July 26: Tribal Water Projects, Ancestral Pueblo Peoples

Bringing Water Home: Tribal Water Rights and the Navajo-Gallup Pipeline

The Ten Tribes Partnership strives to provide a single voice to ten separate, distinct native nations whose goals and interests are as varied as they are and to bring indigenous communities to the policy table - a place where they have long been excluded. It took a massive lawsuit to bring the Navajo-Gallup Project online; now under construction, the infrastructure undertaking will bring clean water to the homes of the nearly 40% of the Navajo Nation who have had to haul their water; a portion of the Jicarilla Apache Nation that has been hampered by inadequate water supply as well; and the city of Gallup, New Mexico. But some wonder if such projects go far enough, or if they still neglect the argument that the tribes are the true senior water-rights holders on the river. We heard from members of the Ten Tribes Partnership, include Navajo and Jicarilla Apache representatives, as well as the Bureau of Reclamation. 

Coaxing Corn from Dust: Ancestral Pueblo Dryland Farming

On Monday we heard all about the mechanisms and large-scale infrastructure required to sustain the agricultural industry in the Grand Valley. But agriculture existed here in Colorado long before modern irrigation was invented. The Pueblo have been successfully farming in the Mesa Verde region for over 4,000 years. What can we learn from their methods and techniques, and what can archaeology tell us about the climatic and hydrologic history of this landscape? We heard from researchers at the Crown Canyon Archaeological Center about their ongoing research into these subjects.