Last updated on: 9/4/2009 | Author:

Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) Biography

Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Can Alternative Energy Effectively Replace Fossil Fuels?"

“A just nation-to-nation relationship means breaking the cycle of asking Native America to choose between economic development and preservation of its cultures and lands; renewable energy and efficiency improvements provide opportunity to do both simultaneously… The reality is that the most efficient, green economy will need the vast wind and solar resources that lie on Native American lands…

The toxic legacy left by fossil fuel and uranium development on tribal lands remains today and will persist for generations, even without additional development. Mines and electrical generation facilities have had devastating health and cultural impacts in Indian country at all stages of the energy cycle- cancer from radioactive mining waste to respiratory illness caused by coal-fired power plant and oil refinery air emissions on and near Native lands. Native communities have been targeted in all proposals for long-term nuclear waste storage…

Tribes must be provided federal support to own and operate a new crop of renewable electricity generating infrastructure providing the dual benefits of low carbon power and green economic development where it is needed most…

Tribally owned and operated renewable energy, along with green jobs that help reduce dependence on fossil fuels are central to a sustainable and affordable low-carbon energy future.”

“Energy Justice in Native America: A Policy Paper for Consideration by the Obama Administration and the 111th Congress,” (accessed Sep. 3, 2009)


“Established in 1990 within the United States, IEN was formed by grassroots Indigenous peoples and individuals to address environmental and economic justice issues (EJ). IEN’s activities include building the capacity of Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.

IEN accomplishes this by maintaining an informational clearinghouse, organizing campaigns, direct actions and public awareness, building the capacity of community and tribes to address EJ issues, development of initiatives to impact policy, and building alliances among Indigenous communities, tribes, inter-tribal and Indigenous organizations, people-of-color/ethnic organizations, faith-based and women groups, youth, labor, environmental organizations and others. IEN convenes local, regional and national meetings on environmental and economic justice issues, and provides support, resources and referral to Indigenous communities and youth throughout primarily North America – and in recent years – globally.”

“About the Indigenous Environmental Network,” (accessed Sep. 3, 2009)


“Educate and empower Indigenous Peoples to address and develop strategies for the protection of our environment, our health, and all life forms – the Circle of Life.

Re-affirm our traditional knowledge and respect of natural laws.

Recognize, support, and promote environmentally sound lifestyles, economic livelihoods, and to build healthy sustaining Indigenous communities.

Commitment to influence policies that affect Indigenous Peoples on a local, tribal, state, regional, national and international level.

Include youth and elders in all levels of our work.

Protect our human rights to practice our cultural and spiritual beliefs.”

“About the Indigenous Environmental Network,” (accessed Sep. 3, 2009)

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Quoted in:
  1. Should the United States Authorize the Keystone XL Pipeline to Import Tar Sand Oil from Canada?
  2. Should the US Implement a Carbon Cap and Trade System?