Environmental Law and Native American Law
Posted: 14 Nov 2010
Date Written: December 2010
This review seeks to engage two bodies of scholarship that have typically been analyzed as discrete areas of inquiry - environmental law and American Indian law. In the twenty-first century, native peoples' involvement in environmental politics is becoming more assertive. In this context it is necessary to think about the impact indigenous involvement may have in shaping future U.S. environmental agendas and regulations. After briefly discussing the rise of environmental movements and environmental law in the United States, I turn to the historical treatment of native peoples and in particular the treatment of their natural resources. This historical backdrop is essential to understanding tribal status today under the Environmental Protection Agency, and the challenges some tribal governments now present to environmental exploitation and degradation by states and corporations. The review concludes by reflecting on the future of U.S. environmental law in the context of increasing pressure being exerted by international environmental law and global indigenous politics.
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