Native Americans, renewable energy, and environmental justice

Credit: grandcanyontrust.org
Credit: grandcanyontrust.org

Triple Pundit has companion articles about Indian tribes moving steadily towards having renewable energy on their lands. This not only provides income it can also lead to closing coal plants and replacing them with renewable energy, which greatly lessens health risks for them. Thus, renewable energy is inextricably bound to environmental justice. They key is that the tribe has a major, active role in the development and management of the resources, and maybe controlling interests too (like the Moapa Paiutes are planning in Nevada)

Native Americans, renewable energy and environmental justice

The [Navajo and Hopi] tribes are not paid anything for their water, they live in the pollution plumes, and some 40 percent lack access to stable sources of electricity or running water, despite all the promises to provide basic services. They are essentially a third-world nation in the heart of U.S. Southwest, providing subsidized electricity and water for Southern California, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and Denver.

“The challenge as we make the transition to yet another energy development is to learn from the errors of the past and not to repeat them,” Clark said. “To make the transition from where we are to where we need to be will mean including more equitable resource access and economic and social development opportunities to people who have borne the brunt of this arrangement.”

Renewable energy, energy efficiency on the rise in Indian country

Red Horn’s Lakota Solar Enterprises provides a full range of energy efficiency and solar energy products and services to Native Americans far and near, including South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation, his hometown. Home of the Oglala Lakota Nation and some 40,000 residents, Pine Ridge’s Native Americans have traditionally lacked access to modern, reliable sources of water, heat and power, conditions that haven’t been lost on Red Horn.

Scottish Highlanders and Native Americans

My cousin Dan sells lithographs and merchandise related to the Revolutionary War, French & Indian War, and Mountain Man fur trade period as a side business at Mountain Gull Trading.

This lithograph, War Dance by Robert Griffing, has always fascinated me. Who would have thought Scottish Highlanders and Native Americans would have major respect for each other? But they did, and for good reason too

Throughout the French and Indian War, English authorities negotiated with the Native Americans for their military assistance. While not as successful in this as their French counterparts, the English did enjoy some success, due partly to the presence of the Scottish Highlanders, whom the Indians viewed as being similar to them. Both cultures were tremendous warriors and lovers of a battle, both had great respect for the orator and Chieftain, and both clan and tribe held tightly to their ancient traditions. Their similarities in temperament and philosophy sometimes led the English to refer to the Scots as “cousins to the Indian.”

Preparing for battle had its own Highland custom – the Sword Dance. Here Robert Griffing shows a soldier of the 42nd Highland Regiment within the walls of Fort Ticonderoga seeking a prophecy by engaging in an ancient Highland tradition. According to clan tradition, if a dancer touched the swords beneath his feet during the dance, it would foretell doom in the coming battle. In this print a piper is providing the music. An Iroquois warrior watches, awaiting the results. An amused and approving smile is upon the face of a tribal headman as he keeps time with his drum.