California Indian Environmental Governance: Responsibilities, Rights, and Restitution

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Indigenous Peoples Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM (MDT)
Room: Galvez, , Marriott, 5th Floor
Organizers: Beth Rose Middleton
Chairs: Beth Rose Middleton


Indigenous narratives of California go back to the beginning of time--describing the formation of diverse land- and water-scapes in tandem with the creation of diverse California Indian peoples (see, for example, Bauer 2016). In the face of settler narratives that attempt to dismiss these California Indian histories and assert the creation of California as beginning with the arrival of Europeans, California Indians continue to assert their identities, histories, and responsibilities to particular landscapes. Our panel of scholars from one of two PhD-granting Native American Studies programs in the nation focuses on contemporary California Native struggles for eco-cultural sovereignty, environmental justice, and Indigenous epistemological approaches to land and water reclamation. We situate these movements in a context of attempted displacement of California Indians by state and federal agencies and private corporations. Across California’s storied, Indigenous geography, Indigenous Californians firmly counter legal-political legacies of attempted displacement and erasure, with movements asserting place-based governance that express the covenant of Indigenous rights and responsibilities to homelands. Our panel engages with historical and contemporary environmental policy, as embedded in California historical and political geography, by foregrounding Indigenous movements for dam removal, Indigenous-led conservation, and approaches to management of the booming marijuana economy from a basis of Indigenous governance.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Kaitlin Reed*, , From Gold Rush to Green Rush: Illegal Marijuana Cultivation on Yurok Tribal Lands 20 3:20 PM
Presenter Beth Rose Middleton*, UC Davis, Upstream: the Struggle for California Indian lands at the Headwaters of the State Water Project and the Stairway of Power 20 3:40 PM
Presenter Sarah Biscarra Dilley*, University of California - Davis, Narrative, Memory, and Place – a Diseño on Living Topographies 20 4:00 PM
Presenter Brittani Orona*, , "We have a responsibility to this place": Indigenous Environmental Justice Advocacy in Northwestern California 20 4:20 PM
Discussant Sim Hay Kin Jack University of California, Davis 20 4:40 PM

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