Indian Country

Likely closure of coal-fired power plant bringing dramatic change to Navajo Nation

LECHEE CHAPTER HOUSE, Navajo Reservation – SRP announced last year it planned to shut down the Navajo Generating Station ahead of schedule because producing electricity from coal is much more expensive and dirtier than natural gas. No other job on the Navajo Reservation pays as well as the Navajo Generating Station. Revenue, taxes and royalties from coal make up about a third of the Navajo operating budget and most of the Hopi Tribe’s budget.


Judicial nominee defends tribal law record in low-key Senate hearing

WASHINGTON - Federal appeals court nominee Eric Miller tried to dispel concerns about his record on tribal law, telling a Senate committee that his previous work on behalf of clients did not reflect how he would rule as a judge and that tribal sovereignty "pre-exists the Constitution."


Tribal officials, Democrats push back on 9th Circuit judicial nominee

WASHINGTON - The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to proceed this week on a judicial nominee for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Arizona, despite the objections of both tribal officials and committee Democrats.


Report: Dip in gaming revenues offset by other gains at Arizona casinos

WASHINGTON - Gambling revenues dipped slightly at Arizona's tribal casinos in 2016, but those losses were more than offset by a strong jump in non-gaming revenues that helped boost total income to $2.23 billion for the year, just shy of pre-recession levels, a new report says.


Potential buyer for Navajo Generating Station out, plant closure likely

WASHINGTON - The investment firm that was interested in buying the Navajo Generating Station broke off its pursuit this week, making the closure of the plant next year and the loss of hundreds of jobs appear more likely.


Despite thin record on Native law, tribes wary of Kavanaugh nomination

WASHINGTON - Tribal and legal officials could not point to a specific case on Native American rights that Brett Kavanaugh ruled on as a judge, but said his writings as a lawyer and his rulings in environmental and voting rights cases give them pause about what sort of Supreme Court justice he might be for Indian Country.


Navajo group takes protest against coal-fired power plant to Manhattan

NEW YORK - A group of Navajo environmentalists took their fight against the Navajo Generating Station to Manhattan where they protested at the offices of an investment firm that might save the plant, which employs hundreds but is routinely cited as one of the most-polluting in the nation.


Despite rough patches, officials recall McCain’s service to Native Americans

WASHINGTON - Mention the late Sen. John McCain and images of a war hero or a presidential candidate come to mind - but for far longer than he spent in those roles, McCain was a friend, and sometimes irritant, to Indian Country, say many who called him a firm advocate for tribal rights.


Cases of missing and murdered Native American women challenge police, courts

Native American women across the country are being murdered and sexually assaulted on reservations and nearby towns at far higher rates than other American women.


Advocates urge Senate to help ‘heal this wound’ of native language loss

WASHINGTON - The government must help reverse generations of federally backed assimilation programs that left Native Americans "robbed of the ability to speak our own language," advocates told the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.


Court rejects Gila River tribe’s suit against VA over cost of vets’ care

PHOENIX - The Department of Veterans Affairs does not have to reimburse the Gila River Indian Community for health care it provided to tribal veterans, after a federal court ruled that the decision should be left to the VA secretary.

VA Chief

Tribally owned solar power plant beats skeptics, odds on Navajo Reservation

WASHINGTON - When the Kayenta Solar Project went online last year, the 27.3-megawatt plant became the largest tribally owned renewable power plant in the country, generating enough power for 18,000 homes on Navajo lands. But many thought the day might never come.