Business Ethics and Indigenous Values

Business Ethics and Indigenous Values


8 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., Jan. 26 to 28, 2023

Meeting Days

Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday afternoon



Course Instructor(s)

Course not offered in 2024

Course Description: LAW 631Q (1 credit)

Business ethics in the Western world are shaped by two key theories: utilitarianism and deontology. Taken together, these form the basis for Western law, as well as the bases for many social science disciplines, including economics, and public policy. Indigenous ways of understanding are complex, nuanced, and embody the accumulated wisdom of generations. Historically, they have supported the development of thriving nations and Indigenous governance systems. And, more recently, they have survived the failed efforts of colonizers to replace them with Western beliefs and practices.


This course explores the relationships between Western theories of ethics that have shaped Western institutions and the social sciences, and Indigenous understandings, including tribal ethics, that have the potential to be used in creating new institutions and new ways of understanding the world. Some questions to consider include: 


  • How can traditional Indigenous notions of ethics be applied in contemporary contexts? 
  • How do Indigenous values impact economic development?  
  • In what ways are utilitarianism and deontology inconsistent with Indigenous ethics? In what ways might they be consistent?

Course Format

Students will meet on campus for three consecutive afternoons at the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona.

Readings and Syllabus

Syllabus will be posted on UArizona's online learning platform, D2L, along with required readings to all registered students. 

Attendance & Participation

This course will be delivered in person at the University of Arizona. Participants must attend all 3 classes to receive a passing grade. Exceptions will be made only at the faculty's discretion.


Online registration for this course will open September 1st at 10 AM. After registration, participants will receive a receipt of registration. Subsequently, participants will receive class instructions 1-2 weeks before the start of the course.