August 2013

Climate Change Impacts to Tribes in the Southwestern United States


Susan Wotkyns and Cristina Maria González-Maddux

Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals


Climate change threatens to alter the natural environment in a myriad of different ways. For the Southwestern United States, these changes include a trend toward hotter and drier conditions, and importantly, disruptions to major hydrologic systems and processes. In the National Climate Assessment’s1 (NCA) most recent report on the Southwest, “Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest US2”, the authors describe the region—Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah—as being among the most “climate-challenged” in North America. It’s not surprising then that many climate change impacts are already being felt in More >

SIDEBAR: Climate Change Impacts to Tribes in the Southwestern United States


The Tribal Lands and Environment Forum is celebrating its fourth year. This annual event is coming to New Mexico for the first time, and will take place at the Pueblo of Santa Ana’s Tamayá Resort Aug. 19-22, 2013. This forum, co-sponsored by the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals and the US EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Response, brings together over 200 tribal professionals from Alaska to Alabama, and Maine to California, as well as their federal colleagues. This event features a series of intensive trainings, multiple plenary sessions, and over 40 breakout sessions, all focused on the fields of More >

Indigenous Design and Planning Institute Builds Capacity Statewide, Beyond


Carolyn Gonzales


The Indigenous Design and Planning Institute, iD+Pi, at the University of New Mexico, was created to educate and inform policy leaders, students, professionals and communities within and outside the university about culturally appropriate design and planning practices.

Community and Regional Planning Distinguished Professor Ted Jojola, from Isleta Pueblo, directs the program. In the short time since iD+Pi was established, Jojola has received many requests to aid indigenous communities in New Mexico and the surrounding areas.

The institute is in the end stages of providing design assistance for Ysleta del Sur in El Paso, Texas. The tribe lost many of More >

Empowered to Succeed…or Fail: The Double-Edged Sword of Sovereignty & Self-Sufficiency


Dave Castillo


Editors Note: Sustainable development is often thought about in terms of building new physical structures with limited adverse impact on the environment—in other words, environmentally sustainable development. However, even the thought of “developing” on tribal lands is complicated by limited access to funding as the result of a complex political and economic history between the United States and tribes. The following article reflects upon the work of Indian and other organizations working to facilitate economically sustainable development that is inclusive of environmentally sustainable projects.


How is it that the US can put a man on the moon but not a bank More >

Guided by Our Values


Anthony Fleg


I am excited to see the ideas and insights from Indigenous leaders that fill this edition of Green Fire Times. As a coordinator for the Native Health Initiative, I want to reflect on a few things I have learned from the people and organizations working with us:

  • One of the most fundamental ways that we show love in this world is by protecting the only true asset that we will give to future generations: Mother Earth.
  • Indigenous communities are not focused on tomorrow or 2014 and do not run from one election to the next. Instead, there is the Seven Generations perspective, More >

Tewa Women United

Indigenous Women United in Heart, Mind and Spirit


Corrine Sanchez


Sengi tamu. (in Tewa) – Good day to you.


Tewa Women United (TWU) is a collective of intertribal, multicultural women who reside in the Tewa Pueblo homelands of northern New Mexico. The organization started in 1989 as a support group for women concerned with the traumatic effects of colonization leading to issues such as alcoholism, suicide, domestic and sexual violence. In the safe space we created, we transformed and empowered one another through critical analysis and by embracing and reaffirming our cultural identity. In 2001 TWU transitioned from an informal, all-volunteer group into More >

EVERYDAY GREEN: Tribal Museums and Cultural Centers


Susan Guyette

Preserving the diversity of traditions, lifeways and cultural values is a core concern in New Mexico’s rural and tribal communities. Tribal cultural centers and museums are important places for cultural learning, employment, and a source of cultural pride—as well as places for the public to participate and interact with tribal communities.


One primary benefit of tourism is the stimulus for developing a museum, interpretive or cultural center. As a place to communicate about culture and ecosystem knowledge, a center may become the focal point for interpreting local history and traditions, as well as a hub supporting cultural revitalization and language More >

The Pueblo Kilt – Revival of an Ancient Art


Jon Naranjo


The Pueblo Men’s Weaving Group, now in its third year, with help and instruction from Louie Garcia (Piro/Tiwa), has fulfilled a feat that may not have been accomplished since the turn of the century in the Eight Northern Pueblos: We have learned the ancient techniques and woven, from scratch, a traditional Pueblo men’s kilt that will last, possibly, 10 lifetimes.

There are master weavers at Hopi who produce traditional men’s kilts, and there have been weavers in a couple of the southern Pueblos who have woven kilts from scratch in recent times; however, we do not know of More >

The Natwani Coalition


Revitalizing Traditional Hopi Agriculture and the Hopi Food System

Samantha Honani-Antone


The Hopi people have long migratory and cultural histories that span the boundaries of the North and South American continents. As we traveled, we brought with us elements of various farming lifeways. Over many generations, Hopi farming has evolved and adapted to our unique landscape.

For thousands of years, one central question has governed humankind: How will we feed ourselves? Various cultures have answered this question in their own way—some successfully and some less successfully.

At Hopi, however, the question has evolved into something slightly different: How will we feed ourselves and remain More >

Hopi Agriculture and Food Symposium


Sinmuy Natwan’navotiy Makiwa’at” – The People’s Agricultural Knowledge Received


The biennial Natwani Coalition Symposium took place over two days in July 2012, bringing together Hopi and Tewa community members young and old to discuss topics (some in the Hopi language only) directly related to traditional Hopi food and farming. Participants engaged in interactive learning and sharing with local farmers and service providers, and went on field trip site visits. A large rainstorm, the symbol of good things and blessings, provided a perfect conclusion to the gathering.



Learning to Grow Vegetables with Hasbìditó


Walter McQuie


Early in 2012, I was invited as a representative of the Cuba (New Mexico) Farmers Market, to attend a meeting of Hasbìditó, a nonprofit, youth-centered, sustainable community development organization based in the three easternmost Navajo chapters: Ojo Encino, Counselor and Torreón. Hasbìditó helps ranchers and growers operate more successfully by treating the land well. I figured I’d talk a little about the opportunity for gardeners to earn some money for their efforts and about the potential economic development potential of growing vegetables for local markets and find out if any of their growers were interested in selling at our More >

Energy Development in Indian Country


Seth Roffman


Where does Indian Country fit into the world’s largest business sector: energy? A three-day conference in June, Developing Tribal Energy Resources and Economies, at the Sandia Resort-Casino near Albuquerque, brought together 300 tribal energy leaders from across the US and Canada along with government and energy companies’ representatives to focus on this question.

According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department of Energy, tribal lands make up approximately 5 percent of the landmass in the US, but hold up to 20 percent of the nation’s energy resources and 10 percent of its renewable resources.

Politics and bureaucracy have More >

Build It and They Will Come? Or Will They Build Their Own? The To’Hajiilee Solar Power Project


Veronica E. Tiller, Ph.D.


Driving west on I-40 from Albuquerque to Gallup, arid and barren desert plateau country dominates the landscape. The ever-present huge electrical transmission line monotonously keeps you company. About 30 miles out of Albuquerque and five miles past the Route 66 Casino, and north on Exit 131 for another 10 miles is To’Hajiilee, a small Navajo community that was formerly called Cañoncito. To’Hajiilee in Navajo means, ‘Bringing up Water from a Natural Well.’ In 2006, according to its economic profile in Tiller’s Guide to Indian Country, this 77,965-acre reservation had a population of 1,741, a labor force of More >

Book Review

The Jicarilla Apache of Dulce

Arcadia Publishing, 128 pages


From the early timber operations, farming and livestock raising, to significant oil and gas operations, a hunting lodge and widely diversified investments, the Jicarilla Apache Nation has become an economic powerhouse of northern New Mexico. All the while, the 3,000-member tribe has fiercely maintained its centuries-old language, culture, religion and ceremonies.

