Ecuador is so far the only country that explicitly guarantees rights of nature (RoN) on a constitutional level. The country’s 2008 constitution also clearly refers to indigenous thinking by invoking the principle of sumak kawsay and equating nature with Pachamama. Nevertheless, it is arguable whether rights of nature reflect Andean or Amazonian indigenous thinking. On the one hand, it can be argued that several indigenous groups see nature as a living, animate entity, and they even refer to it as a person. On the other hand, some scholars see a contradiction between RoN and Andean indigenous thinking, since the latter focuses on relationships rather than subjects. Western legal cultures are criticized for focusing on rights, and therefore provoking a confrontation between different personal rights, which ultimately causes disharmony in society.

This chapter argues that taking indigenous thinking seriously can be very fruitful for the RoN debate. It elaborates its thesis in three steps. Firstly, it argues by using the concept of hybridity for taking indigenous thinking seriously in order to understand Ecuadorian rights of nature and unfold their transformative character. Secondly, it tries to present some core elements of Andean indigenous thinking concerning Pachamama and what we would call human–nature relations. To conclude, it will interpret RoN granted by the Ecuadorian constitution by considering their indigenous background as well as their postcolonial hybridity and demonstrate the comprehension of RoN might be enhanced by seeing legal personality and (subjective) rights from a non-western angle.