Indigenous nations have been an afterthought in U.S. water policy for over a century. That was all part of the plan.
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Wyoming will appeal a recent district court decision affirming Crow tribal hunting rights granted under treaties signed in the 19th century, rights recently affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Dan Lewerenz, staff attorney for the Native American Rights Fund, said tribal leaders were very clear about maintaining hunting rights before they agreed to move into a reservation on just a portion of lands they had occupied for centuries.
Indigenous peoples have known for millennia to plant under the shade of the mesquite and paloverde trees that mark the Sonoran Desert here, shielding their crops from the intense sun and reducing the amount of water needed.
Vivian Hamilton has spent her entire life in the community of the Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians, east of Riverside, California. As a great-grandmother, she has lived enough years to see changes shape the community many times over, for better and for worse.
The simple way to think about this crisis: There’s no longer enough water to go around to meet the needs of farmers and Native American populations as well as fish and birds.
Mitchell Lands couldn’t make the trip south from Canada, where he lives on the traditional lands of the Migisi Sahgaigan, or Eagle Lake First Nation, in the province of Ontario. But Lands’ voice echoed in early October outside the concrete and glass headquarters of Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest consumer goods company, as he described seeing trees chopped down all the way to the shores of Eagle Lake.
Centuries of land loss and forced relocation have left Native Americans significantly more exposed to the effects of climate change, new data show, adding to the debate over how to address climate change and racial inequity in the United States.
Chumash people have inhabited California’s Central Coast region over 20,000 years, stewarding our ancestral waters. For the last 40 years, Chumash leaders and allies have fought to protect the extraordinary cultural and natural values of our home against new and harmful industrial development. President Biden now has an opportunity to honor this history by moving forward with the designation of the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary. He should act now.
This summer, Science Friday and other media outlets covered the protests against an oil pipeline project in northern Minnesota, where Canadian company Enbridge Energy was replacing and expanding their existing Line 3 infrastructure. Native American tribes in Minnesota—whose lands the pipeline would pass through and alongside—organized protests, direct action, and other resistance against the project. The pipeline was completed, and began moving tar sands oil at the beginning of October.
This week over 530 climate activists were arrested during Indigenous-led civil disobedience actions in Washington, D.C., calling on President Joe Biden to declare a climate emergency and stop approving fossil fuel projects. Indigenous leaders have issued a series of demands, including the abolition of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, whose offices they occupied on Thursday for the first time since the 1970s. The protests come just weeks before the start of the critical U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, which President Biden and senior Cabinet members are expected to attend. “We’re not going anywhere,” says Siqiñiq Maupin, with Sovereign Iñupiat for a Living Arctic, who traveled from Alaska to D.C. and was among those arrested during the BIA occupation. “We do not have time for negotiations, for compromises.