Archive for August, 2010

Pueblo Self-Reliance, Sustainability and Agricultural Revitalization

An Interview with Greg Cajete

Well into the 1930s and ‘40s, Pueblo communities were very self-sufficient with regard to production of staples such as corn, beans and squash. After World War II, some of that sustainability of creating their own food base began to diminish significantly, such that today, while many Pueblos and individual Pueblo farmers still farm traditionally, there are actually very few producing as much as they were before World War II. (more…)

Climate Change: Two Views of What’s Next

by Ann Euston

As our political systems dither away opportunities to slow the rate and intensity of chaotic climate change, two seasoned journalists have tackled a daunting question: If significant climate change is inevitable, and virtually all experts now think that it is, how can individuals and society see their way through times more trying than modern civilization has ever faced? (more…)

“Indigenuity” at the Institute of American Indian Arts

by Annie Haven McDonnell

Indigenous scholar Daniel Wildcat spoke about climate change and Indigenous knowledge at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe last year. He said that artists would play a key role in educating people about the necessary transformations to address climate change. He also discussed the necessity of “indigenuity” (indigenous ingenuity) drawing on the strength and resilience in Native traditions as well as responding with innovation and creativity to address new challenges. Through these ideas, Wildcat (Yuchi member of the Muscogee Nation and faculty member of Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas) articulated some of the More >

Jemez Pueblo’s Geothermal Energy Research

Hot water seeps have long been noticed in the Indian Springs area near the bank of the Jemez River about a mile south of Jemez Pueblo. In 1989, the pueblo received a grant from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to explore the location. A shallow well was installed that pumped about 150 gallons of water at 130 degrees Fahrenheit. It was generally assumed that it was that it was a small reservoir that was likely connected to a deeper source. A commercial scale power resource would require 2,000 gallons a minute at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. 600 gallons a minute at 135-140 More >
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New Energy Future in Indian Country

Confronting Climate Change, Creating Jobs and Conserving Nature

Report details renewable energy resources on tribal lands

A new report provides an overview of the possibilities for renewable energy in Indian Country and details case studies of wind, solar, geothermal and biomass production, as well as energy efficiency/weatherization. The report was released in March by the National Wildlife Federation in collaboration with the National Tribal Environmental Council, the Native American Rights Fund, and the Intertribal Council On Utility Policy.

Indian tribes are disproportionately bearing the brunt of climate change, and their economic, cultural, and spiritual practices, which are closely tied to the natural world, More >

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2010 August Edition

Pueblo Self-Reliance, Sustainability & Agricultural Revitalization, Tesuque Farms: Reviving Agricultural Traditions, The Indigenous Sustainable Communities Design Course, ¡Sostenga! Woman, Nature and the Sustainable Feminine, Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture, “Indigenuity” at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Poeh – The Path to Creativity, The New Energy Future in Indian County, Ohkay Owingeh Housing Renovation Project, Green Remodeling at Ohkay Owingeh, Renewable Energy Projects at the Pueblo of Jemez, Sacred Power Corporation, Hózhó: Restoring Land, Community and Culture, NM Greenhouse Emissions Caps Hearing to Continue, Climate Change: Two Views of What’s Next, Community Learning & Social Development (part 3), A Challenging Garden Season, More >
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The Indigenous Sustainable Communities Design Course

Indigenous Solutions for a Sustainable Future by Wenona Nutima

The Traditional Native American Farmers Association (TNAFA) is a non-profit organization founded in 1992. Its mission is to revitalize traditional Native American agriculture for spiritual and human needs. TNAFA achieves this through its educational programs with a particular focus on indigenous women and youth. Traditional seed varieties, seed saving and redistribution, as well as traditional foods and cultures are important areas of study. (more…)

Tesuque Farms Reviving Agricultural Traditions

by Kahneratokwas

The Tesuque Farms Agricultural Initiative has been reviving agricultural traditions for the last 6 years with a Pueblo-supported project that has turned 40 acres of mostly fallow land into a productive farm serving Tesuque Pueblo and surrounding communities.  Under the direction of plant geneticist Emigdio Ballon, Quechua of Bolivia, and Governor Frederick Vigil, the farm is producing traditional crops, herbal medicines, many varieties of fruit, grains, and several non-traditional crops including over 10,000 asparagus plants. Ten beehives provide the necessary pollination, as well as honey and beeswax for the community. (more…)

