Can Energy Development Empower Native Americans While Powering the United States?

Red Willow Production Co., an affiliate of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, ventured offshore in 2003 via an exploration agreement with Houston Energy and W.G. Helis in the Gulf of Mexico.

Red Willow Production Co., an affiliate of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe,
ventured offshore in 2003 via an exploration agreement with Houston
Energy and W.G. Helis in the Gulf of Mexico.

Published September 3, 2016

LINCOLN, NEBRASKA—Provocative, timely and unique. The documentary

Red Power Energy, offers rare insights into the ideological battle shaping modern Indian Country. Red Power Energy is a Vision Maker Media and Rocky Mountain PBS original production.

For the tribes, the question of how to develop energy resources has created new conflicts–between tradition and progress, and between the material needs of today and the potentially negative consequences of tomorrow.

Red Power Energy is a documentary film that combines engaging storytelling with in-depth journalism. Told solely from the Native perspective, with a nearly all-Native film crew and all-Native Advisory Council, the film features American Indian tribes from North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. First-person stories illustrate the complex realities of American Indian reservations grappling with how to balance their natural resources with their traditional beliefs.

Tribal lands are a microcosm of today’s controversial energy and climate change debate. Few people are aware that American reservations contain 10 percent of America’s renewable energy potential, 20 percent of known oil and gas reserves and 30 percent of the coal reserves west of the Mississippi. As our demand for energy increases, so does our pursuit of untapped resources, both below the ground and above.

Native people are in the midst of an extraordinary resurgence in the energy debate, having previously been the victims of environmental degradation and Federal mismanagement. Many tribes are challenging long-held stereotypes, asserting their sovereign right to control their lands, and implementing strategies to develop their natural and mineral resources without further disrupting their environment.

Red Power Energy offers a rare glimpse into Indian Country while further advancing a deeper understanding of the energy debate.

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This BBSNews article was syndicated from Native News Online, and written by Native News Online Staff. Read the original article here.