Indian Country Today
Being stewards of the land, every day is Earth day for Indigenous people across Indian Country and beyond. With the official holiday coming Friday, April 22, tribes and Native organizations across the country are holding events to celebrate.
Some events are virtual, others are back to being in person; the following are some of the events taking place.
(Related: On Earth Day ‘the world is not on track’)
Is your tribal community holding an Earth Day celebration event? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know!
Indigenous Earth Summit
On Wednesday, the Decolonizing Wealth Project is hosting the first annual Indigenous Earth Summit. The event will feature discussions on how Indigenous cultures are on the front lines combating climate change, as well as Indigenous solutions, the future of climate change and conservation.
Indigenous policy leaders and activists who have been leading in the climate change space are slated to speak, including — Jade Begay, Diné and citizen of Tesuque Pueblo; Dallas Goldtooth, Mdewakanton Dakota-Diné; Quannah ChasingHorse, Hän Gwich’in and Oglala Lakota and more.
The Decolonizing Wealth Project will also announce during the summit a $1 million investment into their Indigenous Earth Fund, which supports Indigenous leaders and communities in their efforts to combat climate change.
Register for the event, starting at 7 p.m. ET here.
The Jicarilla Apache Nation, along with leaders of the city of Albuquerque and others, will be celebrating a new Solar Direct facility with a ribbon cutting on Earth Day.
The new solar field is located on 500 acres of the tribe’s land in northern New Mexico and the Solar Direct project is the third largest type of project on tribal lands.
The 50-megawatt field will provide renewable energy to tribal governments and entities as well as the local government and other commercial businesses that voluntarily opt into the program.
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is hosting its own “Indigenous Earth Day at MIT” on Friday.
According to the event website, leaders from the Lummi Nation, Lumbee Nation and North American Indian Center of Boston will discuss “how Indigenous knowledges and methodologies inform their approaches to climate change and their projects of working for climate justice in their regions and communities.”
The event is free and open to the public.
Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians has a day full of activities starting with a sunrise ceremony at 6:30 a.m.
There will be a community clean up, along with planting of trees and flowers. The day ends with an energy justice presentation and talking circle.
Can’t forget about the kids
A group of 5th graders from Salt River Schools in Scottsdale, Arizona shared their art celebrating Earth Day earlier this week.
Also in Arizona
The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona is hosting a virtual youth Earth Day.
Presentations by the organization's environmental programs will be on topics such as air quality, water systems, pesticides and solid waste. Presentations will delve into how strategies are used to find solutions to climate issues and how careers in the climate change industry are beneficial to tribal communities.
Youth, educators and members of the community are encouraged to register for the event.
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Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
In western Montana, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, in collaboration with the tribe’s college and the University of Montana, are hosting an event “Elevating Indigenous Perspectives for Regeneration and Resilience.”
The event runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Salish Kootenai College’s Joe McDonald Gymnasium.
According to the flier, those who register will learn more about — the CSKT Climate Change Strategic Plan; environmental and human health; mental health and climate change; preventive health and cultural humility; air quality, wildfire smoke and filters; protecting ecosystems; and healthy and sustainable diets.
Due to covid, space is limited for participation. Registration can be found at www.csktclimate.org.
Bishop Paiute Tribe
The Environmental Management Office of the Bishop Paiute Tribe is sponsoring several activities over Earth Day week, with participating community members being entered into a raffle for taking part.
The week culminates with a roadside, creek and recreation area cleanup and planting a new rose garden at the tribes Cultural Center.
Don’t forget, if your tribal community or organization is having an Earth Day event, Indian Country Today would love to include it on this list. Email us email@example.com.
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