Enduring Legacies Native Case Studies


Mescalero Apache

New!Should Tribes Legalize Marijuana?

Author:Amber Seachord and Barbara Leigh Smith

Marijuana legalization has been gaining momentum in the United States in recent years, yet heated controversies continue to surround the issue. The central focus of this case is on the question of whether tribes should legalize marijuana.  The case begins by briefly describing the history of marijuana, what is known about its impact, and the changing policies at the state and federal level. It then discusses the various ways tribes are exploring the “opportunity,” the ways they might become involved in the marijuana business, and the pros and cons of various forms of tribal involvement.  

The Peoples’ Forest: Emerging Strategies on the Mescalero Apache Forest Reserves

Author:Linda Moon Stumpff

This case raises questions about how American Indian Tribes reshape the care of forests on Indian lands by coordinating science-based forestry methodology and traditional ecological knowledge to meet their goals. Working the case, students are challenged to look for ways that the Mescalero Apache Indian Tribe, its membership, and its partners can reach beyond seemingly conflicting economic and restoration goals to apply forestry science and traditional ecological knowledge in restoration efforts. Can forestry science’s existing predictive formulae be used to achieve tribal goals, or will new scientific research need to coordinate with traditional ecological knowledge to achieve these goals? Prescribed fire and thinning are important tools for meeting today’s challenging conditions, intensified by drought and climate change. Within the context of the case, natural resource activities are connected to legal, scientific, cultural, economic, and policy considerations. Currently decisions are made to achieve cultural and ecological restoration in a perfect storm of high fire danger, climate change, global economics and lowered timber harvests.

Sacred Sites Sustaining Tribal Economies: The Mescalero Apache

Author:Henderson, Martha L.

The Mescalero Apache traditional homelands were what is now known as central New Mexico. Sierra Blanca, along with three other mountains surrounding the White Sands area, was the territorial markers of their area. These mountains were a source of cultural identity, geographic navigation, and subsistence. Today, the Mescalero Apache Tribe occupies a reservation in central New Mexico. The reservation boundaries include Sierra Blanca. Sierra Blanca is a significant sacred site in Mescalero Apache culture. This case study investigates the intersection between sacred sites, traditional native identity, boundaries, and contemporary tribal economic development.