All photographs © Carlan Tapp - Naamehnay Project - Question of Power 2018 - All Rights Reserved - May not be reproduced without written consent
Creating a visual voice for social justice, environmental and health issues resulting from the energy industrialization of Native American Homelands and Sacred Places.
Question of Power - Naamehnay Project, Inc. was founded in 2003. Federal 501c3 status was granted in 2005. The Foundation seeks to create awareness and educate the public regarding environmental and health issues resulting from the energy industrialization of Native American homelands and sacred places. Our goal is the development of resources needed to improve the health and sustainability of Native communities. Naamehnay is a Tewa word that speaks of the relationship of earth and sky. It is the core of the organization and project work.
Question of Power - Naamehnay Project, Inc. is based in Santa Fe, NM. We create photographic and audio documentary projects telling the stories of the environmental, health, and social justice issues facing Native Nations today.
For twelve years we have worked to provide a visual voice for the Navajo People whose lives have been impacted by strip mining of coal and their opposition to future coal burning power plants in the Four Corners area of the Southwest. The work produced has been used as supporting evidence in four major Federal litigations, including desecration of family grave sites by mining, destruction of ceremonial sites, loss of grazing permits and extensive health problems caused by the mining and burning of coal on the Navajo Nation.
Our work extends beyond the Southwest to the Pacific Northwest working with the Lummi Nation on issues of ancestral site desecration for coal export to China to health issues in Bokoshe, Oklahoma and Uniontown, Alabama caused by coal combustion waste deposits.
Using photography and audio recordings, we document the environmental, health and social justice impacts on families affected by energy industrialization. The stories are used to provide a voice for people who do not have one and to create a broader awareness across the United States through lectures, educational programs and exhibits.
We provide educational curriculum materials for K-12, colleges and universities.
We provide media support materials for communities, families, and individuals.
Since 2003 we have documented stories for people and communities in New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Alabama, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington. Photographs have been provided as supporting evidence in four major litigations in U.S. Federal court.
Our work has been presented at TEDx, lectures and exhibits at Plattsburg University, Bradley University, Fort Lewis College, Santa Monica College, College of Santa Fe, Seattle Central Community College, Santa Fe University, Santa Fe High School, Bokoshe Oklahoma Elementary School, Maine Media Workshops, Santa Fe Workshops, National Geographic Workshops, Anderson Ranch Center for the Arts, New Mexico Museum of Art, Open Shutter Gallery, Phil Space Gallery and Santa Fe Art Institute.
Stories have been published by Associated Press, MSNBC, Inside Climate News, Bloomberg, and syndicated nationally and internationally by Redux Pictures.
We have donated computer systems to Bokoshe, OK Elementary School and to educators on the Navajo Nation.
In 2012 Naamehnay Project established a grant mentorship program to provide young emerging photographers the skills to document and provide voices within their own impacted communities.
In 2017 the dependence upon the mining, extraction, burning and waste materials created in producing electricity from coal on Native lands in the Southwest has decreased. Future plans for new coal burning power plants for the present time has halted. Fourteen years of photographs and audio interviews documenting this time in history were donated to the New Mexico Museum of History Photo Archives. This permanent historical record will allow future generations to study and understand energy development on Native Lands.