Environment and Natural Resources

As Indian nations take more effective control of their own affairs, they’re doing innovative things, and the environmental arena is no exception. Here we’re seeing new intergovernmental relationships between tribes and states and between tribes and the federal government. We’re seeing innovative tribal environmental policies and management practices - Dr. Stephanie Carroll

Native nations continually work to address environmental issues impacting their communities. These issues impact not only their lands, but also their cultures, agricultural, and subsistence practices. Their traditional efforts around environmental stewardship are being reintroduced alongside contemporary actions. Some the these actions are being done in partnership with non-Indigenous stakeholders such as universities, local communities, and governmental agencies.


Report: Native Nations, the Environment, and the State of California: State of California: Tribal-State Relationships and Environmental Quality: Tribal-State Relationships and Environmental Quality

This report provides a summary of discussions at the workshop, “Native Nations, the Environment, and the State of California: Tribal-State Relationships and Environmental Quality,” which took place on April 14-15, 2003, in Temecula, California. The event was organized by the Native Nations Institute (NNI) at the University of Arizona’s Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and was cosponsored by the Morris K. Udall Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 9.

Report: A global assessment of Indigenous community engagement in climate research

For millennia Indigenous communities worldwide have maintained diverse knowledge systems informed through careful observation of dynamics of environmental changes. Although Indigenous communities and their knowledge systems are recognized as critical resources for understanding and adapting to climate change, no comprehensive, evidence-based analysis has been conducted into how environmental studies engage Indigenous communities. Here we provide the first global systematic review of levels of Indigenous community participation and decision-making in all stages of the research process (initiation, design, implementation, analysis, dissemination) in climate field studies that access Indigenous knowledge. We develop indicators for assessing responsible community engagement in research practice and identify patterns in levels of Indigenous community engagement. We find that the vast majority of climate studies (87%) practice an extractive model in which outside researchers use Indigenous knowledge systems with minimal participation or decision-making authority from communities who hold them. Few studies report on outputs that directly serve Indigenous communities, ethical guidelines for research practice, or providing Indigenous community access to findings. Further, studies initiated with (in mutual agreement between outside researchers and Indigenous communities) and by Indigenous community members report significantly more indicators for responsible community engagement when accessing Indigenous knowledges than studies initiated by outside researchers alone. This global assessment provides an evidence base to inform our understanding of broader social impacts related to research design and concludes with a series of guiding questions and methods to support responsible research practice with Indigenous and local communities.

Presentations and Podcasts:

SCECon 2021- Our World: Indigenous Communities in Solidarity for Environmental Justice feat. Dr. Lydia Jennings

In efforts to build international solidarity, this panel will bring attention to the common thread of colonialism causing environmental justice issues in each panelist’s country as well as uplift their work supporting their communities. We will learn from the panelist’s climate activism and adaptation, traditional ecological knowledge, and Iived experience fighting for environmental justice. Panelists will discuss their work as well as their thoughts on how global solidarity is important and necessary.


Stephanie Russo Carroll
Associate Director and Senior Researcher

Dominique M. David-Chavez

NNI Associate Professor, University of Colorado

Lydia Jennings

Postdoctoral Researcher in Community, Environment and Policy

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