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Archive for August, 2012
Western science is a “culture of practice” comprised of many diverse specific disciplines whose common thread is pursuit of provable knowledge that cannot be refuted. Indeed, the pursuit of science is a fundament of global culture, a cornerstone of modern civilization. That science clashes with systems of belief such as fundamentalist religion reveals a perilous realm of “conflicting absolutes” that defies reasonable resolution. Science, or evidence-based knowledge and belief-based social consciousness may remain at loggerheads until humankind refines its collective consciousness to integrate science, intuition of the great mystery, and coherence of collective mind, recognizing that we are a member More >
An Innovative Approach to Address the Digital and Media Divide in Indian Country
Media has a vital role to play in supporting tribal economic and community development and is tied directly to the nation-building efforts of sovereign tribes. Native Public Media’s name reflects the Flagstaff, AZ-based organization’s explicit vision to empower Native people across the United States to participate actively in all forms of media and to do it on their own terms.
Native Public Media’s programs are rooted in Native American history, arts, language and culture. Members represent a cross-section of broadcast facilities, both terrestrial and digital, serving Indian Country More >
2011 was a year that severely tested a number of communities in northern New Mexico. With the coldest two weeks in memory, a natural gas shortage and the second most destructive fire in the state’s history (only to be trumped by the Little Bear fire this year), New Mexicans came together to support each other and work toward widespread recovery.
West of present-day Santa Fe, tribal ancestors of Santa Clara Pueblo lived at Puje Owinge, near the Puje Cliff Ruins, until about 1300 CE. At that point a village was established seven miles east, which is where Santa Clara More >
We find this truth to be self-evident: that we and the Earth are interdependent. That our Mother Earth has furnished us with livelihood, and many have taken her gifts and left her behind; that we have hurt her, and all beings, with our neglect.
We recognize that we need to acknowledge Mother Earth’s right to our respect and reverence.
We recognize the rights of plants and animals to our respect and reverence because they are our older brothers and sisters.
We recognize that we all contribute to the balance of life; that all beings in this miraculous world are valuable and worthy of More >
The University of New Mexico School of Architecture and Planning has established an Indigenous Design and Planning Institute, iD+Pi, to provide greater awareness, understanding, appreciation and adaptation of design and planning techniques that have long served Native communities. The director of the institute, Ted Jojola (Isleta Pueblo), describes indigenous planning as “a worldview constituted from people who live successfully over generations in the same place, who understand a really important sense of self and meaning. That’s very different than what you find in urbanized communities where you use it, abuse it, you leave and then go somewhere else. The indigenous More >
Currently, efforts to build sustainable housing focus singularly on “green” design and technologies to alleviate emissions and overuse of energy, water and other natural resources. While this marks an important shift in design thinking and planning, achieving true sustainability requires a more holistic approach. Truly sustainable developments must encompass cultural, ecological and economic concerns of a given community. This is especially important in Native American communities.
In Native American communities the federal government has historically been, and continues to be, the primary funder of housing developments. Housing units built in Native communities by the federal government were typically modeled after More >
Op-Ed by Sam Kessler
In early May 2011, as spring was beginning to make itself known, the finishing touches for the new solar installation at the communal Crownpoint Chapter House were underway. The visible solar trackers were ceremoniously recognized by the Crownpoint Navajo people and by the organizations and individuals that had worked in conjunction with the community’s residents.
Reflecting on the day’s events, Mariel Nanasi—a key figure in helping make the solar installation possible and executive director of the Santa Fe-based nonprofit New Energy Economy—said, “It was a significant effort made at a necessary time. Already people of Crownpoint are More >
In April, the US Department of Energy’s Tribal Energy Program awarded $6.5 million for 19 renewable energy projects. About two-thirds of the funding went to tribes in the West, mostly Arizona and New Mexico. This year’s grants came as the Obama administration has been seeking to empower tribal nations in the US and strengthen their economies by speeding up the leasing of land for clean energy projects.
It has been projected that Indian lands have the potential to supply more than four times the electricity needs of the nation from solar systems and another 14 percent by harnessing wind resources.
A More >
MoGro, is a mobile grocery. Its mission is to provide healthy, affordable food to underserved communities, sometimes referred to as food deserts, where healthy food isn’t readily available.
The new initiative is a collaboration between founders Beth and Rick Schnieders, Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, and La Montanita Co-op. It is a holistic attempt to reduce epidemics –obesity, diabetes, heart disease – related to poor diet and lack of exercise. MoGro offers community exercise programs, free samples, food preparation classes and scheduled visits by the mobile grocery to each participating community.
Curently, MoGro serves four Pueblo communities in northern New More >
Building Green Economies in Indian Country
Dave Castillo and Dana Lanza
The beauty of the land and inspiration for the green movement stands in stark contrast to the state of housing and public infrastructure on tribal lands. The fact that more equitable access to capital and green technology can help enhance both tribal communities and the green economy inspired the establishment of the Southwest Native Green Loan Fund.
Banks typically will not make loans for public projects on tribal trust lands. Moreover, available grant funding alone is insufficient to cover the costs of the development needed on Indian reservations. Yet there remains significant More >
By the Natwani Coalition Staff
The season of short days, cold air and laid-back times has passed and we are now in summer. For Hopi people, this is an inspirational time. It is the season for Hopis to celebrate a glimpse of what was promised if they fulfill their family, clan and village obligations. We call it natwani, which is a Hopi word that refers to “practices and rituals related to the continued renewal or rejuvenation of life.” Examples of these practices include planting, processing, harvesting, hunting and gathering of food.
