Indigenous Peoples, Rights, and Environmental Justice
The rights of Indigenous peoples are powerful policy and legal instruments for enacting agendas in conservation, food security and food sovereignty, environmental quality, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and sustainable development. At the same time, Indigenous peoples struggle against nations, institutions, and industries that willfully ignore or strategically exploit Indigenous rights. Rights are among the major policy and legal instruments Indigenous peoples use in pursuit of environmental justice.
Students of environmentalism, sustainable development, and environmental justice ought to have practical knowledge of the history, current practices, and future innovations in the field of Indigenous rights. They must understand the contextual differences in rights law and policy in different places, and the institutions through which rights claims can be articulated and enforced. The course will be taught as a legal and policy primer, including in depth study of the history of Indigenous rights, key rights laws and policies in use in different parts of the world, including through the United Nations, and innovations in rights methodology by Indigenous peoples, such as the rights of non-human entities. The Indigenous rights-based content of the course will
be discussed in relation to rights traditions of other groups, including people of color and people of the global majority.
There are no prerequisites required; the course is for students at all levels of background
in Indigenous rights.