Erin Edwards

Date of Award

December 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Space Studies

First Advisor

Michael Dodge


Space policy and space law are expanding fields given the recent boom of commercial space flight, yet we hear less about space governance. These conversations are happening, but the discussions generally replicate western democratic practice with little input from other knowledge traditions, despite recent socio-political strain seen in senior democracies.This work focusses the discussion on missing voices. Those of the many Indigenous cultures that have routinely been silenced from terrestrial governance discussions. These voices, however, reflect thousands of years of collective knowledge of managing societies in a holistic manner. Some of these societies have developed in areas considered extreme environments and established practices that may prove more conducive to fostering sustainable communities off-Earth. A comparison between IK-informed governance and western governance methods facing complex problem-sets such as climate change, is used as a broad proxy assessment of each modality’s resiliency, sustainability, and adaptability to change in complex environments such as space.