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  • Resource Database / Law & Legal Issues / Speeches, Articles & Essays

    This category includes speeches, articles, essays, book notices and reviews dealing with indigenous peoples' legal issues. 
    Resources: 88 listings
    Name and Description Nation Location
    A Second Century of Dishonor : Federal Inequities and California Tribes
      United States
    A report prepared by the UCLA American Indian Studies Center; by Carole Goldberg-Ambrose, J.D. and Duane Champagne, Ph. D.
    A Brief History of the Ainu People (Japan)
    Ainu Asia
    by Koichi Kaizawa (from NativeNet)
    More sites on bioc09.uthscsa.edu
    A Decade of Rhetoric for Indigenous Peoples
    by Gerald Taiaiake Alfred and Jeff Corntassel - Indigenous Governance Program (IGOV) at the University of Victoria (Canada) - 12 January 2004
    Few people may realize that we are living in the United Nations' International Decade of the World's Indigenous People (1995-2004). As the Decade comes to a close this year, it is apparent that the Decade has been remarkable only in the emptiness of the UN's rhetoric and in how so little has been done.
    A Dime A Dozen: Essays by Jordan Dill
      US - Northeast
    A collection of essays on contemporary news and historical events related to or involving First Nations peoples, by Jordan Dill, the author of the award-winning website, First Nations / Issues of Consequence.
    More sites on dickshovel.com
    Abuses Against Natives in Asylum in S. Dakota
    Lakota US - Central
    Did you know...that Drapetomania - the insane urge of a slave to run away from a slavemaster - was thought to be the only type of mental illness affecting slaves? Did you know... that the federal government established a fully segregated asylum for "insane Indians" in Canton South Dakota? Pemina Yellow Bird is a psychiatric survivor activist who has begun to explore the history of Native People in U.S. mental health systems. Download her manuscript: "Wild Indians: Native Perspectives on the Hiawatha Asylum for Insane Indians."
    American Indian Law Review
      United States
    published by University of Oklahoma College of Law
    More sites on www.law.ou.edu
    American Indian Sovereignty - Now You See It, Now You Don't
    by Peter d'Errico, University of Massachusetts/Amherst. Full text of the inaugural lecture in the American Indian Civics Project at Humboldt State University (Arcata, CA, USA), presented October 24, 1997, and sponsored by the HSU Center for Indian Community Development.
    More sites on www.umass.edu
    Anticipating Ethnic Conflict
      United States
    This document is the final product of a RAND Institute project entitled "Ethnic Conflict and the Processes of State Breakdown: Improving Army Planning and Preparation."
    More sites on www.rand.org
    Apple Cede: First Nations Land Management Regime
    by Janice G.A.E. Switlo, attorney;
    analysis and critique of "Canada's solution to decisively exterminate aboriginal title."
    This is a PDF document.
    More sites on www.nativeweb.org
    Asian Indigenous Women: Country Reports
    from the First Indigenous Women's Conference, Baguio City, The Philippines (1993)
    More sites on bioc09.uthscsa.edu
    Banishment (excerpts)
    "Long before the development and implication of a unified American Judicial system, the worlds' cultures, inclusive of the Native American Indians, recognized the issue of a civil aspect being associated with criminal law as a means of social control."
    excerpts from a Brief Amicus Curie in regards to Native Indian Penal Practices; by Robert Ward
    More sites on www.ableza.org
    Bioethics: A Third World Issue
    by Vandana Shiva
    More sites on www.nativeweb.org
    Biotechnology: Here Come the Gene Hunters
    by Johanna Son (review of documentary film about Human Genome Diversity Project)
    More sites on www.nativeweb.org
    Black Mesa:
    Hopi US - Southwest
    by John Dougherty (part one of two-part series, Phoenix Newtimes; April 24, 1997)
    More sites on www.phoenixnewtimes.com
    Black Mesa:
    Hopi US - Southwest
    by John Dougherty (part two of two-part series, Phoenix Newtimes; May 1, 1997)
    More sites on www.phoenixnewtimes.com
    Bruce Clark Archives
    articles, legal documents, letters, etc., by a native rights lawyer in Canada who specializes in issues relating to jurisdiction and the constitution
    More sites on sisis.nativeweb.org
    Clash Over Native American Hunting Rights
      US - Northwest
    By Paul S. Reed, 23 March 1998.
