William H. Rodgers, Jr., The Miccosukee Indians and Environmental Law: A Confederacy of Hope, 31 Envtl. L. Rep. 10918 (2001), https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/faculty-articles/248
Environmental Law Reporter
Everglades, Indian trust doctrine, Miccosukee Tribe, tribal sovereignty
Two legal orphans have found each other. The older one is "Indian Law," a confused, embarrassing, and twisted body of legal rules that "explain" the relationships between the United States and its native peoples. The newer one is "Environmental Law," a complex and jumbled stew of cases and statutes that "prescribe" proper behavior between modern Americans and the natural world.
Both these children of the law are suspected of subversion—the one is tainted by advocates of separate sovereignties, the other by critics of the American way of life. For Native Americans and environmentalists, their recent legal merger is a confederacy of hope and of opportunity and of revival—for the tribes themselves and for others in the world who want to save the parts of nature that are left.
The tribes are senior partners in this native-enviro confederacy. This Article examines what they bring to the alliance in the context of the efforts of the Miccosukee Tribe to preserve the Everglades.