Hopi dryland farming is a very intimate act, one that More >
Pueblo weaving and textile arts are among the most ancient traditions still practiced in the Pueblos of the Southwest. It is a tradition that pre-dates pottery by several centuries. Sadly, it is one of the art forms that have experienced a sharp decline since the colonization of Pueblo communities. Despite this fact, Pueblo textiles are still very much an integral part of Pueblo culture and identity as they make up the traditional regalia and dress for religious and other special occasions.
Many textiles and weavings, as well as the materials used, have deep meaning to Pueblo people. Cotton, Gossypium hirsutum, More >
On February 14, US Senators Kyl and McCain of Arizona introduced Senate Bill 2109 – the “Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Rights Settlement Act of 2012.” The bill asked the Navajo and Hopi peoples to waive aboriginal Water Rights claims to the surface waters of the Little Colorado River, future claims for damages done to the Navajo Aquifer, and “all claims to injury to water quality arising from time immemorial and thereafter, forever.”
Offered in exchange: $315 million in federally funded groundwater delivery projects that would serve a number of reservation and off-reservation communities; clean, reliable drinking water, protection from More >
In April, the Bureau of Reclamation awarded a $10.75 million construction contract for the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project. Now under construction, the project will provide 37,376 acre-feet of water annually from the San Juan River Basin to more than 43 Navajo chapters, including Fort Defiance in Arizona, the city of Gallup, NM and the Teepee Junction area of the Jicarilla Apache Nation. Those areas rely on rapidly depleting groundwater of poor quality that is inadequate to meet current demands.
The project will include 280 miles of pipeline, several pumping plants, and two water treatment plants. The first water delivery to Navajo More >
Uniting as One Voice to Sustain our Native Culture
In 1975, during my early years as an artist and craftsman, I journeyed in my handcrafted gypsy wagon—perched atop a 1963 Ford pickup—through Monument Valley near the Four Corners, in the heart of Navajo Nation. My fingers were calloused from the daily pursuit of miniature perfection in the form of inlaid pendants and boxes, precisely crafted in my mobile studio. My theme was predominantly nature, tiny landscapes held in the palm. But here, stretched before my eyes was a landscape so vast, so majestic, my heart raced in daring the concept to More >
Four Corners Coal Complex to Face Full Environmental Review for the First Time in its 50-year History
The federal Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement has announced plans to undertake a combined “Environmental Impact Statement and Endangered Species Act” consultation for the entire coal complex at the Four Corners Power Plant, which is located in northwestern New Mexico along the San Juan River. It will be the first comprehensive environmental analysis of the power plant and the Navajo Mine that feeds it in the complex’s 50-year history. The study is expected to take years to complete.
The decision comes as the agency More >
A Pueblo Perspective on 100 Years of Government Policy
The challenges Pueblo people have faced from 100+ years of state and federal policies are documented on a timeline that runs through an exhibit at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque. Photos, videos, audio interviews, letters, pottery and other crafts fill the space and tell stories of assimilation, allotment, relocation and forced removal. The exhibit showcases the resilience of generations of Pueblo people.
The timeline starts with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican American War in 1848, covers the Mining Act of 1872, NM statehood in 1912, and More >
Understanding interdependence is basic to sustainable actions and the path to resiliency. In Indigenous cultures, worldview differences in concepts of aliveness often reach beyond people, extending to plants, rocks, clouds, water and soil—all part of a universe of sentient beings. The structure of Indigenous languages reflects this aliveness and a process-oriented view of life, often losing meaning in translation.
The phrase “all my relations” in Native American cultures reflects the regard of all species on an equal basis, and our intense relationship to them from origin and kinship. Animals are sacred and often imbued with special powers, kin in the More >
Obama Administration Releases National Solar Energy Plan
The Departments of Interior and Energy have announced the long-awaited final blueprint for solar energy development on public land in six Western states, including New Mexico. The document’s release is the culmination of a two-year public process, which engaged conservation groups, utilities and solar energy companies in an effort to develop a balanced approach that protects wildlife and critical lands while tackling the climate change challenge and moving our nation closer to meeting clean energy goals.
The plan identifies 17 solar energy zones covering 285,000 square miles as priority areas for large solar developments. An More >
Through Feb. 2013
100 Years of State & Federal Policy: Its Impact on Pueblo Nations
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 12th St. NW
Exhibition reflects on the human experience behind enacted policies and laws, adding to a well-documented history of Pueblo resilience since the time of Emergence. Indianpueblo.org/100years
Aug. 3, 7- 8:30 pm
Joanne Shenandoah – Live
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 2401 12th St. NWThe Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter in an intimate live performance. $15. 1.866.877.7902, www.indianpueblo.org
Aug. 4, 5, 10; 9 am-3 pm
Biofuels Training Class
CNM So. Valley Campus, 5816 Isleta Blvd. SW
SFCC Biofuels Center of Excellence offers free training to qualified applicants. Greentraining.sfcc.edu
Aug. 8, 9-10:30 am
Home Farming Revolution for More >