"Some 50 Navajos -- including elders and youth and those in-between -- donned green shirts today and filled the chambers of the Navajo Nation Council to promote legislation designed to transform the reservation’s mineral and fossil fuel-based economy into a sustainable, community-based, green system. The show of support paid off: The Council passed the legislation by a vote of 62 to 1. According to Enei Begaye, who spearheaded a coalition [Navajo Green Jobs
] to create the legislation, it is the first tribal government initiative to create green jobs policy and structure. Undoubtedly ambitious -- combining traditional culture, web-based marketing and cutting-edge green technologies -- the plan could transform the Navajo Nation and serve as a model for other tribes.
The legislation will establish a commission to implement projects in seven areas: renewable energy (large-scale and small), green manufacturing (focused on traditional crafts such as rug-weaving, combined with sophisticated marketing and PR campaigns), sustainable agriculture, weatherizing and making energy-efficient traditional and nontraditional homes, green workforce training, management training, and a small business initiative.
A series of 10 pilot projects will launch the program, along with research on current job opportunities and a needs assessment. The legislation will also create “green teams” which will support community initiatives and help with business plans."
Get the Story:
Goat Blog: Navajo Nation passes green jobs legislation, 62-1
(High Country News 7/21)
Navajo Nation OKs green jobs bill
(The Farmington Daily Times 7/22)