In recent years, tribal governments in the United States have passed sophisticated laws and regulations to manage social and economic development in their communities. Although air quality is an important aspect of both economic growth and human health, very few Native nations have successfully extended their sovereignty into the air. Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) is the first tribe in the country to develop a comprehensive plan that regulates air pollution within the boundaries of its reservation. The plan is recognized by other governments and gives the tribe control over all of the emission-causing activities that occur within its territory. By designing its own air quality program, the community can manage the activities that are important to tribal citizens while preserving a healthy atmosphere.
"Air Quality Program." Honoring Nations: 2010 Honoree. Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 2011. Report.