Environmental Management

, Volume 52, Issue 5, pp 1041–1045 | Cite as

Indigenous Studies Speaks to Environmental Management

  • Laurie RichmondEmail author
  • Beth Rose Middleton
  • Robert Gilmer
  • Zoltán Grossman
  • Terry Janis
  • Stephanie Lucero
  • Tukoroirangi Morgan
  • Annette Watson


This article describes the increasing connections between the fields of Indigenous studies and environmental management and examines some of the ways that an Indigenous studies perspective can guide thinking about environmental management. Indigenous groups have been involved in the management of environmental and natural resources on their lands since time immemorial. Indigenous groups have also become increasingly involved in Western practices of environmental management with the advent of co-management institutions, subsistence boards, traditional ecological knowledge forums, and environmental issues affecting Indigenous resources. Thus, it is an important time for scholarship that explores how Indigenous groups are both shaping and being affected by processes of environmental management. This article summarizes key findings and themes from eight papers situated at the intersection of these two fields of study and identify means by which environmental managers can better accommodate Indigenous rights and perspectives. It is the authors’ hope that increased dialog between Indigenous studies and environmental management can contribute to the building of sustainable and socially just environmental management practices.


Indigenous Native American studies Co-management Traditional ecological knowledge 



This study emerged out of the collective contributions and collaborations of panelists and audience members who attended the two panel series “Indigenous studies speaks to environmental policy” at the 2011 Annual Meeting at the Native American Indigenous Studies Association. The authors would like to thank the audience members and the conference organizers for helping to establish a venue for such fruitful discussion. The authors also thank Jean O’Brien, President of NAISA from 2010 to 2011, and other NAISA councilors for their work organizing the 2011 annual meeting. No external funding was provided to support the development of this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurie Richmond
    • 1
    Email author
  • Beth Rose Middleton
    • 2
  • Robert Gilmer
    • 3
  • Zoltán Grossman
    • 4
  • Terry Janis
    • 5
  • Stephanie Lucero
    • 6
  • Tukoroirangi Morgan
    • 7
  • Annette Watson
    • 8
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science and ManagementHumboldt State UniversityArcataUSA
  2. 2.Native American Studies DepartmentUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  3. 3.History DepartmentUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  4. 4.Geography and Native StudiesThe Evergreen State CollegeOlympiaUSA
  5. 5.White Earth Nation Constitution Reform ManagerWhite EarthUSA
  6. 6.National Indian Justice CenterSanta RosaUSA
  7. 7.Te Arataura, Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui Inc.WaikatoNew Zealand
  8. 8.Department of Political ScienceCollege of CharlestonCharlestonUSA

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