Rebecca Tsosie

Document Type



The United States is a demographically and regionally diverse nation seeking to achieve equity among its constituent members. Within this pluralistic democracy, many Indigenous Nations continue to live upon the lands that they have occupied since “time immemorial.” Tribal governments are not just “stakeholders” in public policy debates over climate change. As sovereign governments, they hold political rights to land, water and natural resources. As Indigenous peoples, they also have strong cultural connections to their ancestral lands and environments. Many Indigenous peoples continue to possess traditional norms of sustainability that have enabled their resilience and survival for generations. This Essay argues that there is a vital role for Indigenous sustainability within the frameworks that drive climate policy and sustainable development and explores the legal, political, and moral arguments for the inclusion of tribal governments within the decision-making structures of the United States and its global partners.