Sovereign Nations


  • Tribes Commit to Uphold Paris Climate Agreement

    July 2017

    Though Indigenous communities have a small carbon footprint, they are often the most severely impacted by climate change. In the wake of President Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, many Indigenous leaders publicly committed to uphold the accord in the West, where many tribal communities and reservations are on the frontlines of climate change, tribal leaders are determined to move forward on climate action as sovereign nations despite budget cuts, climate denial, and inaction.

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  • Winnemem Wintu Chief: California WaterFix Is The Biggest Water Problem State Has Ever Faced

    May 2017

    The "Delta Tunnels" in California are a proposal to transport water from the northern part of the state to the southern, more arid regions of the state. The Winnemem Wintu Tribe strongly opposes the construction of these tunnels and have used community organizing and protests to make their position known:  "In the midst of a 300-mile trek and prayer journey to bring salmon back to the McCloud River, the Winnemem Wintu Tribe and their allies converge on the State Capitol to demand a change in California’s water policy."

    The tribe states that these tunnels will change the ecosystem, specifically the salmon population that the tribe relies on for food. Chief Sisk said that if the Delta Tunnels are built, they will cause  “more death and destruction” to already endangered salmon populations." This article covers the most recent protest by the tribe at the Climate March and their press release about the situation.  

    Chief Caleen Sisk

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  • State Of Emergency Declared On Pine Ridge Indian Reservation Over Lack Of Law Enforcement

    May 2017

    With a population of  29,000, Pine Ridge, South Dakota is the second largest Native American Reservation in the United States and the poorest place in the entire country. A significant lack of industry, technology or commercial infrastructure has resulted in 90% of Pine Ridge residents being unable to find employment. Without available jobs, the average annual household income is $3,500, leaving 97% of the population living below federal poverty guidelines.

    This video gives a snapshot into the lives of the individuals who live on the reservation - a portrait of people who live far below the poverty line. 

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  • April 2017

    Awake, A Dream From Standing Rock

    The Water Protectors at Standing Rock captured world attention through their peaceful resistance. While many may know the details, AWAKE, A Dream from Standing Rock captures the story of Native-led defiance that forever changed the fight against for clean water, our environment and the future of our planet. The film is a collab­oration between Indigenous filmmakers, Director Myron Dewey, Executive Producer Doug Good Feather and environmental Oscar Nominated filmmakers Josh Fox and James Spione. It is a labor of love to support the peaceful movement of the water protectors.

    For more information on the film, click here.

  • Tohono O'odham Nation Opposes Border Wall

    April 2017

    Building a wall between The United States of America and Mexico was a significant element of the Trump campaign in 2016. While there are many political arguments for and against the wall, it is important to look at the individuals whose day to day lives will be affected by the wall.

    This video specifically looks at the Native American nation, Tohono O'odham. It is located at the U.S.-Mexican border in Arizona with elements on both sides of the wall. In the video, individuals from the tribe describe their living situation, and why a wall along the border would change their lives. Ultimately,  they fear that the proposed President Trump border wall would not only sever their land, but also slice through their community and culture.

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  • From Standing Rock To Maui: Tulsi Gabbard Joins Resistance To A&B’s Massive Water Theft

    April 2017

    Many people have heard about the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Native community's struggle against it. However, this type of struggle is not unique to that one area of the country.

    In Maui, Hawaii, residents are facing a similar struggle against corporations about their access to water: "Instead of paying market rate for the water from public lands and sharing the proceeds with Native Hawaiians, as required by state law, for decades A&B has taken more than 80% of all public water consumed on the island." The corporation pays $3 per million gallons, while the island's 155,000 residents pay $4,000 for 1 million gallons. 

    This article looks at the intrinsic unfairness of this system and describes the coming together of a number of prominent Hawaii politicians, including Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, against this situation.

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  • Tribal Nations And The United States: An Introduction

    March 2017

    This report, published by the National Congress of American Indians, provides a comprehensive overview of the history and underlying principles of tribal governments in the United States. Areas of focus include: A culture of tribal governance through time, tribes as nations, tribes and the American family of governments, and tribal nations rising.

    Tribal Nations Cover


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