Date of Award

Spring 1998

Document Type



Sociology & Anthropology


Native American water rights have been established with the United States Supreme Court’s support over the last century. Water rights on reservation lands are a precarious and serious subject requiring investigation and quantification in order to ensure the survival of Native Americans. The Colorado River Basin provides an example of the need for the quantification of rights for reserved lands to obtain water required to manage and support the Native populations. Ecologically, culturally, and spiritually, Native Americans depend on the arid desert of the Colorado River Basin. Laws and the court system in America need to ensure the balance of indigenous culture survival with energy development and mineral extraction in the Southwestern United States.