ancestral lands

Global impacts of extractive and industrial development projects on Indigenous Peoples’ lifeways, lands, and rights

Year

To what extent do extractive and industrial development pressures affect Indigenous Peoples’ lifeways, lands, and rights globally? We analyze 3081 environmental conflicts over development projects to quantify Indigenous Peoples’ exposure to 11 reported social-environmental impacts jeopardizing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous Peoples are affected in at least 34% of all documented environmental conflicts worldwide. More than three-fourths of these conflicts are caused by mining, fossil fuels, dam projects, and the agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and livestock (AFFL) sector. Landscape loss (56% of cases), livelihood loss (52%), and land dispossession (50%) are reported to occur globally most often and are significantly more frequent in the AFFL sector. The resulting burdens jeopardize Indigenous rights and impede the realization of global environmental justice.

Resource Type
Citation

Arnim Scheidel et al. (June 7, 2023)Global impacts of extractive and industrial development projects on Indigenous Peoples’ lifeways, lands, and rights. Science Advances. Vol 9, Issue 23. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.ade9557.

Indigenous Data Sovereignty: How Researchers can Empower Data Governance with Lydia Jennings

Producer
National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)
Year

Indigenous land management practices result in higher species richness, less deforestation, and land degradation than non-Indigenous strategies. Many environmental researchers, data repositories, and data service operations recognize the importance of collaborating with Indigenous nations, supporting their environmental stewardship practices, and aligning land stewardship mechanisms with Indigenous rights. Yet these individuals and organizations do not always know the appropriate processes to achieve these partnerships. Calls for government agencies to collaborate with Indigenous land stewards require an increasing awareness of what Indigenous data are and how to manage these data. Indigenous data sovereignty underscores Indigenous rights and interests and can provide a structure for data practices. In this seminar talk, Dr. Lydia Jennings discusses what constitutes Indigenous data, how to apply an Indigenous data sovereignty framework to environmental research, examples of Indigenous data governance, Tribal Nations’ leading the scientific inquiry process, and how environmental scientists can co-create with Indigenous communities to answer community-driven research questions.

Resource Type
Citation

National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS). 'Indigenous Data Sovereignty: How Researchers can Empower Data Governance' with Lydia Jennings. May 2021.

The Rise of the First Nations Land Management Regime in Canada: A Critical Analysis

Year

Federal Budget 2018 contains significant investments in the First Nations Land Management regime, including $143.5 million over five years beginning in 2018-19, and $19 million per year ongoing. In December 2018, the First Nations Land Management Act was amended, lowering the voting threshold for ratification and giving First Nations increased flexibility in investing or spending funds generated under the First Nations Land Management Act. As Canada moves towards a strategy of sectoral self-governance —slowly deconstructing the Indian Act rather than negotiating all-encompassing self-governance agreements — the management of reserve lands is becoming a critical component of this model and a supposed means for First Nations to ‘catch up’ to the speed of business and build prosperity for their communities. Though the Land Code may provide First Nations with increased jurisdiction over reserve lands, it does not fundamentally challenge the allocation of land beyond reserves (territory). Also, by opening up reserve lands to the market, it may further contribute to the dispossession of land for First Nations people.

Resource Type
Citation

Jobin, Shalene and Emily Riddle. 2019. The Rise of the First Nations Land Management Regime in Canada. Yellowhead Institute: Toronto, Ontario.

Considerations for Federal and State Landback

Year

This policy brief showcases how geographic information system (GIS) techniques can be used to identify public and/or protected land in relation to current and historic reservation boundaries, and presents maps showcasing the scope of landback opportunities.

These lands include federal- or state-owned or managed land within current external reservation boundaries; within former reservation boundaries; near or abutting current reservation land; and protected areas designated for conservation management (which can include land held in fee).

The sentiment to give all U.S. national park landback to the stewardship of Indigenous Peoples is gaining momentum. These areas indeed may provide a cohesive set of initial opportunities towards that aim, and can lean on management or co-management agreements in strategic areas that present win-win solutions for both public agencies and American Indian nations in expanding their footprint.

While historically the laws that diminished reservations were intended to create opportunities for private ownership and settlement by non-Indigenous people, it is in fact the case that, 140 years later, six federal agencies currently manage approximately one-third the land that had been within former reservation boundaries.

A quarter of land just outside of present-day reservation boundaries (within a 10-mile buffer) is managed by one of six federal agencies, largely made up of the Bureau of Land Management (11%) and the Forest Service (11%).

Identifying where these parcels are, especially in relation to current or former reservation land, is a powerful first step for tribes and government agencies to begin to develop strategies for landback. Making this information more accessible will help streamline the process.

Resource Type
Citation

Laura Taylor and Miriam Jorgensen. "Considerations for Federal and State Landback."  Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. Published October 22, 2022.

The Role of Tribes and Tribal Relations in Creating a More Vibrant Arizona (Chapter in The 113th Arizona Town Hall's "Creating Vibrant Communities")

Year

Arizona’s rich history begins with its Native inhabitants. Since time immemorial, Native Peoples built their own vibrant communities in the region’s river valleys, high deserts, mountains, and forests. Western archeologists affirm this long occupancy; they document ancestral Puebloan, Sinagua, Hohokam, Mogollon, and Patayan peoples living in the southwest more than 13,000 years ago. By contrast, Arizona achieved statehood only in 1912. The impact of American Indians’ long-time presence in Arizona is both considerable and enduring. Numerous county, city, and town names derive from Indigenous words. Phoenix’s earliest irrigation canals depended on Native peoples’ engineering prowess. Many of the state’s most-beloved tourist attractions are located on Indian lands. And through economic progress achieved over the last 20 years, tribes have become major regional employers and key contributors to the well-being of many predominantly non-Native communities.

