Standing Rock’s Fight for Water


By Kat Thompson:

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota has faced media attention, police brutality, fear of contaminated water, and the harsh reality of the U.S. government’s treatment of indigenous tribes because of the proposal of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Capitalists have accused the tribe of protesting the pipeline for no reason, tortured and told to back down, and have made history by refusing to stop protecting their rights to clean water. (more…)

Water: The Flow of Life in Cherokee History


By Nichole Sparks:

Water is a sustaining element for the survival of the human race. For indigenous communities the struggles to obtain and possess natural resources like water have been a continuous battle throughout history. With technological advances, these struggles to possess water have changed as people are less dependent on primitive ways of obtaining water and more focused on creating clean water access and ownership for communities. The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma have faced struggles with ownership and possession of water over the years; (more…)

Pueblo Water Crisis in New Mexico


By Jason Pruett:

The Pueblos have suffered the white settlers’ occupation since their first arrival in the Four-Corners region.  Since that time settlers and the United States government have continually taken their land and natural resources.  Nothing has been done to stop this treatment of the Pueblos.  To this day, the New Mexico government and non-natives extract the Pueblos’ precious water supply.  The Pueblos most affected by this are the Nambé, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso, and Tesuque.  (Bossert & Armstrong, 2009) The Pueblo are still in litigation against the state government in their battle for clean water. (more…)

Glen Canyon Dam Controversy


By Rhianna Pierce:

Throughout American history, the Navajo have faced many land and water battles with the government. One of the biggest trials they have faced has been over the Colorado River. The Navajo have some of the oldest claims to the Colorado River, while also holding the largest claims to the water (Walton). One of the most important struggles they have been facing is over the Glen Canyon Dam. The Glen Canyon Dam has caused problems with the Rainbow Bridge, which is sacred to the Navajo. This can been seen in the history of the Glen Canyon Dam and the Rainbow Bridge, the sacredness of the Rainbow Bridge to the tribe, and what the government is doing to support or oppose the tribe. (more…)

Neskantaga’s Water Crisis



By Michael Novotny:

The Neskantaga First Nation Tribe of Canada has lacked clean water for more than twenty years, and they are not alone in their struggles. As of February 2017, there were eighty-one First Nations communities that were on the list of drinking water advisories set by Canada. The twenty year water quality issue of the Neskantaga has been acknowledged by Canada but little has been done and that needs to change. (more…)

Contaminated Water: Navajo Nation and Flint, MI


By Jason Mullins:

There are several Native American populations with inadequate drinking water. Unlike the crises of Flint and Sebring these water crises have been happening to the Native American people for several years, some Native American areas for many decades.[1] These water issues that are happening in Native American land are not due to lead in the water but due to uranium. The federal government nine times out of ten knows that there is an issue in these areas but does nothing. Uranium is a radioactive element and can lead to kidney damage.[2] Uranium as well as lead is affecting the Native American populations all over the United States. (more…)

Mining Contamination on Pine Ridge


By Janie Mackey:

For many tribal nations water contamination has become a focal point across the country.  The Oglala Lakota were moved to the Pine Ridge Reservation, which has would become contaminated from uranium mining.  The water contamination is not isolated however spread across the wells that provides water to the reservation.  Uranium contamination could lead to kidney failure and death.  (more…)

Water is Life, the Struggles of the Owen’s Valley Paiute People


By James Finch:

As inhabitants of the Owens Valley, the Paiute people were surrounded by breathtaking scenery, until the juggernaut of American expansion came upon them in 1861. Located between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the White and Inyo Mountains, Owens Valley is naturally an arid environment due to the ‘rain shadow’ effect of the Sierras[1]. However, the snow-capped peaks of the nearby mountains bring water runoff to Owens Valley, which pools together in Owens Lake.


In the Beginning There Was Only Water: The Blackfeet Nation


By Diana Dellinger:

In America today, there are over 660,000 American Indian and Alaska Native people who lack access to clean and reliable water sources or basic sanitation.[1]   Because of this, Native peoples and communities find themselves in a perpetual battle against poor health, unstable economies and inconsistent education for Native children.


A Trail of Tears and Polluted Waters for the Cherokee


By Michael Brunger:

During the unforgiving winter of 1838-1839, over 15,000 Cherokee Indians were forced out of their homes in the Smokey Mountains into areas of Oklahoma designated by the U.S. government (U.S. Forest Service, 2017). At the end of the Trail of Tears, the Cherokee reached their destination in Eastern Oklahoma and said, “this will do” or “Tahlequah” (more…)