The Navajo Nation became the first American Indian tribe to pass a law encouraging green jobs on tribal lands. The law creates the Navajo Nation Green Economy Commission, which has 5 members, and the Green Economy Fund, for which the commissioners will seek funding. The laws were actually passed in summer 2009; Indian Country Today noted in 2010 that the commissioners were recently confirmed. The article stated, “The commission focus will be on small-scale, community development projects for economic development to empower local communities.” (The original link to the article no longer works, but perhaps the article in available from the Indian Country Today archives.)

Sounds like an economy that restores to me.

As the article noted, the Navajo Nation has vast potential for creating solar and wind resources. Unfortunately, it also has vast potential for uranium mining to support nuclear energy, which President Obama thinks is important for curbing greenhouse gas emissions, but which I think is misguided. The uranium mining that has already taken place on the Navajo Nation has not been cleaned up. Let’s hope that if uranium mining booms again on the Navajo Reservation, that this Green Economy Commission will see that it’s done in a more sustainable way.

According to this article in the Navajo Times, the commission was not funded as of 2011, but commissioners were still trying to do their jobs.

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  1. Richard Tietz June 22, 2016 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    Hello Beth, my name is Richard. I am a student in MN, and this summer I am doing a Soc. Sci. internship with an environmental organization. I am passing along by title a You Tube,”The Empire Files: Abby Martin with Dr. Jill Stein-Symptoms of a Sick Society” (23:57), that is deeply relevant to sustainability, our environmental health, and other essential matters. Abby Martin is an unfiltered journalist who dwells outside the mainstream media culture. Dr. Jill Stein is a steadfast voice for the common people and environmental justice. Her New Green Deal could be of particular interest to your mission.
    Peace on Earth. -Richard