Stephen Schima, Senior Legislative Counsel, Earthjustice: “It’s the fox guarding the hen house, to be sure.”
We fight to ensure our tribal and Indigenous clients’ natural and cultural resources are protected for future generations
Earthjustice is honored to partner with Indigenous communities, including some of the 574 federally recognized Indian and Alaska Native tribes, Native Hawaiians, state recognized tribes, Indigenous NGOs, and unrecognized tribes as they fight to preserve and protect their air, earth, water, and way of life. This work necessarily is informed by the complex legal, cultural, and political issues unique to tribal and Indigenous people in North America.
Earthjustice attorneys have long represented tribes and Indigenous clients in seminal environmental cases.
- With the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Earthjustice attorneys fought — and continue to fight — the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- 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.
- Attorneys from the Northern Rockies Office defend the Badger-Two Medicine region, sacred to the Blackfeet Nation, from oil and gas drilling first proposed in 1982.
- 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.
- 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.
- Attorneys from 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.
We recognize that traditional land and wildlife management practices are critical tools for addressing the onslaught of climate change. We fight federal laws and policies that impair or destroy the resources necessary to practice traditional Indigenous cultures. And we elevate the voices of our tribal and Indigenous clients and partners on the front lines of environmental degradation and destruction.