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Tsosie keynote published in Oregon law journal

September 21, 2010

A keynote address by Rebecca Tsosie, Executive Director of the Indian Legal Program at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, delivered at a conference at the University of Oregon School of Law in September 2009, has now been published in the Oregon Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation. The address is entitled "Indigenous Peoples and Global Climate Change: Intercultural Models of Climate Equity."

In it, Tsosie notes that climate change threatens the very viability of indigenous communities, leading to the specter of wholesale relocations. Yet, no laws protect native peoples from such destruction, either internationally or at the nation-state level. And the interests of indigenous peoples are largely subsumed within those of the nation-state because such indigenous communities are not given an independent voice at the international climate change negotiating table. Ultimately, Tsosie argues, as she has previously, for an indigenous right to environmental self-determination that would recognize a unique and necessary tie between indigenous peoples and their lands.

Tsosie, who is of Yaqui descent, teaches in the areas of Indian law, Property, Bioethics, and Critical Race Theory, as well as seminars in International Indigenous Rights and in the College’s Tribal Policy, Law, and Government Master of Laws program. She has written and published widely on doctrinal and theoretical issues related to tribal sovereignty, environmental policy and cultural rights, and is the author of many prominent articles dealing with cultural resources and cultural pluralism. Tsosie also is the co-author with Robert Clinton and Carole Goldberg of a federal Indian law casebook. Her current research deals with Native rights to genetic resources.

Judy Nichols,
(480) 727-7895
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law