Since the establishment of the reservation in 1887, the town of Dulce, near the Colorado border, has been the hub of the Jicarilla’s 900,000 acres. In this new book, Veronica E. Tiller, Ph.D., and Mary M. Velarde, both Jicarilla members, chronicle the More >



Tribal Economic Development in New Mexico

The climate for economic development for tribes in New Mexico has improved in recent years, but there are still a number of obstacles. Much of tribal land is held in trust, so people seeking a loan to start a business can’t use their land as collateral. Then there is the issue of dual taxation. The proceeds from operations on tribal lands such as mining are taxed by the state as well as by the tribes, who object to the state’s taxation. The issue has been in litigation.

The 56 million acres of tribal lands in the More >

New Mexico State Land Office and Sovereign Tribes Team Up


Northeast of Grants, New Mexico, Mount Taylor rises like a blue cone above the desert and volcanic debris below. A stratovolcano that was active 1.5 million years ago, Mt. Taylor is the high point of the San Mateo Mountains and the highest point in the Cibola National Forest. To the Navajo, Mt. Taylor is Tsoodził, the turquoise mountain, one of four sacred mountains marking the cardinal directions and the boundaries of the Dinetah, the traditional Navajo homeland. Mt. Taylor is also sacred to the Acoma, Laguna, Zuni and Hopi.

When New Mexico State Land Commissioner Ray Powell returned to office More >

Native Arts & Culture



2013 Sustainable Santa Fe Award Winners

Presented by the Sustainable Santa Fe Commission


Youth-Led Award: IAIA Student Sustainability Leadership

The Institute of American Indian Arts Student Sustainability Leadership (SSL) presented The Art of Change: Climate Justice and Indigenous Solutions, a conference that focused on culture and stories, creative communication, skills and technology and tools for change. It also conducted a trash audit of IAIA and displayed a week’s worth of trash during its Dumpster Warriors Trash Bash and Fashion show to raise awareness about waste reduction and recycling.


Environmental Justice Award: 7th Annual Traditional Agriculture & Sustainable Living Conference

Organized by the Pueblo of Tesuque, More >

NEWSBITES – August 2013


Auction Set for Largest NM Wind Farm

Thirty-four thousand acres of State Trust Land—more than 52 square miles, will go up for bid on Sept. 19 at a live public auction in Estancia, for what would be the largest wind farm in New Mexico. The proposed “El Cabo” project, which has been under development for years by a private company, Iberdrola Renewables, will mostly be in Torrance County with some spillover into Santa Fe and San Miguel counties. Besides the state land lease, the project would impact 87,000 acres of private property and would include 5,400 acres for a transmission More >

What’s Going On? – Albuquerque – August 2013



Aug. 3, 9 am-4 pm

Gardens of the Camino Real

South Valley

Annual garden tour sponsored by the Council of ABQ Garden Clubs, featuring seven gardens in an historic area. Tour only: $10, lunch: $12. Tickets from most local nurseries and at the ABQ Garden Center or

Aug. 3, 10 am

Rally at the Río

Central and Tingley near the BioPark (2700 Central SW)

Members of more than 12 environmental groups will demand action to combat climate change. Info:,

Aug. 7, 5:30-7:30 pm

Green Drinks

Hotel Andaluz, 125 2nd St. NW

Network with people interested in local business, clean energy and other green issues. Presentation by Cindy Murray More >

What’s Going On? – Santa Fe – August 2013



Through Aug. 3

IAIA Writers Festival

IAIA Campus, 83 Avan Nu Po Road

Institute of American Indian Arts faculty, incoming students and other authors, including Sherman Alexie, N. Scott Momaday and Luci Tapahonso will read their work. All readings except the 8/2, 6 pm Alexie event are free. 505.424.2365, Alexie tickets are $50 as a scholarship fundraiser through 505.988.1234 or


Through Aug. 23

Víva Flora! Treasured Plants of NM

SF Community Gallery, SF Convention Center

Exhibit co-sponsored by the SF Botanical Garden features 30 artists. Includes historic, endangered and native plants.


Through Dec. 12, 5:45 pm

Local Organic Meals on a Budget Classes

Kitchen Angels, 1222 Siler Rd.

90-minute More >