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Sovereignty For SurvivalAmerican Energy Development and Indian Self-Determination$
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James Robert Allison III

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300206692

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300206692.001.0001

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Taking the Fight National

Taking the Fight National

(p.127) 6 Taking the Fight National
Sovereignty For Survival

James Robert Allison

Yale University Press

After successfully defending the Northern Cheyenne and Crow Reservations from non-Indian mining, American Indians launched a national campaign to prepare similarly situated energy tribes for the coming onslaught in energy demand. This chapter details those efforts that began with Northern Cheyenne and Crow leaders helping to organize a regional coalition of tribes to fight federally planned development on the Northern Plains. From this defensive alliance, energy tribes then turned to exploring options to mine their own minerals. They worked with federal agencies charged with expanding domestic energy production in the wake of the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo and consulted energy experts familiar with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Ultimately, tribes nationwide formed the Council of Energy Resource Tribes to provide a unified Indian voice to federal energy policymakers, lobby for federal aid in developing tribal resources, and share information about energy development. After much confusion as to CERT’s primary purpose – including whether it was a cartel-like “Native American OPEC” – the organization evolved into a professional consulting firm that both worked with individual tribes to pursue specific mining projects and lobbied the federal government for beneficial grants and policies.

Keywords:   Native American Natural Resources Development Federation, Native American Rights Fund, Council of Energy Resource Tribes, Allen Rowland, Patrick Stands Over Bull, Arab Oil Embargo (1973), Richard Nixon, Federal Energy Administration, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, National Congress of American Indians

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