Peabody from causing further harm to Black Mesa. “We are looking into our options for how to stop this process from moving forward, including legal action. The permitting process was flawed and clearly rushed through before President Bush leaves office,” said Enei Begaye, Co-Director of Black Mesa Water Coalition....
Navajo, Hopi Citizens Vow
to Stop Peabody Coal Mine Expansion Native Times - 03 JAN 2009
AZ — Two days before Christmas, officials from
the U.S. Office of Surface Mining have granted a
permit to Peabody Coal Company to expand their
mining operations on Navajo and Hopi lands,
despite opposition from local communities and
problems with the permitting process including
lack of adequate time for public comment on a
significant revision to the permit, insufficient
environmental review, and instability in the Hopi
government preventing their legitimate
participation in the process....