The article focuses on one important consequence of global climate change: the possibility that entire cultures and communities could be wiped out or forced to relocate.
However, in the same way that policy-making cost-benefit analyses often ignore the claims of future generations, Tsosie argues that they also tend to ignore rights or duties related to the survival of indigenous communities. Accordingly, she explores reforms to nation-state and international governance structures to effectuate such interests, while noting that many traditional ethical constructs associated with native populations - seeking continuity over time, emphasizing preservation of heritage, focusing on stewardship of the earth, protecting the existence of future generations, and so on - should be core components of a contemporary system of environmental ethics.
Tsosie is also a Willard H. Pedrick Distinguished Research Scholar, Faculty Fellow in the Center for Law and Global Affairs and Affiliate Professor, American Indian Studies Program at ASU.
She teaches in the areas of Indian law, Property, Bioethics, and Critical Race Theory, as well as seminars in International Indigenous Rights and in the College's Tribal Policy, Law, and Government Master of Laws program. She has written and published widely on doctrinal and theoretical issues related to tribal sovereignty, environmental policy and cultural rights, and is the author of many prominent articles dealing with cultural resources and cultural pluralism. Tsosie also is the co-author with Robert Clinton and Carole Goldberg of a federal Indian law casebook. Her current research deals with Native rights to genetic resources.
Tsosie, who is of Yaqui descent, has worked extensively with tribal governments and organizations and serves as a Supreme Court Justice for the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation.