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The economic incentive model is at odds with how we must move forward on climate change

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Professor Rebecca Tsosie, a lawyer who has served as executive director of the top ranked Indian legal program in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University since 1996 is the keynote speaker for the Salish Gathering Climate Change Summit.

Of Yaqui descent, Tsosie has written and published widely on doctrinal and theoretical issues related to tribal sovereignty, environmental policy and cultural rights.

The current model of extracting resources from tribal lands is all about the profit and shortsighted, Tsosie said. Planning for the future and what is best for the land and the climate is a long-term process that requires careful planning and valuing the resources for more than the profit they bring.

“We are being stuck with the consequences of the economic model  of thinking,” said Tsosie. The legislators, businesses and government are all engaged in this model. Today is about being engaged in the cooperative model, transcending the physical and government boundaries that is the cultural way of the past and needs to be the way of the future, she said.

The sovereignty of tribes and how they are affected by these changes extends beyond the boundaries of their lands.

Climate Change Summit April 26-27

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

The Coast Salish Gathering will host a Climate Change Summit April 26–27 for tribal leaders, scientists and federal government representatives.

Climate change has received considerable attention as evidence continues to accumulate demonstrating the extent of the impacts that are faced. The majority of climate change models predict drastic changes in air and ocean currents, sea-level rise, and unpredictable precipitation events. These changes are already occurring, with unforeseen, negative ramifications.

The Climate Change Summit will provide an opportunity for Coast Salish Nations’ leaders and scientists to gather for a dialogue on climate change impacts, information sharing and to strengthen our science and policy to address the environmental impacts upon our human health, traditional rights and cultural sustainability. Several sessions will blend science and policy to deal with impacts upon human health, traditional rights and communities. These sessions will be set up so that they are interactive conversations with all of the participants, led by experts in the particular subject topic.

For more information, visit