This Article suggests that federal environmental citizen suits can serve tribal sovereignty interests without presenting the legal risks tribes face when they attempt direct regulation of non-Indians. Section I briefly describes governmental regulatory roles tribes may play in the implementation of federal environmental law and policy. Section II overviews the conceptual and procedural framework for tribal claims as "citizens." Section III argues that in bringing environmental citizen suits, tribal governments exercise their inherent sovereign power and responsibility to protect the health and welfare of tribal citizens and the quality of the Indian country environment. Section IV concludes that, while suits directed at one facility cannot and should not replace comprehensive tribal programs, they offer concrete benefits to tribes without risking adverse judicial decisions on the scope of tribal sovereignty and Indian country.
James M. Grijalva,
The Tribal Sovereign as Citizen: Protecting Indian Country Health and Welfare Through Federal Environmental Citizen Suits,
Mich. J. Race & L.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mjrl/vol12/iss1/2