ISSUES – NATIVE AMERICAN REPRESENTATION


There are 19 Native American pueblos as well as Navajo and Apache nations in New Mexico. Unfortunately, many of these communities are viewed as places where resources are abundant and regulation is limited; they also are often seen as areas in which there is chronic unemployment, and in which jobs can be traded for environmental degradation. In addition, many indigenous communities receive little or no protection from government regulators.

Richard Deertrack, former member of the Law Center's Board of Directors, member of Taos Pueblo, and former client, wrote in the Fall 1997 issue of the Green Fire Report:

“Many Indian tribes ... don't feel they can have an effect on environmental issues and they feel they are at the mercy of the federal laws and Congress, and the administration and the courts because they don't understand the process. This is where the Law Center-people who are dedicated and who know the process, who are experts and know the language-are so important to Indian tribes and other communities.”

Major cases under the Native American Representation Program:

Hydro Resources, Inc. Uranium Mines Taos Municipal Airport Expansion Mount Taylor Standby Permit