ENV 962a,b () / 2023-2024

Tribal Resources and Sovereignty-Clinic

Credits: 3
Fall 2023: W, 9:00-11:50, Kroon G01
Spring 2024: Time and location TBA



Course Introduction: 

This graduate-level course, taught by Patrick Gonzalez-Rogers, former Executive Director of the Bears Ears Coalition, offers a comprehensive examination of Indigenous resource management with a focus on themes related to land use, cultural preservation, and environmental conservation. The course is structured into two components: lectures and clinic projects. In the lectures, students will gain a foundational understanding of crucial concepts such as Tribal Sovereignty, trust duty, co-management, and shared stewardship. Through engaging discussions and analysis of contemporary case studies, students will explore successful co-management practices between tribes and various stakeholders, including federal governments, states, and private actors. The course also offers a unique clinical component where students will be placed with a partner organization and participate in real-world projects related to Indigenous resource management. 


Application Requirements:

  1. This course is open to graduate students at the Yale School of the Environment, the Law School, the School of Management, and the Divinity School, as well as Yale College undergraduates and graduate students from other departments (subject to instructor approval). There are no prerequisites for this course.
  2. Interested students are required to submit an application detailing their motivation, relevant background or experience, and their commitment to actively contribute to the course and clinic projects. To apply, please use https://bit.ly/3P5obgc
The course attendance will be capped at 25 students and also requires 1 hour discussion section

Understanding Tribal Resource Management: We will identify and describe the varieties of tribal resources and the limitation of the management prerogatives facing Tribal Nations under the current legal regime. We will explore those resources governed by the trust duty and the federal government’s role. We will also look at the emerging resources
in the green economy and investigate the relations between tribes, states, and private actors.
• Co-management, the trust duty, and tribal sovereignty will be the main themes around which the clinic will be structured. 

• This will be a graduate-level course. This course has no prerequisites and is not capped. It requires an application. It is designed for master’s and Ph.D. students at the Yale School of the Environment, students at the Law School, the School of Management, and the Divinity School. The course is open to Yale College undergraduates and graduate
students from elsewhere in Yale if they get the approval of the instructor.
• This course will enable students to:
1. Gain familiarity with concepts in natural resource management problems;
2. Attain an understanding of the various roles and tools of policymakers and policymaking;
3. Develop an appreciation of the complex dialectic between policy formulation and the different levels of government, as well as other stakeholders;
4. Assess the implications of incorporating different forms of knowledge (disciplinary knowledge, local knowledge, indigenous knowledge, expert knowledge, and citizen knowledge);
5. Gain an appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of interdisciplinary work;
6. Synthesize both existing work and individual values and ethics into a defensible approach to complex natural resource management problems
7. Appraise varying forms of injustice and inequities arising from the dynamics of this work;
8. Develop a critical theoretical and historical underpinning for their work, develop a personal self-reflexive stance of openness to various forms of knowledge and different community values, Sharpen their written and oral analytic skills.
9.Students working on this project will integrate technical forestry and policy expertise with other disciplines to create research that can be communicated to forestry and non-forestry decision-makers. In addition, students should have a willingness to learn to work with tribal staff and assert inherent sovereignty at the local, state, national and international levels by coordinating policy, law, and business.