- By Tribal Business News Staff
- Energy | Environment
The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) and the Walton Family Foundation announced the Tribal Water Institute, a new initiative to address water challenges in the West.
The Walton Family Foundation has committed $1.4 million over three years to establish the Institute, which will operate under NARF.
Moira McDonald, environment program director of the Walton Family Foundation, emphasized the need for an inclusive approach to water decision-making, stating, "Tribal Nations often have senior water rights in the Colorado River Basin and throughout the West. They are under-represented in federal and state policy discussions. We need to listen to their voices."
The Tribal Water Institute aims to empower Tribal Nations by providing essential resources and training for advocating their water rights and developing effective water policy solutions. It will address the under-representation of Tribal Nations in key policy forums, advocating for a more equitable distribution of resources.
NARF, known for its advocacy on behalf of Tribal Nations, will see a significant expansion of its water-focused initiatives through the Institute. With doubled water staffing, NARF will be better equipped to handle increased casework, cultivate emerging leaders, and develop research and policy proposals.
David Gover, staff attorney at NARF, highlighted the importance of the Tribal Water Institute, stating, "By increasing law and policy expertise within Tribal Nations, we can help Indian Country ensure water is available for generations to come."
The Institute's objectives include providing legal support, training water attorneys, developing policy ideas, and educating state and federal decision-makers on the unique challenges faced by Tribal Nations concerning water rights.