European settlement has largely had the opposite effect on Arizona’s Native communities: entire tribal populations have been relocated; Native peoples’ access to their lands, waters, and resources has been severely constrained; Native children have been removed from their tribal homes; and state and federal government policies have created systems of discrimination that have made the mere survival of American Indian people and their communities a challenge. Today, the 22 federally recognized Native nations that share a geography with Arizona are integral to the future of the state and to the vibrancy of Arizona communities – but the vitality of Arizona’s Native people also depends on state, local, and organization leaders making decisions that support and sustain tribes. While this chapter explores these issues in a standalone fashion, interconnections matter: Arizona thrives when its tribal communities thrive.

Resource Type
Citation

Figueroa, Holly, Miriam Jorgensen, and Joan Timeche. The Role of Tribes and Tribal Relations in Creating a More Vibrant Arizona.The 113th Arizona Town Hall's "Creating Vibrant Communities" (pp. 13-27). Arizona Town Hall. 2020.

Indigenous Peoples and COVID-19: Issues of Law and Justice – Canada

Producer
Māori Law Review and the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre for Indigenous Peoples and the Law
Year

A co-production of New Zealand's Victoria University of Wellington and the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre for Indigenous Peoples and the Law, the "Indigenous Peoples and COVID-19: Issues of Law and Justice" is a series of conversations focused on the experiences of Indigenous Peoples with COVID-19, particularly government response and the issues of law and justice.

Moderated by Dr. Carwyn Jones (Ngāti Kahungunu and Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki), co-editor of the Māori Law Review, and produced by Māori Law Review and the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre for Indigenous Peoples and the Law.

Panelists:

Courtney Skye (Six Nations of the Grand River Territory), Research Fellow and Policy Analyst, Yellow Heaps Institute

Dr. John Borrows (Anishinabe/Ojibway and Chippewas of the Nawash First Nation in Ontario), Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law and Law Foundation Chair in Aboriginal Justice and Governance at the University of Victoria

Jess Housty (Heiltsuk Nation), Executive Director, Qqs Projects Society, Tribal Councillor for Heiltsuk Nation and Community Activist

Dr. Jeff Corntassel (Cherokee Nation), Associate Professor, University of Victoria

Resource Type
Citation

Māori Law Review and the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre for Indigenous Peoples and the Law. "Indigenous Peoples and COVID-19: Issues of Law and Justice – Canada." September 9, 2020. Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved July 25, 2023 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZd2AI0jLzI

NCAI Forum: Protecting Tribal Lands and Sacred Places: Current Threats Across Indian Country

Year

The latest in NCAI’s ongoing series of virtual events featuring tribal leaders, this forum shares the stories of five tribal nations working to protect their tribal homelands in the face of baseless attacks by the federal government, and discussed how the federal government must recommit to its trust and treaty obligations to all tribal nations in this critical area. Forum panelists included:

  • Cedric Cromwell, Chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe
  • Mark Fox, Chairman of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation
  • Harold Frazier, Chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
  • Ned Norris, Jr., Chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation
  • Terry Rambler, Chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe
Resource Type
Citation

National Congress of American Indians. "NCAI Forum: Protecting Tribal Lands and Sacred Places: Current Threats Across Indian Country". NCAI. June 29, 2020. Retreived on July 23, 2020 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_DGzzlgkGo

Vernon Masayesva: Self-Governance and Protecting Water

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

Former Tribal Chairman of the Hopi Nation and Executive Director of Black Mesa Trust, Vernon Masayesva relays his thoughts about advocating for self-governance and protection of water rights for Indigenous people. His pursuits in holding accountability of mining in Hopi territory has made Vernon into a leading respected voice on maintaining the sovereignty of water for tribes and intervention toward both entities and pixies that threaten environmental harm on Native lands. Vernon describes his efforts through the creation of Black Mesa Trust and their activities while continuing to be active in keeping the Hopi Nation focused on self-governance that matches the sacred values toward natural resources.

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Native Nations Institute. "Vernon Masayesva: Self-Governance and Protecting Water." University of Arizona Water Ethics Symposium, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, October 20, 2018

Transcript available upon request. Please email: nni@email.arizona.edu

Vernon Masayesva Keynote: Water Ethics Symposium

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

Vernon Masayesva (Hopi) is the Executive Director of Black Mesa Trust and leading advocate for protecting water resources for the Hopi Nation. He's a Hopi Leader of the Coyote Clan and former Chairman of the Hopi Tribal Council from the village of Hotevilla who has worked for decades on bringing awarenes and action toward the damaging effects that nearby mines have had on the precious water systems for the Hopi people. In this video, Vernon gives a keyntoe speech at the 3rd annual University of Arizona Water Ethics Symposium on October 19, 2018 focused on Indigenous Water Ethics: Sacred Waters Connecting Culture, People, & Place.  The perspectives of culture, water rights, traditional knowledge, and leadership are revelaed in a Hopi context.

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Native Nations Institute. "Vernon Masayesva Keynote Water Ethics Symposium." University of Arizona Water Ethics Symposium, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, October 19, 2018

California Fee-to-Trust Consortium

Year

The loss of traditional land is a source of longstanding trauma for Native nations. It has far reaching consequences that began at the time of dispossession and persist today. Many tribes struggle to regain territory in order to support the basic needs of their citizens – housing, economic development, and essential services such as schools and health care. Frustrated by the federal government’s handling of applications to put land into trust, a group of California tribes began working with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1998 to streamline the process by which tribes can secure landholdings that are protected by trust status. The California Fee-to-Trust Consortium has made it possible for the federal government to manage tribal trust applications in a timely and consistent way.

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

"California Fee-to-Trust Consortium." Honoring Nations: 2010 Honoree. Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 2011. Report.