Protecting “Our” Land

November: Native American Heritage Month
November: Native American Heritage Month

We often think about the destruction of our land and water by those who speak up and out louder. What about those voices that are not being heard? For generations, the Native American population has been struggling with different issues within their community and from outside impacts. According to the National Congress of American Indians, there are health, education, economy and public safety issues on reservations. Many people who do not live on the reservations do not see these concerns. Many of the reservation leaders are exploring ways to enhance money and opportunities on their land. According to The Department of the Interior, it “estimates that undeveloped reserves of coal, natural gas, and oil on tribal lands could generate nearly $1 trillion in in revenues for tribes and surrounding communities.”

"Native Americans Increasingly At The Center of Oil and Gas Fights"
“Native Americans Increasingly At The Center of Oil and Gas Fights”

According to the U.S. Department of the Interior: Indian Affairs, “The Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) Program function is to restore Bureau and tribal natural resources that have been injured as a result of oil spills or hazardous substance releases into the environment as authorized by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Oil Pollution Act (OPA).” The hope is that their land will be revived to its natural beauty but also hopefully prevent future development that could damage the land or water. Protests and demonstrations have been growing stronger as the U.S. is preparing for more expansions through pipelines.