In his prodigious A Nation Within, Ezra Rosser identifies numerous moments throughout Navajo Nation history that would have benefited from more robust consultation. The Diné’s forced march to Bosque Redondo, the arbitrary sheep stock reduction, and harmful strip mining all point to a lack of tribal input and an overabundance of federal paternalism. In the scheme of federal Indian law, however, consultation is a relatively new and underdeveloped framework that fails to reflect the extensive amount of governmental decision-making that impacts Tribal interests.
In response to the likely fall of Roe, commentators have suggested that tribal lands might serve as safe harbors for abortion in conservative states. While tribes ought to possess the territorial authority to regulate reproductive healthcare as they see fit, this proposal overlooks important legal, financial, political, and ethical considerations that make the prospect of such safe harbors unlikely.