National Tribal Water Council dealing with water quality issues for American and Alaskan native tribes

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What Are the Issues
Council Members
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What are the Issues

 To view a sample QAPP for Surface Water Sampling for Pesticide Occurrence (shared by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe) please click here: CRST QAPP pesticide sampling2[1].pdf 

Fact Sheet re Water Quality Protection plans: Water Quality Protection in Indian Country.pdf

If you would like to know more about Aquatic Resource Protection in Indian Country, please click here: Media Sources Supportive of Aquatic Resource Protection in Indian Country

If you would like information about potential Tribal water and aquatic resource protection funding sources, please click here: Funding Aquatic Resource Protection


NTWC Issue Papers

In October 2009 the National Tribal Water Council met with the EPA headquarters Office of Water to discuss a number of concerns. In preparation, NTWC members developed a series of Issue Papers on the following topics as a basis for discussion:

·         A Cultural Perspective on Water

·         An Overview of Some Alaska Native Water Quality Issues & Concerns

·         Tribal Issues & Concerns related to Mining & Superfund Sites in the Lower 48 States and Alaska

·         Proposed Alternatives for Water Quality Protection When EPA Authorization Is Not an Option

·         Inadequate/Inconsistent Funding Levels for Indian Tribes with respect to the Clean Water Act §106 Program

·         Initial NTWC Recommendations on Climate Change

Copies of the NTWC Issue Papers can be found here:

National Tribal Water Council Issue Papers (Final - October 7, 2009).pdf



Ground Water Issues

Draft Report of the Technical Advisory Committee on the Capture of Surface Water By Wells: Recommended Technical Methods for Evaluating the Effects of Ground-Water Withdrawals on Surface Water Quantity (August, 1998).  This paper, on the Washington State Department of Ecology website, addresses the important issue of hydraulic continuity between groundwater and surface water.

Native Cultural Values & Water

Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force Position Paper on The Great LakesThis position paper, which is available on the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration website link below, is an impressive articulation of the connection between Indigenous cultures and water quality. Following is an excerpt from the Position Paper cover letter:

"Our original teachings from the Creator are essential to our culture. The Creator instructed all parts of creation of their responsibilities. The waters have a responsibility to provide nourishment to Mother Earth, to plant[s] and animals as well as to humans. Humans have the responsibility to honor and give thanks for all parts of Creation. As different entities, we do not interfere with each other’s duties. Human-made pollution and diversions are a few of the abuses towards the waters and their duties. Haudenosaunee teachings warn us that if we continue abusing parts of Creation, those elements will vanish….”

For a copy of the Position Paper, please go to
Water and People: Challenges at the Interface of Symbolic and Utilitarian Values, is due out from the USDA Forest Service (Pacific Northwest) on March 7, 2008. Of particular note is Chapter 6: People of the River – People of the Salmon Wana Thlama-Nusuxmi Tanánma by Elizabeth Woody (Navajo/Warm Springs/Wasco/Yakama). Following is an excerpt, only one of many examples of Liz’s articulation of Native values pertaining to water and all associated life (which, of course, means all life):
"My tribal ceremonies begin and end with water. The food chiefs are recognized in order from the river to the mountains, and, conversely, in real life, it is the same with water. Water goes from the mountains to the Pacific Ocean as streams, creeks, and rivers, and returns from the Pacific to the mountains, as precipitation. It is our highest medicine and represents the purity of human interactions and respect as we keep it clean and revere its presence in our lives.”

To order the publication, please scroll down to GTR-729 on the following link:


Indian Country & Climate Change

 Native Communities and Climate Change: Legal and Policy Approaches to Protect Tribal Legal Rights Report – pending Final Review, published by the Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Colorado Law School in conjunction with the Western Water Assessment at the University of Colorado on September 19,2007, is available at The 8-page Executive Summary is available at

“Climate Change, Related Environmental Degredation and Indigenous People,” written by Stephen M. Sachs and published in Indigenous Policy, Vol. XVIII, No. 3, Fall 2007. See at
Climate Change Impacts on the United States: The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change. See, in particular, Overview: Native Peoples and Homelands, which discusses such issues as Subsistence Economies and Natural Resources; Cultural Sites, Wildlife, and Natural Resources; and Rights to Water and Other Natural Resources. Written by the National Assessment Synthesis Team, US Global Change Research Program, published in 2000. For more information, go to


National Tribal Water Council dealing with water quality issues for American and Alaskan native tribes
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