Navajo Nation Builds Momentum for Renewable Energy - Miller-McCune
There’s a Navajo saying: “When you walk into the future, you must walk in beauty.”
When it comes to energy, this is difficult to follow for the current generation of Navajo. Many of the dirtiest coal plants and uranium mines in the country are on Navajo Nation, polluting its land and water and causing health problems. Despite this, of the 300,000 enrolled Navajo tribal members, it is estimated that 18,000 of them don’t have electricity.
This past summer, Dreaming New Mexico and New Energy Economy, two energy-focused organizations at work in the Southwest, installed solar panels on the Crownpoint Chapter House. The building is a forum for local governance and one of the central meeting places of the surrounding Navajo community.
“The idea is that, not only does [the solar panel] have practical merit, but it has educational merit as well,” said Mariel Nanasi, executive director of New Energy Economy. It shows there is an alternative to fossil fuels. “It’s to expose vision to the community as well as the leaders.”