tribal water rights

Water Back: A Review Centering Rematriation and Indigenous Water Research Sovereignty

Year

The recent Land Back movement has catalysed global solidarity towards addressing the oppression and dispossession of Indigenous Peoples’ Lands and territories. Largely absent from the discourse, however, is a discussion of the alienation of Indigenous Peoples from Water by settler-colonial states. Some Indigenous Water Protectors argue that there cannot be Land Back without Water Back. In response to this emergent movement of Water Back, this review of research by Indigenous and non-Indigenous writers traces the discursive patterns of Indigenous Water relationships and rematriation across themes of colonialism, climate change, justice, health, rights, responsibilities, governance and cosmology. It advances a holistic conceptualization of Water Back as a framework for future research sovereignty, focusing mainly on instances in Canada, Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, and the United States. We present the findings on the current global Waterscape of Indigenous-led research on Indigenous Water issues. Water Back offers an important framework centring Indigenous way of knowing, doing, and being as a foundation for advancing Indigenous Water research.

Citation

Leonard, K.; David-Chavez, D.; Smiles, D.; Jennings, L.; ʻAnolani Alegado, R.; Tsinnajinnie, L.; Manitowabi, J.; Arsenault, R.; Begay, R.L.; Kagawa-Viviani, A.; Davis, D.D.; van Uitregt, V.; Pichette, H.; Liboiron, M.; Moggridge, B.; Russo Carroll, S.; Tsosie, R.L. and Gomez, A. 2023. Water back: A review centering rematriation and Indigenous Water research sovereignty. Water Alternatives 16(2).

Breaching Barriers: The Fight for Indigenous Participation in Water Governance

Year

Indigenous peoples worldwide face barriers to participation in water governance, which includes planning and permitting of infrastructure that may affect water in their territories. In the United States, the extent to which Indigenous voices are heard—let alone incorporated into decision-making—depends heavily on whether or not Native nations are recognized by the federal government. In the southeastern United States, non-federally recognized Indigenous peoples continue to occupy their homelands along rivers, floodplains, and wetlands. These peoples, and the Tribal governments that represent them, rarely enter environmental decision-making spaces as sovereign nations and experts in their own right.

Nevertheless, plans to construct the Atlantic Coast Pipeline prompted non-federally recognized Tribes to demand treatment as Tribal nations during permitting. Actions by the Tribes, which are recognized by the state of North Carolina, expose barriers to participation in environmental governance faced by Indigenous peoples throughout the United States, and particularly daunting challenges faced by state-recognized Tribes. After reviewing the legal and political landscapes that Native nations in the United States must navigate, we present a case study focused on Atlantic Coast Pipeline planning and permitting.

We deliberately center Native voices and perspectives, often overlooked in non-Indigenous narratives, to emphasize Indigenous actions and illuminate participatory barriers. Although the Atlantic Coast Pipeline was cancelled in 2020, the case study reveals four enduring barriers to Tribal participation: adherence to minimum standards, power asymmetries, procedural narrowing, and “color-blind” planning. We conclude by highlighting opportunities for federal and state governments, developers, and Indigenous peoples to breach these barriers.

Resource Type
Topics
Citation

Emanuel, Ryan E.; Wilkins, David E. 2020. "Breaching Barriers: The Fight for Indigenous Participation in Water Governance" Water 12, no. 8: 2113. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12082113

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

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. Claire Charters, (Ngati Whakaue, Tuwharetoa, Nga Puhi and Tainui) co-director of the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre for Indigenous Peoples and the Law and produced by Māori Law Review and the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre for Indigenous Peoples and the Law.

Panelists:

Aliza Organick (Diné), Professor of Law, University of New Mexico School of Law
Kelsey Leonard (Shinnecock Indian Nation), Tribal Co-Lead on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body of the U.S. National Ocean Council
Dr. Miriam Jorgensen, Research Director, Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona and the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at Harvard University
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 – USA." September 20, 2020. Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved July 25, 2023 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-2jvH2x1vA&feature=youtu.be

Water in the Native World: Change Rippling through Our Waters and Culture

Year

“Water in the Native World,” a special issue on tribal water research was just released by the Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education. This is the second time, Dr. Karletta Chief, the PI of the Community Engagement Core of the University of Arizona Superfund Research Center (UA SRC) has served as a guest editor to compile research highlighting important water research in tribal communities. Not only is the guest editor Indigenous but in this Special Issue nearly all of the co-authors are Indigenous and three publications (Bulltail and Walter, 2020; Conroy-Ben and Crowder, 2020, and Martin et al., 2020) are led by an Indigenous lead author.

Download full articles from the special issue.

Contact: Dr. Karletta Chief, Assistant Specialist & Professor, Environmental Physics and Hydrology

July 8, 2020

Speaker:
Christine Martin is an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe of Montana. She is a qualitative researcher who believes that taking the time to hear our communities needs today, will bring us thriving communities tomorrow.  This is her fourth year at Little Big Horn College doing water quality research from a qualitative standpoint.  She specializes in helping others understand their drinking water systems and has expertise in community health behaviors.  She loves helping her community and has majored in Community Health at Montana State University, where she also earned her Masters’ degree.  Doing a qualitative research project on climate change in her tribal community gave Christine the chance to not only document the noted times, but give others the chance to tell their story of what they remember and recall a time when the weather was much different than what we experience today. 
 

