Michael Lerma (P'urhépecha) is Associate Professor of Politics and International Affairs & Applied Indigenous Studies at Northern Arizona University. His recent research has explored the efficacy of traditional Diné (Navajo) institutions of governance. Michael also contributes to research conducted by Diné Policy Institute (DPI). He teaches courses on International Relations, Tribal Government, Native American Politics, and Research Methods. Michael’s research generally advocates for future Native Nation building via consolidation of Indigenous interests and expansion of Native Nation control of norms within the international political economy.
Indigenous Sovereignty in the 21st Century describes and explains the contemporary role of Indigenous Nations as international actors. It is supplemented with a re-analysis of U.S. (colonial actor) policy eclipsing Indigenous sovereignty. Provides a refocus on “Aboriginal Title”, an integral part of the Doctrine of Discovery, as legitimate Western international law as well as a critical re-evaluation of colonial actor nation building. Re-examines contemporary Indigenous sovereignty from an organic and spiritual perspective in contrast to Westphalia notions of sovereignty.