Join the Native American Rights Fund and Stand Firm for Environmental Justice!
The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) strives to protect the earth. We accomplish this through our case work in the courts, our partnerships with other national organizations and through our internal greening practices.
"We must protect the forests for our children,
grandchildren and children yet to be born.
We must protect the forests
for those who can't speak for themselves
such as the birds, animals, fish and trees."
- Qwatsinas, Nuxalk Nation
Protection of Tribal Natural Resources
The culture and way of life of many indigenous peoples are inextricably tied to their aboriginal habitat. For those tribes that still maintain traditional ties to the natural world, suitable habitat is required in order to exercise their treaty-protected hunting, fishing, gathering, and trapping rights and to sustain their relationships with the animals, plants,and fish that comprise their aboriginal habitats. As Native Communities simultaneously face attacks on their fundamental human rights to self-determination, to feed both family and spirit through subsistence hunting and fishing activities and to be free of discrimination, NARF has long been instrumental in assisting tribes to assert hunting and fishing rights, which are guaranteed by treaty or other federal law. NARF also works to secure allocations of water for present and future needs for Indian tribes.
Native communities are exceptionally vulnerable to the effects of climate change and the devastating results have already begun to fall disproportionately on tribes. Despite the fact that Native peoples have historically left a negligible carbon footprint, they are suffering and will suffer disproportionately from the effects of climate change. Native peoples are often the first to see and the first to feel changes in the natural environment. Traditional tribal practices and relationships with the natural world form the spiritual, cultural and economic foundation for many Native American nations that will be and, in some cases, already are threatened by climate change.
NARF is representing with the National Tribal Environmental Council (NTEC) on climate change issues and in particular on ensuring that climate change legislation and a treaty at the international level incorporates Indigenous Peoples as sovereign partners in addressing this issue and provides them the needed resources for adaptation and mitigation. NTEC, NARF, The National Congress of American Indians and the National Wildlife Federation worked together and created a set of tribal principles which should govern treatment of tribes in any legislation or treaty. For more information, http://www.narf.org/cases/climate.html.
NARF Joins National Effort to Address Oil Spill and Climate Change
The Native American Rights Fund joins thirty national Environmental organizations and millions of Americans who support strong clean energy and climate change legislation. This coalition of organizations and individuals have asked the U.S. Senate to take immediate action on a comprehensive energy and climate change bill.
NARF joins 20 national and Gulf Coast Environmental organizations in releasing an open letter to President Obama urging him to address Gulf of Mexico oil spill by adopting five specific principles as the administration continues efforts to combat the enormous short term, intermediate and long term challenges before us.
Climate Change in the Courts
NARF is currently addressing climate change issues through the Native Village of Kivalina v. Exxon Mobil, et al. lawsuit. The Native Village of Kivalina in Alaska faces imminent destruction from global warming due to the melting of sea ice that formerly protected the Village from coastal storms during the fall and winter. The diminished sea ice, due to global warming, has caused a massive erosion problem that threatens the Village’s existence and urgently requires the Village be relocated. It has been estimated that the cost to move the Village could range up to $400 million. Climate change is one of the most challenging issues facing the world today. Its' effects on indigenous peoples throughout the world are acute and will only get worse. The effects are especially pronounced in Alaska where 184 villages are threatened with removal.
To learn more about the case: http://www.narf.org/cases/globalwarming.html
It is clear that our natural world is undergoing severe, unsustainable and catastrophic climate change that adversely impacts the lives of people and ecosystems worldwide. Native Americans are especially vulnerable and are experiencing disproportionate negative impacts on their cultures, health and food systems. In response, the Native American Rights Fund is committed to environmental sustainability through its mission, work and organizational values. Native Americans and other indigenous peoples have a long tradition of living sustainably with the natural world by understanding the importance of preserving natural resources and respecting the interdependence of all living things.
NARF embraces this tradition through its work and by instituting sustainable office practices that reduce our negative impact on our climate and environment. NARF is engaged in environmental work and has established a Green Office Committee whose responsibility is to lead and coordinate staff participation in establishing and implementing policies and procedures to minimize waste, reduce energy consumption and pollution and create a healthful work environment.
In NARF’s Main Office in Boulder Reduces it’s Carbon Footprint by 19%
Based on historical measurements of four key areas that include electricity and gas consumption, waste and paper, the office has reduced it’s global warming “carbon footprint” by 19% in 2009 compared to 2007- 2008. We accomplished this by:
- Recycling - 2,900 lbs of paper, plastic, aluminum, tin and glass
- Composting - prevented 1,950 lbs of compostable material from going to the landfill
- Energy – reduced electricity and gas consumption through conservation and energy efficient lighting
- Reduced paper consumption by 50%
NARF is Committed to Reducing Environmental Impact of Air Travel
The 19% reduction for the Boulder office excludes air travel, the fifth area of consumption that NARF is currently tracking. NARF’s air travel accounts for about 80% of the overall organization’s carbon footprint. Despite NARF’s fairly centralized location in Boulder, Colorado, the nature of our work requires frequent travel to different parts of the United States. NARF’s overall carbon footprint including air travel has increased slightly since 2007. In 2010, NARF has committed to reducing its carbon footprint relating to air travel in the following ways:
- Implemented Internet-based conferencing technologies that will help reduce the need to travel.
- Consolidate trips
- Offset emission caused by air travel and other areas. Funds raised will be used primarily to replace “dirty” energy sources with cleaner renewable sources such as wind and solar – with an emphasis on projects that create jobs in Indian Country.
NARF has set a goal to reduce its 2009 carbon footprint from all five areas of consumption by at least 20% or 84 tons in 2010.
In addition, following the sustainability path, NARF will take the following measures in 2010:
- Evaluate and focus reductions on water use, printed material, shipping and employee commuting
- Conduct insulation and weatherizing audit and improvements to reduce natural gas consumption
- Improve computer and network efficiency to save electricity
As part of our commitment to greening our practices, NARF has established a Green Purchasing Policy. The goal of this policy is to reduce the adverse environmental impact of our purchasing decisions by buying goods and services from manufacturers and vendors who share our commitment to the environment and the health of our employees.
The Green Fund is dedicated to protecting and supporting Mother Earth. Donations to the NARF Green Fund will be used to support case work addressing global climate change issues (90%) and to support NARF’s internal commitment to environmental sustainability (10%).