Silent Art Auction & Benefit for Greater Chaco



The sacred Chaco landscape and its inhabitants- predominantly indigenous communities who live and work in the area- are under threat of further encroachment by the fossil fuel industry. The social, economic, and health impacts of oil and gas extraction are already being felt. Impacted community members have struggled to be heard while they attempt to protect their families, homes, and livelihoods from the risks and harms brought about by the fossil fuel industry.
In a collaboration between Chaco area community members and urban allies from the Greater Chaco Coalition, funds are being raised for indigenous-led community projects in the Greater Chaco area. Already, these partnerships have yielded meaningful results, such as transitions to renewable energy and the promotion of sustainable community economies. We hope to build on these successes and also, in the process, help create useful models for effective partnerships between 1) impacted communities in largely rural locations and 2) allied individuals and groups in more populated urban areas who have access to needed resources.
The Greater Chaco Coalition Project Fund will be used for the following: 
  • CITIZEN SCIENCE: Funds are urgently needed to sustain critical monitoring of affected air, water and soil, and to fund citizen-science training in the Greater Chaco area, where oil and gas development poses serious risks to communities. Regular testing of samples is required for a community to have any ability to defend themselves both physically and legally, yet air and water tests for the pollutants suspected are often prohibitively expensive. Funds raised would ensure critical testing in 2018, as well as support the training of community members in sample-taking and data collection.
  • HEALTH IMPACT ASSESSMENT (HIA) PREPARATION: Resources are required for research and development of a Diné-based HIA, known as the ‘Hozhoogo na ada,’ which evaluates a personal, familial, and community view of oil and gas development and Diné connections to air, water and land. A well-informed and thorough HIA is essential in the protection of communities and the environment from industry development.
  • COMMUNITY-CREATED DOCUMENTARY FILM PROJECTS: Start-up funds are additionally required to underwrite a collection of community-led media projects, such as the creation of a documentary film to convey the personal experiences of community members, and indigenous perspectives on the stewardship of the environment, as well as informative video shorts for on-line distribution and social media outreach. Amplifying voices from impacted communities is imperative, and these creative projects are critical for the immediate need of an efficient and effective public information campaign.
With immense gratitude to Diné CARE, the longest-running environmental group on the Navajo Nation, for their fiscal sponsorship of this project.
What’s next: February 2018, look for more info on the art auction, artist interviews, and updates 
#frackoffchaco          #keepitintheground          #artspeaks

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