Two new journal Special Issues on Native peoples and the environment

The SpringerOpen journal Ecological Processes has just finished a Special Issue entitled “Complex interactions between biota, landscapes and Native peoples”. The Special Issue includes six original research articles, one review article and an introductory essay. Several of the papers in this series will be of interest to Turtle Talk readers, including a unique analysis of Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Association (1988) by Cutcha Risling Baldy and a new take on the role of Traditional Ecological Knowledge as a collaborative concept by Professor Kyle P. Whyte.

Secondly, the Springer journal Climatic Change released a special issue entitled “Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples in the United States: Impacts, Experiences and Actions”, Volume 120, Issue 3, October 2013. There are several articles with federal Indian policy relevance in this Issue, including “Culture, law, risk and governance: contexts of traditional knowledge in climate change adaptation” by Terry Williams and Preston Hardison of the Tulalip Tribes Natural Resources Office of Treaty Rights.

New Book by Professor Bruce Duthu

Oxford University Press just released a new book by N. Bruce Duthu entitled “Shadow Nations: Tribal Sovereignty and the Limits of Legal Pluralism.” Find details on the Press website here. Here are some initial reviews, with more certainly to come soon:

“Duthu’s study reveals the complex and ancient reality of legal pluralism. This is inspiring work for nations and peoples in Latin America who embrace legal pluralism in the renewal of their constitutional systems.”–Eduardo Rodriguez Veltze, former President of Bolivia

“Shadow Nations is an elegant yet robust account of the complex and distinctive relationship between Indigenous Nations and the United States. It sheds needed light on a subject fraught with ambiguity and tension. Highly recommended.”–David E. Wilkins (Lumbee), University of Minnesota

“Duthu critically and humanely analyzes the trajectory of Indian-federal relations as he persuasively argues to re-invigorate a spirit of legal pluralism. Meticulous dissection of popular and juridical understandings of the key terms of our national history – sovereignty, self-determination, incorporation, liberalism, democracy, incorporation, citizenship – anchors the compelling moral, legal, and pragmatic strategies for action that Duthu presents in the final chapters. Grounded in history, critically engaged with legal systems, powered by social justice, and intellectually driven by Indigenous studies, Shadow Nations is a must read.”–K. Tsianina Lomawaima, Professor, American Indian Studies, University of Arizona

“This book digs through the details of Federal Indian law to effectively expose theoretical flaws eroding the foundations of tribal sovereignty. Duthu’s thoughtful reconstruction demonstrates how legal pluralism can build a jurisprudence which is both respectful of tribal sovereignty and the aspirations for freedom, liberty and equality which have long animated American political thought.”–John Borrows, Robina Chair in Law, Society, and Policy, Faculty of Law, University of Minnesota

Wisconsin’s Proposed Wolf Hunt Approved by State Assembly

The New York Times has covered the State of Wisconsin’s proposal to introduce a wolf hunting season here and here. These articles bring tribal concerns over the proposed hunt to center stage. After Scott Walker approves this bill, it will be interesting to track the response that follows. In this instance, can tribal moral objections be addressed and reverse this vote via legal argumentation/legal channels? Time will likely reveal the answer to that question.

(As a side note, GLIFWC is misidentified as GLIFGC in both articles.)

Tribal Comments on Wisconsin Mining Proposal

Related to Matthew’s Dec 13 post on tribal objections to proposed Wisconsin mining legislation, see this post here outlining tribal comments at a recent public hearing. Representatives from several Wisconsin tribes pointed out the failure to consult with tribes about legislation that could negatively impact their treaty rights, tribal lands/waters and culturally significant resources.

Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians rejects proposed Michigan moose hunt

As reported in the September 2nd issue of Win Awenen Nisitotung, Sault Tribe Inland Conservation Committee elected not to support a moose hunting season in Michigan. Provisions in the 2007 Inland Consent Decree require tribal (and state) approval of moose hunting. This outcome may frustrate people interested in moving forward with a moose hunt in Michigan; but for Sault Tribe officials, the precautionary route was prudent given the small number of moose that currently reside in the Upper Peninsula and the uncertainty over their population dynamics.

2009 Film Power Paths- watch for it on PBS in November

Although it originally aired on PBS in November 2009, you may have missed the documentary Power Paths about tribal efforts to establish “green” economies and clean energy on reservations. The program can be seen on PBS again this November (2010) or purchased on DVD at

From PBS: “POWER PATHS offers a unique glimpse into the global energy crisis from the perspective of a culture pledged to protect the planet, historically exploited by corporate interests and neglected by public policy makers.

The film follows an intertribal coalition as they fight to transform their local economies by replacing coal mines and smog-belching power plants with renewable energy technologies. This transition would honor their heritage and support future generations by protecting their sacred land, providing electricity to their homes and creating jobs for their communities.”

Navajos Hope to Shift From Coal to Wind and Sun

New York Times Article on Navajo Nation and environmental news here:

Published: October 25, 2010

BLUE GAP, Ariz. — For decades, coal has been an economic lifeline for the Navajos, even as mining and power plant emissions dulled the blue skies and sullied the waters of their sprawling reservation.

But today there are stirrings of rebellion. Seeking to reverse years of environmental degradation and return to their traditional values, many Navajos are calling for a future built instead on solar farms, ecotourism and microbusinesses.

“At some point we have to wean ourselves,” Earl Tulley, a Navajo housing official, said of coal as he sat on the dirt floor of his family’s hogan, a traditional circular dwelling.

Mr. Tulley, who is running for vice president of the Navajo Nation in the Nov. 2 election, represents a growing movement among Navajos that embraces environmental healing and greater reliance on the sun and wind, abundant resources on a 17 million-acre reservation spanning Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

“We need to look at the bigger picture of sustainable development,” said Mr. Tulley, the first environmentalist to run on a Navajo presidential ticket.