Indigenous Governance Program Focuses on Indigenous Food Sovereignty, Economic Development

Sept. 25, 2017

In response to growing interest in how indigenous food systems, traditional knowledge, and economic development can drive Native Nation building, the University of Arizona’s Indigenous Governance Program (IGP) and University of Arizona Law’s Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program are offering new courses.

As part of the January in Tucson curriculum, IGP and IPLP will offer three new courses: Indigenous Food Sovereignty, Tribal Business Law, and Business Ethics and Indigenous Values.

January in Tucson, a partnership between IGP and IPLP, is a three-week education session with indigenous governance-focused intensive, three-day classes taught by renowned IGP faculty including Professor Robert A. Williams, Jr., Miriam Jorgensen, Stephen Cornell, and Joseph Kalt.

“January in Tucson brings together indigenous leaders and leading scholars to learn about innovative approaches to Native nation building, creating a truly unique collaborative and interactive learning environment,” said Professor Robert A. Williams, Jr.

In 2017, January in Tucson welcomed a record 90 students to Tucson for indigenous governance-focused classes, providing more than 300 university and continuing education credits to participants. In addition to the three new courses, January in Tucson will offer courses in multiple areas of indigenous governance such as Native nation building, community development, and cultural property law, as well as a new Tribal Business Series aimed at working professionals who are interested in Native economic development and governance.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

The Indigenous Food Sovereignty course focuses on how the food sovereignty movement has affected international trade, property, and the human rights of indigenous peoples. Indigenous food sovereignty explores how traditional knowledge and locally grown food can empower indigenous communities. The course will be taught by Michael Fakhri, faculty member of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center, where he co-leads the Food Resiliency Project at the University of Oregon School of Law.

Tribal Business Law

Tribal Business Law will focus on legal, policy, and other structural issues that can nurture or impede economic development within tribal communities. The course will be taught by Matthew Fletcher, a leading Indian law scholar and Professor of Law at Michigan State University College of Law.


Business Ethics and Indigenous Values

The Business Ethics and Indigenous Values course will compare and contrast business ethics informed by enlightenment values and indigenous knowledge systems. The course will be taught by Chris Derickson, Councilor of the West Bank First Nation and Mark Selman, PhD, Director of the Executive MBA Cohort for Aboriginal Business and Leadership at Simon Fraser University.