Water in the Native World Webinar Series: A Confluence of Anticolonial Pathways for Indigenous Sacred Site Protection

Year

“Water in the Native World,” a special issue on tribal water research was just released by the Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education. This is the second time, Dr. Karletta Chief, the PI of the Community Engagement Core of the University of Arizona Superfund Research Center (UA SRC) has served as a guest editor to compile research highlighting important water research in tribal communities. Not only is the guest editor Indigenous but in this Special Issue nearly all of the co-authors are Indigenous and three publications (Bulltail and Walter, 2020; Conroy-Ben and Crowder, 2020, and Martin et al., 2020) are led by an Indigenous lead author.

Download full articles from the special issue.

Contact: Dr. Karletta Chief, Assistant Specialist & Professor, Environmental Physics and Hydrology

June 11, 2020:
Speakers:
Rachel Ellis (corresponding author) is an educator, advocate, and researcher specializing in justice-oriented watershed management and conservation in the Southwest. This article is based on research from her thesis “Exploring Anticolonial Protective Pathways for the Confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers.” rme96@nau.edu.

Denielle Perry is a tenure-track Assistant Professor at Northern Arizona University in the School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability. My research, broadly described, draws on a Political Ecology approach to analyze the drivers, priorities, and spatial dimensions of water governance. In particular, I examine how environmental institutions and values influence both the development and conservation of water resources, as well as the socio-ecological implications of these often competing agendas, in the face of climate change. I adopt a mixed-methods approach in my work, making use of both quantitative and qualitative analysis. I view the nexus of political ecology, water law and policy, and geospatial analysis as a powerful platform for solving some of the most pressing environmental problems of our time. Denielle.Perry@nau.edu

All content courtesy University of Arizona Cooperative Extension

Rebecca Tsosie: Indigenous Sustainability and Resilience to Climate Extremes

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

The School of Geography & Development presented the “My Arizona” Lecture of Prof. Rebecca Tsosie, Regents Professor of Law at Univeristy of Arizona on Friday, November 1, 2019. Her lecture, "Indigenous Sustainability and Resilience to Climate Extremes: Traditional Knowledge and the Systems of Survival" was recorded by the Native Nations Institute and abstract as follows: Tribal governments are not just "stakeholders" in the public policy debates over climate change; they are sovereign governments with longstanding political and legal rights to land, water, and natural resources. There is a vital role for Indigenous concepts of sustainability within the frameworks that drive climate policy, and this lecture explores the legal, political and moral arguments for the inclusion of tribal governments within Arizona, national and global climate governance.

Resource Type
Citation

Native Nations Institute. "Rebecca Tsosie: Indigenous Sustainability and Resilience to Climate Extremes" My Arizona Lecture Series, The School of Geography & Development, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. November 1, 2019

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

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

Water is Life video series Part 3 Mni Wiconi

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

The Native Nations Institute produced a three-part educational video series called, “Water is Life." The video series brings a Native nation building perspective to the conflict over the Dakota Access Pipeline and features interviews with LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, former tribal historic preservation officer for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; Eileen Briggs, a community leader from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe; and Dave Archambault II, former chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Produced in 2016 when the Dakota Access Pipeline was under construction, the underground oil pipeline extending from North Dakota to Illinois was being built to transport millions of gallons of crude oil. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe had acted to prevent pipeline construction within their treaty lands, on their reservation, through sacred sites, and under the rivers that are their sole source of drinking water.

Part 3: Mni Wiconi. Native nations are taking an active part in key public policy debates, their voices and vision provide new options for addressing the challenges we all face.

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

Water is Life video series Part 2 Oceti Sakowin

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

The Native Nations Institute produced a three-part educational video series called, “Water is Life." The video series brings a Native nation building perspective to the conflict over the Dakota Access Pipeline and features interviews with LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, former tribal historic preservation officer for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; Eileen Briggs, a community leader from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe; and Dave Archambault II, former chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Produced in 2016 when the Dakota Access Pipeline was under construction, the underground oil pipeline extending from North Dakota to Illinois was being built to transport millions of gallons of crude oil. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe had acted to prevent pipeline construction within their treaty lands, on their reservation, through sacred sites, and under the rivers that are their sole source of drinking water.

Part 2: Oceti Sakowin. This video emphasizes that Native nations governed themselves before European settlement in North America. These governing systems—rooted in the people and in their lands—remain as tools for making difficult collective decisions today.

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Native Nations Institute. "Water is Life video series Part 2 Oceti Sakowin." NNI Studio production, University of Arizona. Tucson, AZ. Nov 16, 2016

Water is Life video series Part 1 The Lakota and Dakota People

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

The Native Nations Institute produced a three-part educational video series called, “Water is Life." The video series brings a Native nation building perspective to the conflict over the Dakota Access Pipeline and features interviews with LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, former tribal historic preservation officer for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; Eileen Briggs, a community leader from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe; and Dave Archambault II, former chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Produced in 2016 when the Dakota Access Pipeline was under construction, the underground oil pipeline extending from North Dakota to Illinois was being built to transport millions of gallons of crude oil. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe had acted to prevent pipeline construction within their treaty lands, on their reservation, through sacred sites, and under the rivers that are their sole source of drinking water.

Part 1: The Lakota and Dakota People. A core message of this video is that the U.S. government drew reservation boundaries, but Native nations have never ceased to fulfill their responsibility to care for ancestral lands and waters. 

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Native Nations Institute. "Water is Life video series Part 1 The Lakota and Dakota People." NNI Studio production, University of Arizona. Tucson, AZ. Nov 16, 2016