Kekek Jason Stark has published “Bezhigwan Ji-Izhi-Ganawaabandiyang: The Rights of Nature and its Jurisdictional Application for Anishinaabe Territories” in the Montana Law Review.
This article examines the tribal law acknowledging the Rights of Na- ture as a deeply embedded traditional Anishinaabe law principle. This traditional law principle acknowledging the rights of nature is crucial for sustaining the Anishinaabe Nations’ relationship with their territorial lands and natural resources. What does it mean to recognize the rights of ma- noomin (wild rice) to “exist, flourish, regenerate, and evolve” or to be pro- tected in its traditional forms, natural diversity, and original integrity? This article then delineates the various ways that the White Earth Band of Ojibwe has codified their relationship with their territorial lands and natural resources into tribal law. While the rights of manoomin and similar laws have been widely touted in the press as important victories for tribal sover- eignty, this article more deeply evaluates the practical effects and applica- tions of this tribal law to determine whether this law can serve as a frame- work for other Tribal Nations or is merely a symbolic gesture. Moving beyond symbolic gestures is essential for tribes to implement legal regimes more protective than those provided by states that may otherwise permit development activities by non-Indian parties within treaty territories.
HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommended.