Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2023

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Environmental Studies


John van Buren


Since the 16th century, Native American communities have lost over 99% of their historical land. New settlers came in and completely destroyed the natives’ way of life, disregarding the love and respect that was once shown for mother earth. Flash forward to the 21st century and we are now struggling with the constant rising threat of climate change. However, this is not an equal fight. Past studies have shown that Native American communities are more vulnerable to climate change hazards compared to the general United States population due to their existing disparities. This paper focuses on the Hopi Tribe and examines how ecosystem services; regulating, supporting, provisioning, and culture services are completely being destroyed as they are unable to adapt to climate change hazards. Chapter 1 uses quantitative data to examine the environmental concerns occurring on the Hopi reservation. Chapter 2 discusses the history of land dispossession during the colonization of the United States and how the settlers indirectly amplified the rise of climate change. Chapter 3 explores how climate change is deeply interwoven with global patterns of inequality, which in turn increases the Hopi nation’s vulnerability to existing disproportionate disparities. Chapter 4 uncovers the continuous violation of indigenous rights as an outcome of our deep-rooted racialized history. Lastly, chapter 5 concludes with new policy recommendations that can be used to redress human rights violations and restore traditional land back into the hands of indigenous nations as well as sheds light on the idea that indigenous values are beneficial tools for combating climate change challenges.