The largest national organization of Alaskan Native American and Native American governments is calling on the Biden administration to halt offshore wind projects. They want to ensure that tribes are involved in project planning and that measures are taken to protect their territories and traditional resources.
In a solution Passed this week, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is urging the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to halt all scoping and permitting for offshore wind projects until a comprehensive and transparent process is in place. completed that adequately protects the environment of the tribes. and sovereign interests are developed and implemented.” It was passed at a meeting of the organization’s general assembly that ended yesterday, Bloomberg reports.
They want to ensure tribes are involved in project planning and measures are taken to protect their territories and traditional resources
Some proposed offshore projects are located near federally recognized tribal lands. Yet the concerns of indigenous peoples are often brushed aside, according to researchers and advocates. They fear that wind power could repeat the damage done by fossil fuel companies and other extractive industries. In a commentary in Cal Matters last month Frankie Myers, vice chairman of the Yurok tribe, called out wind energy companies for failing to meet with the tribe after they bid for wind leases off the California coast.
“California tribes fear that these companies will come in, take advantage of our resources and leave our communities poorer as a result – as their predecessors did,” Myers wrote.
The resolution passed this week by NCAI urges the Biden administration to comply with a legal obligation to consult tribal nations on energy projects that could affect their territory. That includes negotiating “fair compensation” for the use of their land and resources and protection to prevent damage to the environment or cultural heritage.
“We agree with NCAI that Tribes need to sit down at the table,” said Tracey Moriarty, chief of the Office of Communications at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The edge in an email. “We are always working to improve the consultation process to engage Tribes in a respectful manner,” the email says.
The Interior Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The edge. But the Biden administration has made commitments consult tribes And respect indigenous knowledge in shaping policy. Home Secretary Deb Haaland, who is a member of the Pueblo of Laguna and the first Indian to become cabinet secretary, has similarly said that tribes should “sit the table for every decision that affects them and their communities”.