Emerging Water Issues
In this Unit, we will focus on contemporary water resource and environmental issues facing Tribal Nations. This Unit is an opportunity to consider particular case studies of Tribal Nations and explore how they have engaged with the law and exercised sovereignty in attempting to address the unique concerns of that particular tribal community. In reviewing the materials for this Unit, you must call upon the significant knowledge obtained in the previous six units and use that knowledge to consider the individual case studies. These case studies offer a detailed view of how Tribal Nations act and react to the power and limitations of the Winters and Winans implied reserved rights doctrine. Another objective for this Unit is to show you the significant impact that one person or a small group of people can have in Indian Country. We will examine the Yurok Nation’s unique attempt to depart from the framework of Federal Water Law set up by Winters and Winans by protecting their Klamath River via tribal customary law and a new approach to safeguarding natural resources. In addition, this Unit considers the fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline construction and focuses your attention on the Winters-related claims as well as the non-Winters-related claims brought by the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and the Cheyenne River Sioux Nation. Finally, the Unit closes with a focus on climate change on Indigenous peoples. This last case study brings the class full circle by recalling the unique connections binding Indigenous peoples to their lands and asking you to consider the gravity of the harm when climate change forces relocation of a people from the place that defines them.
Please right click the links below to Professor Pearl’s introduction and two video lectures. All videos include closed captions.
Lecture 13: Emerging Issues in Tribal Water Law
Lecture 14: Environmental Justice Issues and Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change
Lecture 13 Supplemental Youtube Video
Reclaiming the Klamath Video https://youtu.be/D2mBw-oLw0I
Lecture 13 Required Readings
• Give Rivers Legal Rights
o Newspaper Articles
• The Klamath River Now Has the Legal Rights of a Person
o Newspaper Article
• Yurok Tribal Council Resolution
o Yurok Tribal Council Res, 19-40: Resolution Establishing the Rights of Klamath River (May 19, 2019)
• I am the River, the River is Me
o River Personhood article by Sequoia L. Butler
Lecture 14 Required Readings
• Environmental Justice & Tribal Sovereignty
o Yale Law Journal article by Mary Kathryn Nagle on the Dakota Pipeline
• Indigenous Peoples and the Climate Change
o Professor Alex Pearl’s article
Think about the case studies presented in this unit: the Yurok Nation and the Klamath River, the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the global struggle of Indigenous peoples and climate change. Do you think that the choices made by parties involved in those cases studies necessarily required a combined knowledge of (1) Federal Indian Water Law, (2) hydrology, (3) Federal Indian Law, and (4) State water law systems? What is the value of having a broad understanding of these four distinct areas in trying to address the concerns of Indigenous peoples? Would the Tribal Nations in the case studies, or others, be better served by a narrowly singular focused legal response?
o Use a minimum of five sources.
• Be responsible for properly formatting citations and references for all sources.
o Use the Citing Sources document for Video Lectures and all legal sources
o Pearl & Butler Articles: See page three of the Citing Sources document for the format for journal articles and Law Review Articles (make note of the difference).
o Newspapers: For Newspaper, citations google Owl Purdue APA Newspaper Article
https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/reference_list_electronic_sources.html (Links to an external site.)
Scroll done to Online News Articles
o Supplemental Youtube video: Google Owl Purdue APA Videos
Same page as with online newspapers. Just scroll down to YouTube or other Streaming Articles