One of biggest global crises many populations face is the lack of access to clean, reliable drinking water. It is no wonder this compound is one of the most revered elements in nearly every human culture given its importance to the human body. However, that reverence has slowly been diluted with social inequality, which has led to inequality for access to this crucial resource. It’s hard to appreciate clean water when it is readily available out of the tap, but for many people that is not the case. Indigenous peoples across the globe, including Native Americans, know this all too well, as countless recent issues of tribal sovereignty have centered around water. And while these issues may differ in detail, they carry a similar theme among Indigenous Nations: that water is a sacred element/being threatened by unsustainable consumption and development practices and this global crisis affects our social, political, economic sustainability and collective future as a species. In this episode we will discuss the relation between tribal sovereignty and water rights among Native American tribes, while using Standing Rock in North Dakota and the Gold King Mine spill in Colorado and New Mexico as examples of such issues.
This radio podcast features two guests/hosts: Janene Yazzie (Diné tribal member), Senior Planner for the Little Colorado River Watershed Chapters Association (LCRWCA), a grassroots organization on the Navajo Nation dealing tribal water issues, Consultant for the International Indian Treaty Council, North America Focal Point for the Indigenous People’s Major Group of the United Nations and Chase Voirin (Diné tribal member), Wildlife Biologist and Conservation Ecologist, Biological Consultant based in Tucson, AZ, Board Member of the Native Peoples’ Wildlife Management Working Group of The Wildlife Society, e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org