Native Environmental Issues

1111 Words 5 Pages
In the articles, the authors highlight important notions such as “sovereignty,” “recognition,” “separateness,” “domestic dependent nations,” “dominate the physical space,” “reform the minds,” and “absorb the economic”. The authors argue that the legal and juridical sovereignty of American Indian provides them with the right to maintain and protect their traditional distinct political and cultural communities. In this pretext, to deal with the growing environmental problems at an alarming level, the tribal governments have inherent and statutory right to set their own environmental standards to meet the emerging environmental challenges. These challenges are serious threats to their socio-cultural, economic, politicolegal, spatial, and temporal …show more content…
Indigenous peoples have been resisting against the colonial drawn borders in both parts of the world. This resistance is seen physically on reserves as well as in legal battle against the powerful federal, states and corporate nexus in North America. While the tribal governments’ regulations to protect their environment from “fracking” are strict, maintaining “separateness” is mounting challenge to fundamental spatial, cultural, economic and political sovereignty. In the context of environmental protection, sovereignty is fundamental to establish environmental standards as they have been recognized as legitimate and that are enforceable. However, the federal and state institutional structure considers “sovereignty” as a non-Native, which fails to reflect indigenous values; therefore, it is an inappropriate political goal for Native Americans to legally defend their sovereignty at the US Supreme Court, which defined Native peoples as “domestic dependent nations”. Another main issue is the federal trust responsibility or trust doctrine, which is relevant to tribes’ resistance to protecting their cultural and natural resources. The concept of trust “protection” itself is rooted in the arrangement of sovereignty which …show more content…
It also implicitly recognizes the importance of the natural environment for the survival of tribal cultures, which are rooted in the natural world. In addition, incorporating standards with culturally specific uses of resources is considered very crucial aspect of self-determination, sovereignty and, eventually, tribal survival. However, these legal-political frameworks have not been able to fully protect the Native sovereignty. For example, the issue of “fracking” as empirical evidence indicates that since the federal environmental regulatory laws are administered and enforced by states, the tribal governments are resource constraint to face challenges in developing regulatory programs. This “structural” inequality in the environmental protection infrastructure weakens the capacity of the tribal governments to effectively resist the controversial “fracking” technique to protect their territory and sovereignty. Failure of the federal law to grant “fair treatment” to the tribal governments through “meaningful involvement” impedes effectiveness of tribal institutions that are unable to “exercise sovereignty effectively”. Forced assimilation as a colonial legacy has

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