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Tribes, Power, and Water

Sept. 11, 2020 In the western United States, rivers like the Colorado River and the Rio Grande were carved up under compacts in the early twentieth century, long before tribes had a say in how rivers would be managed. Even though tribes hold the oldest and most senior water rights, they still don’t always have a seat at the table today. That’s starting to change with efforts like the Ten Tribes Partnership on the Colorado River. In this episode of Our Land, correspondent Laura Paskus checks in on what it means for tribes to truly have a say in western water issues. 

The member tribes of the Ten Tribes Partnership are: Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Jicarilla Apache Nation, Navajo Nation, Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, Colorado River Indian Tribes, Fort Mojave Indian Tribe, Quechan Indian Tribe and Cocopah Indian Tribe. 

Correspondent: Laura Paskus 

Daryl Vigil, Jicarilla Apache Nation water administrator 
Rep. Derrick Lente, (D) Pueblo of Sandia 

For more information: 
Ten Tribes Partnership
Colorado River Basin Ten Tribes Partnership Tribal Water Study Report 
Colorado River Interim Guidelines (2007) for Lower Basin Shortages and Coordinated Operations for Lake Powell and Lake Mead 
Colorado River Compact of 1922 
Rio Grande Compact of 1938