Sacred Power Corporation of Albuquerque

“Using the Strengths of the Father to Protect the Gifts of the Mother”

by Seth Roffman

Sacred Power, Inc. is a Native American-owned and operated green company with a charter to provide renewable and distributive energy, and telecommunications. The Albuquerque-based firm, founded in 1999, has become the country’s leading Native American-owned manufacturer of photovoltaic/hybrid renewable energy systems that integrate propane generators, hydrogen fuel cells, wind turbines and hydrogen electrolyzers. (more…)

Poeh – The Path To Creativity

by Susan Guyette

“Poeh” is a Tewa word meaning the road or path to be taken during life. The Poeh Cultural Center and Museum at Pojoaque Pueblo (15 miles north of Santa Fe) blends public exhibits, cultural teaching, entrepreneurial support and environmental stewardship. As a national model for a living museum and a culturally-based employment training program, the center teaches 100-150 students per year from over 50 tribes. The vision of Pojoaque Pueblo Governor and Executive Director George Rivera, the Poeh Center mentors indigenous groups internationally on the process of developing cultural centers. The center received Harvard University’s “Honoring Nations” award More >

A Declaration of the Rights of the Peoples and the Earth

An indigenous call to action, the Redstone Statement, was signed on May 1st, at the conclusion of the first International Summit on Indigenous Environmental Philosophy. Twenty-two participants came from Australia, Canada, Chile (Mapuche), Guatemala (Maya), India, Kenya, Mexico (Toltec), New Zealand, Russia, Siberia, Swaziland, Taiwan, Thailand, and American Indian communities in the United States. (more…)

Hózhó: Restoring Land, Community and Culture

By Tammy Hererra, Craig Conley and Avery Anderson

“Hózhó″ is a Navajo word that means “walking in beauty” – or living in a manner that strives to create and maintain balance, harmony, beauty and order. Hózhó is similar to, but much richer in meaning than the term “conservation” as it implies a deep connection between people and land. One cannot restore land health without people and culture. This concept forms the founding principal for understanding ecological and cultural resilience on Navajo land, and the work of the Ojo Encino Chapter of the Navajo Nation over the last decade. (more…) More >

My Own Garden: Coping with a Challenging Garden Season

by Susan Waterman

Given what I’m hearing from gardening friends and associates, and from the questions being asked, it seems that this summer in Northern New Mexico gets a 5-star rating for being a challenging growing season. The season began with little rain and lots of high winds, seemingly non-stop, which made it very difficult for seedlings to survive after germination and to actually take off. The exceedingly cool nights and very warm days didn’t encourage a vigorous start. The summer rains have certainly provided some relief to courageous survivors, and finally, in the third week in July, gardens just poking More >

Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture: Care for the People, Care for Mother Earth, Respect for the Future

by Lilian Hill

Indigenous peoples have developed specialized farming techniques throughout the western hemisphere, ranging from dry farming to the specialization and cultivation of diverse types of heirloom seeds. This specialized traditional knowledge has allowed them to sustain the land and themselves for thousands of years. Indigenous peoples have created a way of living in which they depend on each other as families and communities for survival and livelihood. In days not so long ago, the Hopi subsisted on many varieties of corn, beans, squash, melons, pumpkins, and heirloom fruits such as apples, peaches, apricots, pears and medicinal seasonal plant foods. More >

NM Supreme Court Allows Consideration of Greenhouse Emissions Caps

Hearing to Continue August 16

by Seth Roffman

In June, in a unanimous decision, the New Mexico Supreme Court gave the green light for New Energy Economy’s petition to cap greenhouse gas pollution to proceed. The court dismissed a lawsuit filed by Public Service Company of NM (PNM), other utilities, conservative legislators, and the oil and gas industry, that challenged the NM Environmental Improvement Board’s (EIB) authority to hear the petition. (more…)

Women and Sostenga

by Camilla Bustamante

The relationship between humans and nature is dynamic. Often social constructs such as religion and economics have influence on the human interface with nature and the female of its species. The long held concept of the Earth as feminine is often understood in references to Mother Earth. A patriarchal perspective often describes the passive attributes of nature and woman as those awaiting management and fertilization in order to be of value. Harkening to the temptations of Eden and the unruly influences of woman, in 1979 Susan Griffin wrote Woman and Nature, in which she enlightens the reader to More >

Green Remodeling at Ohkay Owingeh

by Jamie Blosser

We are preserving historic homes, and doing any re-hab is really green because you’re not using new resources. But we are going in and putting all new roofs on, so they will have R-40 insulated roofs. We are going to be putting in insulation on the northern exposures, and all the new windows will be insulated and double-glazed. (more…)