Navajo Nation adopts green jobs program

The Navajo National Council voted to create a “Green Economy Commission” last Tuesday as part of a program to build a green, clean and sustainable job base in that Nation.

Nikke Alex, an organizer with the Black Mesa Water Coalition, explained to the LA Times that the idea behind the commission is to address a lack of jobs throughout Navajo communities.

“A lot of people that we work with,” Alex said, “and a lot of our family members and friends, once they graduate from high school and college, they end up moving to big cities because there aren’t many job opportunities out here.”

The Navajo Nation Green Economy Commission Act, was approved by a vote of 62-1, and creates a five-person commission to obtain government funds through the stimulus package and other programs, to be used for small-scale green operations on Navajo land, many in traditional areas such as agriculture and textiles. The money will also be used to weatherize homes for energy efficiency.

Navajo Green Jobs

For many, the most striking part of the program is that it originated with young Navajos.

That was the view expressed at a press conference after the vote on Tuesday by Mary Hand. “I always wondered why our younger generation was not into politics,” said Hand.

For more on the program see this article from the Navajo Times. You can learn more about the Navajo Green Jobs Coalition here.

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