My community lives near multiple coal-fired power plants, all of which are having an impact on the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land that has sustained us for generations. I want the future generations of our community to have a good life, nourished by the clean, precious resources of the land we call home.
As Indigenous Nations, we must also ensure that the decisions our governments make don't adversely impact the livelihood of our indigenous brothers and sisters in other parts of th
It's important to protect our basic elements of life—air, water, land and sky. This earth was given to us in a pristine state; it was given to us with all life sustaining resources. Today, more than ever, we must make choices and decisions that ensure that these elements of life are protected for the future generations.
As Indigenous Nations, we must also ensure that the decisions our governments make don't adversely impact the livelihood of our indigenous brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. It is critical for us to expand our renewable technologies and resources. It is equally critical to address laws, or lack thereof, that may prohibit renewables from entering the energy markets.
Our organization, To Nizhoni Ani (TNA) "Sacred Spring Speaks", began with one mission: "To preserve and protect the sacred sole source aquifer of Black Mesa, the Navajo Aquifer". This Navajo Aquifer (N-aquifer) has been integral in energy generation for more than 4 decades in Arizona. Black Mesa coal has been the sole fuel supply for Mohave Generating Station (MOGS) for over 35 years and the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) for over 40 years now. The MOGS has stopped operations in 2005, due to the work of TNA. The NGS contracts are being renegotiated now and the proposal is to extend the operation for another 25 years.
In the course of major coal and power plant contracts and leases, the Navajo Nation, under poor counsel has accepted low revenues, waived water rights and certain taxes. It was also led into binding contracts that make it difficult to renegotiate better terms for the Navajo Nation.
Our efforts today are primarily geared toward education on the history of our nation in terms of energy contracts and leases, and to navigate a future that is sustainable and aligned with our Indigenous philosophy of live. Our efforts today include studying renewable potential on Navajo lands and developing a number of solar projects near Black Mesa.
Our goal is to transition fossil fuel energy generation to renewables. This will ensure that revenues and jobs are maintained, but most importantly, maintain a permanent homeland for the future of our nation.