For the last eight years I have represented Indian tribes in the United States on a wide range of issues, including environmental and resource protection, nuclear regulatory proceedings, water rights, land claims, energy development, tribal governance, cultural resource protection, coastal marine spatial planning, and sovereignty/human rights matters. The Global Environments Summer Academy will allow me to gain invaluable experience for my work with indigenous populations, particularly with respect to impacts of climate change, environmental and resource protection, and preservation of land base and cultural identity tied to the land.
Tribes located on the coast face particularly challenging environmental issues. Water contamination can limit natural resources such as fish, or safe drinking water supplies. Coastal erosion and climate change impacts can diminish the Tribe’s land base, and heighten the risk of natural disasters. Indigenous populations around the world are at the highest risk for negative impacts on all fronts, social, economic and environmental in a rapidly changing world.
These issues have far reaching impacts on the day to day lives of populations all over the world, and impact political decisions and alliances that could lead to armed conflict or mutual peace. I work with Tribal governmental entities facing critical decision on how to utilize resources to promote economic development, protect the environment, and preserve the social and cultural structure of the communities impacted by these decisions.