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An Indian View of Minerals Development on Indian Lands

Peter MacDonald, Indian Land Development - Oil, Gas, Coal and Other Minerals (1976)

The purpose of this paper is to present the Indian view of minerals development on Indian lands. These views will be general in nature because in the Indian community, as well as in any group of people, there are widely divergent viewpoints on controversial issues. However, we do share many common problems and concerns relating to minerals development on our lands.

Last September, twenty-two tribal leaders met in Washington, D. C. to discuss the problems and concerns of Indian people in regard to energy resource development. As a result of these discussions, we created the Council of Energy Resource Tribes (CERT), whose membership is composed of tribal chairmen representing tribes that have energy resources. The objective of this organization is to protect our resources from exploitation and to insure that Indian goals and needs are included in energy policies of the federal government. As Chairman of the Council of Energy Resource Tribes, I hope to express our common concerns about Indian mineral resource development.

The subject of mineral development on Indian lands has become quite popular in the past few years. There have been countless conferences, institutes, hearings, inquiries, task forces and news media articles on the subject. These forums have had varying degrees of success, but nearly all of them lacked an important ingredient. The most effectiv