Hopi Tribe's Message to Sierra Club and Other Enviros: Keep Out!

| Tue Oct. 6, 2009 2:34 PM EDT

This story first appeared at Alternet.

This is sad on many different levels. The Navajo-Hopi Observer reports:

The Hopi Tribe has a message for the Sierra Club and other environmental groups: Keep out!

That is the response of the Hopi Tribal Council on Monday to what it says has been continuous concerted attacks from local and national environmental groups "bent on advancing their interests and agenda at the expense of the Hopi Tribe and its sovereign interest."

The council wants the Sierra Club and other environmental groups and on-reservation organizations affiliated with these groups to know they are not welcome on the Hopi Reservation, declaring them persona non grata - no longer favored or welcome.

Apparently the conflict is over a coal plant. Here's more:

By a resolution approved 12-0, the council said environmentalists have deprived the tribe "of markets for its coal resources" and coal revenues needed to sustain governmental services, provide jobs for tribal members and safeguard Hopi culture and tradition.

In 2005, environmental groups played a significant role in the shutdown of the Mohave Generating Station, which the Hopi Council contends "deprived the Hopi Tribe of many millions of dollars of annual operating revenues," according to the resolution.

Revenue losses from the Mohave power plant range from an estimated $6.5 million to $8.5 million annually.

The council feels that the economic viability of the Navajo Generating Station - the tribe's only remaining coal customer - is also being threatened, and that environmentalists' actions could lead to "total economic collapse of the tribe."

The Sierra Club issued a statement saying: "We are proud of our longstanding partnerships with tribal leaders in the Southwest, and we are committed to supporting efforts to transition from dirty coal to clean energy solutions," said Sierra Club President Allison Chin. "Together, we can rekindle our economy, reduce greenhouse gases and support people who have been left in the dust by a dangerous and dirty, coal-based economy."

The saddest part of this is that the tribe is dependent on a dirty power source to economically support their people and that enough efforts have not been made by anyone -- enviro groups, the federal government, etc. -- to help them develop addition sources of income.