Indigenous Peoples and the Environment

Indigenous Peoples and the Environment


8 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., Jan. 18 to 20, 2024

Meeting Days

Thursday, Friday & Saturday morning



Course Instructor(s)

Doug Thompson, JD, LLM



Course Description: LAW 631S (1 credit)

The relationship between Indigenous peoples and the environment is one of the most discussed and controversial areas of law and policy affecting Indigenous peoples. From conflicts over jurisdiction to misconceptions about tribal values, the relationship between Indigenous peoples and the environment is even further complicated by competing demands for resources and disparate notions about the governance of Indigenous resources. The course will review some of the key laws, policies, and legal principles that govern the administration of Indigenous natural resources. We will also consider examples from jurisdictions abroad, including, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. 

At the completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Better understand jurisdictional conflicts over natural resources
  • Assess the history of colonization and its legacy in affecting the ability of Indigenous peoples to maintain relationship with the land and resources
  • Observe the extent to which legal principles and doctrines influence and fail to influence the courts in considering environmental issues affecting Indigenous peoples

Course Format

Students will meet on campus with Professor Fodder 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.


After registering online, participants will receive a receipt of registration. Subsequently, participants will receive class instructions 1-2 weeks before the start of the course.