Native Americans Seek Wealth From the Wind
Tribes on wind-rich land hope alternative energy boom will reshape their economies
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2008 4:59 PM CDT
A truck carrying a wind turbine blade rolls down Interstate 90 near Belvidere, S.D., on July 10, 2007.    (AP Photo/Joe Kafka)
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(Newser) – Native Americans own some of America's most wind-rich land, and tribal leaders in South Dakota and elsewhere are working to harness the natural power to cash in on the alternative energy boom, the New York Times reports. If they are successful, the projects could work transformations similar to those casinos did elsewhere. "The same thing that brought the buffalo brings the wind,” said a leader of the Rosebud Sioux. "The wind is a gift."

The Rosebud, whose members have an annual income of $7,700 each, are poised to sign a deal to open a wind farm after 5 tortured years of negotiations with a non-Indian developer. And now federal officials can point to the deal as a model for other tribes. "It could be huge," said a liaison with the Energy Department.