U.S. Department of the Interior contact:
Assistant Secretary Scarlett Participates
in Demonstration of Partnership
to Bring Economic Development
to Indian Country
TO'HAJIILEE, New Mexico (Aug. 30, 2002) -- Interior
Assistant Secretary P. Lynn Scarlett today helped to usher in
a new era in communications and partnerships among indigenous
peoples that is tied to the World Summit on Sustainable Development
taking place this week in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs and an organization called Greenstar
have worked together this week to demonstrate Greenstar's technology
by linking African villagers to the Navajo Nation community in
New Mexico. The Internet connection is provided by Greenstar
with monetary assistance from the Department of the Interior
for the exhibit in Johannesburg.
"Economic development partnerships cast a hopeful light
across Indian country," said Scarlett. "These partnerships
help unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of Natives with using
information technology and renewable energy."
The To'Hajiilee Navajo community chose the oldest living code
talker from World War II to tell his story for the first time
to be recorded and Webcast later to another continent.
The technology on display in Johannesburg represents a potential
economic development opportunity for Indian Country. The exchange
of cultures is possible through technology that has the potential
for a sustained clean-energy solar power supply, telemedicine,
and economic development.
The vehicle for making this happen in distant African villages
and perhaps in Indian Country is a portable community center.
It is a shipping-container sized box that unfolds into a one
kilowatt solar-powered community center. It includes a medical
center for vaccine cold storage, blood analysis and web-based
e-medicine, a global telecommunication and marketing center,
a computer-based educational center for agriculture and sundry
micro-enterprises, a public meeting center, battery-charging
center, and an ultra-violet or forced-filter water purification
center that can serve the clean water needs of up to 20,000 people
Several interviews were conducted with Tribal leaders, the code
talker, and Scarlett to be transmitted to Johannesburg. Participants
in the World Summit on Sustainable Development will be able to
view the interviews in the exhibit provided there.
reprinted with permission of the
United States Department of the Interior