Tribal Partnerships Program

Badger-Two Medicine. (Rebecca Drobis for Earthjustice)

Media Inquiries

Timna Axel
Public Affairs and Communications Strategist
(773) 828-0712

Legal Assistance Inquiries

Contacto de Prensa

Robert Valencia
Estratega de Comunicaciones y Asuntos Públicos Hispanos/Latinos
(212) 845-7376

Legal Alerts Email Listserv

For Tribes and Indigenous communities and affiliated in-house counsel interested in alerts on government notices, public comment periods, and more. Sign up.

Who We Are

Earthjustice’s Tribal Partnerships Program fights to ensure our Tribal and Indigenous clients’ natural and cultural resources are protected for future generations. See bar admissions for our attorneys.

Laura BerglanSenior Attorney

Caitlyn BrandtLitigation Assistant

Gussie LordManaging Attorney

Robert LundbergAssociate Attorney

Stefanie TsosieSenior Attorney

Our Impact

Earthjustice has a long history of partnering with Tribes, Native groups, and Indigenous communities to ensure their natural and cultural resources are protected for future generations. Today, as Native peoples lead from the frontlines of many pivotal environmental fights, our Tribal Partnerships Program is proud to continue that tradition.

Tribes and Indigenous communities and affiliated in-house counsel can receive email alerts and monthly summaries of government notices, public comment periods, and sign on opportunities for litigation and legislation through the Tribal Partnerships Program’s email listserv.

Listen to a conversation with attorneys Gussie Lord and Stefanie Tsosie on their work.

Partnering with Indigenous Communities from Coast to Coast

From Alaska to Arizona and Hawaiʻi to Wisconsin, we are honored to partner with and represent more than 70 Tribes and Indigenous communities fighting to protect their water, safeguard public and tribal land, oppose destructive extractive industries, and preserve their culture and way of life. Earthjustice and the Tribal Partnerships Program will continue to fight efforts to impair or destroy tribal or Indigenous lands, resources, or areas of cultural significance.

Elevating Indigenous Voices and Applying Indigenous Knowledge

In addition, we will continue to elevate Indigenous voices on the frontlines of environmental degradation and destruction, and to support traditional land and wildlife management practices, which are crucial tools in our fight to combat climate change. “A lot of Tribes are innovators,” explains Senior Attorney Stefanie Tsosie. “Earthjustice can be innovators with them and help elevate their voices, especially in the times we see now.”

Highlights of Our Work:

  • Alongside the Biodiversity Defense Program and Midwest Office, we are representing six Ojibwe Tribes in a lawsuit against the state of Wisconsin for its planned November 2021 wolf hunt, claiming the proposed hunt violates the Tribes’ treaty rights. Learn more.
  • Earthjustice attorneys in Alaska protect the Tongass National Forest, public lands of the Western Arctic, the Chukchi Sea, and countless rivers and streams that have supported subsistence practices of Alaska Native people for generations. Learn more.
  • Attorneys in the Northern Rockies Office defend the Badger-Two Medicine region, sacred to the Blackfeet Nation, from oil and gas drilling first proposed in 1982. Learn more.
  • The Rocky Mountain Office continues to fight to protect off-reservation cultural resources of the Tohono O’odham, Pascua Yaqui, and Hopi Tribes from the destruction of hardrock mining. Learn more.
  • Our Mid-Pacific Office in Hawaiʻi has long stood with Native Hawaiian communities to uphold rights to cultural access and resources and to establish legal principles that water is a public trust, which specifically protects Native water rights. Learn more.
  • Attorneys in the Northwest Office represent the Yurok Tribe in its fight to ensure flows in the Klamath River are adequate to protect salmon habitat and the Tribe’s ancient spiritual and subsistence practices. Learn more.
  • Earthjustice attorneys represented the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Learn more.

Recent News
May 15, 2023 Document

Line 5 Motion for Emergency Shutdown in Bad River

A motion for emergency injunction filed by the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa shows the Line 5 oil pipeline — operating in trespass of the Band — is only a few feet away from imminent catastrophe in Wisconsin’s Bad River and must be shut down and purged.

May 12, 2023 In the News: Wisconsin Examiner

Bad River tribe and allies call for emergency Line 5 shutdown

Debbie Chizewer, Managing Attorney, Midwest Office, Earthjustice: “We are extremely alarmed to see the shrinking distance between Line 5, which is operating in trespass of the Bad River Band, and the raging river current. If government officials don’t use their power to shut down Line 5, this disaster will be on their hands.”

May 11, 2023 In the News: Michigan Advance

As the anniversary of Enbridge’s refusal to shut down Line 5 approaches, groups press Biden admin

Debbie Chizewer, Managing Attorney of the Midwest Regional Office, Earthjustice: “This 70-year-old pipeline is operating a full 20 years past its design lifetime. Line 5 threatens Tribal Nations and violates the State of Michigan’s shutdown order. It’s time to retire Line 5. Every day that oil flows through the pipeline is another day we risk…