A Nation Within: Navajo Land and Economic Development

The Southwestern Law Review Presents: A Nation Within: Navajo Land and Economic Development Nov. 4th, 2022, 12:30 p.m.


November 4, 2022

12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. PST

1.5 Hours CLE 

During the webinar, Professor Ezra Rosser, along with other distinguished scholars, will discuss his book, A Nation Within: Navajo Land and Economic Development. In his book, Professor Rosser details how the Navajo Nation's land has been exploited and how the Navajo people continue to suffer from high levels of poverty and unemployment. He explains how internal and external governance makes economic development difficult for Navajo Nation. Professor Rosser also explores ways that the Navajo Nation may assert authority over their land and improve the economy on their reservation.



In A Nation Within, Ezra Rosser explores the connection between land-use patterns and development in the Navajo Nation. Roughly the size of Ireland or West Virginia, the Navajo reservation has seen successive waves of natural resource-based development over the last century: grazing and over-grazing, oil and gas, uranium, and coal; yet Navajos continue to suffer from high levels of unemployment and poverty.

Rosser shows the connection between the exploitation of these resources and the growth of the tribal government before turning to contemporary land use and development challenges. He argues that, in addition to the political challenges associated with any significant change, external pressures and internal corruption have made it difficult for the tribe to implement land reforms that could help provide space for economic development that would benefit the Navajo Nation and Navajo tribal members.

Ezra Rosser headshotProfessor Rosser is a Professor of Law at the American University Washington College of Law. He was a previous chair for the AALS Property Law, Poverty Law, and Indian Nations and Indigenous Peoples sections. He has received several scholarship awards for his work and has co-authored or has been the editor for four books. His research focuses on Indian Nations and Indigenous Peoples, Poverty Law, Property Law, and Housing Law.

Click here to read his full bio. 

Adam Crepelle headshot

Adam Crepelle
Assistant Professor of Law &
Director, LEC Tribal Law & Economics Program
George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School
View bio

Wendy Greyeyes headshot

Wendy Greyeyes, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Native American Studies,
The University of New Mexico
View bio


Lloyd L. Lee, Ph.D. headshot

Lloyd L. Lee, Ph.D.
Professor & Faculty Graduate Director,
Department of Native American Studies,
The University of New Mexico
View bio



Jessica A. Shoemaker headshot

Jessica A. Shoemaker
Steinhart Foundation Distinguished Professor of Law,
The University of Nebraska College of Law
View bio


Paul Spruhan  headshot

Paul Spruhan
Assistant Attorney General, 
Litigation Unit, Navajo Department of Justice
View bio