Senator Elizabeth Warren earns praise and criticism for remarks about her heritage at NCAI.
Advocates mark Valentines Day as a time to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women.
Canada’s prime minister proposes overhauling government relations with Indigenous people.
by Daysha Eaton
The proposed Pebble Mine in southwest Alaska will require a number of major infrastructure projects to support the operation. The projects are among the details revealed when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers made the company’s permit application public.
“The size difference compared to our early estimates of 12.7 square miles is now at about 10.7 square miles, so we’ve been able to make the facilities in and around the proposed mine site more compact,” said Pebble Limited Partnership spokesperson Mike Heatwole. “We are proposing a natural gas pipeline from the Kenai Peninsula across Cook Inlet and then under Iliamna Lake in order to get natural gas to our mine site in order to run our electrical generation.”
In addition, the application shows the company wants to build roads, an ice-breaking ferry and a port on Cook Inlet, to transport minerals out.
The Army Corps will select a third-party contractor to administer the environmental impact statement process, then they will move into the scoping process, which is where the public can weigh in.
Alannah Hurley with United Tribes of Bristol Bay, a group opposing the mine, says the permit application confirms their concerns.
“There is no way that the current application will not impact salmon,” Hurley said. “We are still talking about tons of toxic waste that would have to be stored forever at the headwaters of our watershed. Miles and miles of road and pipeline, a mega-port. It is still a mega-mine.”
She says even as the project moves into the permitting stage the resistance to the proposed Pebble Mine isn’t going anywhere.
“You know this is really a national issue, it is a global issue and we need people from across the nation to weigh in and help us protect this global resource for future generations,” she said.
The permitting process should begin to unfold over 2018.
by Daysha Eaton
In a surprise announcement, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is suspending its effort to reverse environmental protections for the Bristol Bay Watershed. That is a blow to the Pebble Mine proposed for southwest Alaska. Mine opponents praised the EPA’s actions.
“The fact that the Trump Administration is choosing to keep them in place and keep them on the shelf is a recognition Pebble Mine is too toxic–too toxic even for the Trump Administration,” said Alannah Hurley with the United Tribes of Bristol Bay, a group formed to fight the Pebble Mine.
The mine would be located about 200 miles southwest of Anchorage and roughly 100 miles upstream from one of the world’s most important sockeye salmon fisheries.
In a press release, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said the Bristol Bay fisheries deserve protection and that the proposed Pebble mine may pose an unacceptable risk. The announcement is a retreat from the Trump Administration’s pattern of doing away with stricter Obama-era environmental guidelines.
A spokesperson for Pebble Limited Partnership declined to comment and instead directed queries to a prepared press release. In the written statement, Pebble CEO Tom Collier said the EPA announcement does not change the company’s approach.
“We believe we can demonstrate that we can responsibly construct and operate a mine at the Pebble Deposit that meets Alaska’s high environmental standards,” Collier said in the press release. “We will also demonstrate that we can successfully operate a mine without compromising the fish and water resources around the project. We look forward to having all of our detailed technical information fairly reviewed by the Corps of Engineers and other participating regulatory agencies through the longstanding, lawful permitting process.”
by Jenni Monet
At the start of the Navajo Nation’s new winter legislative session, President Russell Begaye made it clear which issue sits high on the leadership’s agenda. Begaye signed a proclamation aimed at raising awareness of human trafficking in and around the border-towns of the sprawling reservation.
“We just want to announce and proclaim the month of January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month,” Begaye said as he assembled with other Navajo leaders outside council chambers.
In August, Begaye enacted a tribal council resolution to criminalize the sex slave trade within the reservation borders — what the International Labour Organization estimates is a $150 billion industry worldwide.
“(There’s a perception that) trafficking only happens in places like Asia, or Russia or Eastern Europe — places like that…but it does happen in the United States, and it does happen on Navajo Nation,” Begaye said.
While there are many advocates who pushed for the human trafficking resolution, it was Council Delegate Nathaniel Brown who first formally introduced the measure in April.
On this morning, Brown was among several who turned out to raise awareness about an issue that — for the Navajo Nation — is lacking in any real discernible data and is also difficult to detect.
“The next thing we need to do… we would like to have all our Navjao departments to be educated on what is human trafficking, where to call once they identify it, so we can begin to start saving our children,” Brown said.
The Navajo Nation represents the only federally recognized tribal government to amend its criminal codes to prosecute the international human trafficking trade in the tribal courts.
Three South Dakota Tribes take aim at opioid manufacturers and distributors
A member of the Choctaw Nation announces his candidacy for Congress
The Navajo Nation launches a modular home program on a site previously off-limits to housing construction
Details of the Pebble Mine proposal in Alaska are revealed for the first time as the U-S Army Corps of Engineers accepts the mine’s permit application.
President Trump’s nominee to oversee the Indian Health Service remains under a cloud
The California Justice Department concludes a college American Indian studies lecturer discriminated against a white student.
Owners of four closed beers stores near the Pine Ridge Reservation dispute the state’s claims of unpaid taxes and fees
Grassroots efforts in the Southwest fight the root causes of obesity and diabetes
The proposed copper and gold Pebble Mine could bring needed jobs for Native people in southwest Alaska. The open pit mine plan stalled during the Barack Obama Administration because of its size and its threat to the environment, including a prolific and fragile salmon fishery. Now, a new administration and a company promising a smaller, safer project are giving the mine renewed momentum. That also revives worries among Native commercial fishers and others who want to preserve the important and pristine resource. Go here to read and listen to Daysha Eaton’s five-part series Alaska Water Wars.