The largest national organization of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments is calling on the Biden administration to halt offshore wind projects. They want to make sure that the tribes are included in the planning of the project and that measures are in place to protect their traditional territories and resources.
in a resolution Adopted this week, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) “strongly urges the Department of the Interior and the Office of Ocean Energy Administration to halt all scoping and permitting for offshore wind projects until the completion of a comprehensive and transparent procedure that adequately protects the tribal environment. and sovereign interests are developed and implemented.” It was adopted during a meeting of the organization’s general assembly that ended yesterday, Bloomberg reports.
They want to make sure that tribes are included in project planning and that measures are in place to protect their traditional territories and resources.
Some proposed offshore projects are located near federally recognized tribal land. However, the concerns of indigenous peoples are often pushed aside, according to researchers and defenders. They worry that wind power could repeat the damage done by fossil fuel companies and other extractive industries. in a comment in CalMatters Last month, Frankie Myers, vice president of the Yurok tribe, criticized wind power companies for not meeting with the tribe after bidding on wind power leases off the California coast.
“California tribes are concerned that these corporations will come in, take advantage of our resources and leave our communities poorer for it, as their predecessors did,” Myers wrote.
The resolution adopted by NCAI this week urges the Biden administration to comply with the legal obligation to consult tribal nations on any energy projects that may have an impact on their territories. That includes negotiating “just compensation” for using their lands and resources and protections to prevent damage to the environment or cultural heritage.
“We agree with NCAI that tribes should have a seat at the table,” Tracey Moriarty, chief of the Office of Communications for the Office of Ocean Energy Management, told Tracey Moriarty. the edge in the email. “We are always working to improve the consultation process to engage tribes in a respectful way,” the email reads.
The Interior Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the edge. But the Biden administration has pledged to consult tribes other respect indigenous knowledge in policy formation. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, who is a member of the People of Laguna and is the first Native American to become a cabinet secretary, has also saying that tribes should “have a seat at the table for every decision that affects them and their communities.”