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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Water is life

The ongoing struggle of the Dine'and Hopi Nations to protect their water resources was reported in USA Today.

Water key to dispute over tribes' economic future
John Ritter
USA Today
Mar. 14, 2006 08:38 AM

BLACK MESA - A new spin on an old topic - the ability of Native Americans to create self-sufficient economies - is resonating across the high desert and table-top mesas of ancient Navajo and Hopi lands.

A grass-roots coalition is promoting new ideas about economic development on reservations where more than half the adults are unemployed. The coalition urges not reopening a coal mine that provided a few high-paying jobs but creating a bigger job base in wind and solar energy.

At the heart of the dispute is water, the arid region's scarcest resource. Water's role is particularly contentious because to Hopis and Navajos, it's more than a necessity. It's sacred - Earth's first living spirit. advertisement

Coal from Black Mesa mine - 5 million tons a year - was piped 273 miles to a Nevada power plant in a slurry line with 1.3 billion gallons of Indians' drinking water. Years of pumping groundwater for the slurry depleted an aquifer that is the reservations' sole supply, the coalition says. complete article

A key organization in the fight to protect the Black Mesa water resources from the Peabody corporation has been the Black Mesa Trust.

Black Mesa Trust is also supporting a Hopi Delegation currently running to Mexico City for the International Water Forum. The runners began their journey on March 02 and are on schedule to arrive in Mexico City tomorrow.
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Please visit both the Black Mesa Trust and H2OPI Run websites for more information.
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