MISSION: Southwest Research and Information Center is a multi-cultural organization working to promote the health of people and communities, protect natural resources, ensure citizen participation, and secure environmental and social justice now and for future generations

From the President

Like other board members, I became involved with SRIC because of its work with communities, especially on issues related to protecting water. The Navajos like to say, Tó eii be'iina át'é, or "Water is life." Water is life not only because we use it like everyone else for drinking, bathing, cooking, and other personal and household needs, but also because we use it for our livestock. Water is also central to our cultural and religious beliefs and practices. We use the water for the Blessing Way ceremony as well as other ceremonies. Water is used in our cultural and religious practices which are performed on a daily basis.

This issue of Voices from the Earth continues an emphasis on the importance of water in New Mexico and the West, which has always been a central focus of SRIC's work. It also is part of the commitment from the last issue of The Workbook to examine water issues and what they mean to people and communities.

You'll read about how water unites and divides people and communities and how mostly Hispanic small towns in northern New Mexico have built and are fighting to maintain their traditional acequias, which for hundreds of years have irrigated the land and organized their communities. You can read about how thousands of people are supporting the efforts of the Crownpoint community to stop new uranium mines that threaten the main source of drinking water for at least 10,000 people in the Eastern Navajo Agency. And you'll again be updated about some of SRIC's ongoing work in New Mexico—the Molycorp mine, nuclear waste disposal, and growth in Albuquerque.

We are gratified at the positive response that many of you have given to the premier issue of Voices from the Earth. Once again, we ask for your feedback about the publication and suggestions for articles and topics that we should cover. Contact us at Info@sric.org or (505) 262-1862. Or send your comments to SRIC, PO Box 4524, Albuquerque, NM 87106.

— LaLora Charles
President, SRIC Board of Directors

Community Partners
and Resources


Table of Contents

"In Alice in Wonderland, poor Alice was plagued by the problem of regulating her own size. One side of the caterpillar's mushroom made her grow, and the other made her shrink, and Alice was hard put to consume the right stimulus at the right rate to achieve the right size. If she erred on one side, she would swoop into hugeness; if on the other, she would instantly dwindle. Twentieth-century efforts at the management of nature bring Alice's dilemma to mind. The goal is to get humanity's role in nature back to the right size, neither too big or too small, neither too powerful nor too powerless. Like Alice, the manager finds it difficult to regulate the rate of change; a seemingly subtle move will have enormous repercussions; causing humans abruptly to become huge again; and a seemingly forceful and direct move will meet implacable resistance from nature, causing them to appear as creatures of great self-importance and little actual stature. Swinging from huge to tiny, dominant to dominated, humanity's place in nature changes from day to day, hour to hour."
--Patricia Nelson Limerick
The Legacy of Conquest
W.W. Norton & Company
1987, New York, New York



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Southwest Research and Information Center
105 Stanford SE
PO Box 4524
Albuquerque, NM 87196
505/262-1862
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