    Columbus Day
    Organized archive of articles from NativeNet-1492 Columbus Quincentenary project
    Columbus Day, 1999
    essay from Rachel's Environment & Health Weekly;
    "Examining the nation's heroes may tell us something fundamental about our goals and values."
    Comment: Rice v. Cayetano - Justice Department Evidence Contradicts Supreme Court
    Kanaka Maoli US - Hawaii
    "The Kanaka Maoli (indigenous Hawaiians), virtually all of whom opposed U.S. annexation, and most of whom did not become citizens of the so-called Republic of Hawaii, have never been rightfully subject to the constitution of the United States."
    By Steven T. Newcomb
    More sites on ili.nativeweb.org
    Comment: Pope Asks Forgiveness - Will The Vatican Repeal The Inter Caetera?
    "The International Theological Commission says that the church is "not afraid of the truth that emerges from history." We must now wait to see if we can take the Vatican at its word, and whether a papal revocation of the Vatican's doctrine of subjugation will accompany the pope's noble words of contrition."
    By Steven T. Newcomb
    More sites on ili.nativeweb.org
    Considerations for Achieving "Aboriginal Justice" in Canada
    by Ted S. Palys, Simon Fraser University
    More sites on www.sfu.ca
    Cree Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come's Speech at Harvard University
    Cree Canada - Eastern
    October 28, 1996
    More sites on www.nativeweb.org
    Crimes Against Humanity
    by Ward Churchill (the use of native names, images and symbols as sports team mascots)
    More sites on www.dickshovel.com
    DAY OF SHAME: Public Statement Regarding Denial of Clemency for Leonard Peltier
    Leonard Peltier Defense Committee: "We were both shocked and saddened by President Clinton's decision to deny executive clemency to Leonard Peltier."
    More sites on www.nativeweb.org
    Diego Garcia
    Ilois Chagos Archipelago
    by Alex Doherty
    Diego Garcia, part of the Chagos archipelago at the heart of the Indian Ocean, was severed from the mainland in 1965 to create the British Indian Ocean Territory. The British then leased the island to the United States to establish a military outpost. To state that the Ilois inhabitants were “relocated” is certainly factually correct. It does not, to say the least, tell the whole story, which can be called ‘ethnic cleansing by stealth.”
    More sites on www.zmag.org
    Diego Garcia: The ‘criminal question’ doctrine
    Ilois Chagos Archipelago
    by Charles Judson Harwood Jr.
    Beginning in 1971, the U.S. constructed an Air Force base on Diego Garcia, a coral atoll in the middle of the Indian Ocean. In preparation for this, from 1967 to 1973, British officials and military officers – for a secret fee of $14 million, paid by the U.S. military – forcibly evicted, arrested, detained, deported, and excluded permanently from their homeland the entire indigenous Ilois population, an ethnic-cleansing which (as they secretly admitted at the time) violated the United Nations Charter and other U.S. and international law and, as a British Court ruled 30 years later, British domestic law as well.
    Ending Violent Crime
    Wampanoag US - Northeast
    Full text of book by an elder of the Wampanoag Tribal Nation, Manitonquat, about his work in prison programs over the last 30 years.
    Environmental Justice at Yucca Mountain
    Shoshone US - Southwest
    An Analysis of the U.S. Department of Energy "Draft Environmental Impact Statement" For the Proposed Nuclear Waste Repository At Yucca Mountain; by Leuren Moret, Past President, Association for Women Geoscientists.
    More sites on www.nativeweb.org
    Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide in North America and Kosovo
    "What is to be said of the irony of bringing in Apache helicopters, or tomahawk cruise missiles to rain down NATO's bombs of fury on the Milosevic regime in Yugoslavia? The unself-conscious ease with which the United States and its NATO allies use the names and symbols of Indigenous North American peoples to describe the weaponry in their arsenal, surely speaks to the paradoxes of this bring-in-the-new-millenium war."
    by Dr. Anthony Hall, University of Lethbridge (Canada)
    More sites on www.nativeweb.org
    Tlingit US - Alaska
    A story of how it is that an indigenous people of Southeast Alaska are the true owners of Kuiu Island. The Kuiu Kwaan and the other Thlingit Nations are indigenous to the land included within the Alexander Archipelago.
    More sites on www.geocities.com
    Genocide on the Great Plains
      US - Central
    by James Horsley
    part of an effort to rename the Washita Battlefield National Historical Site the Washita National Historical Site of Genocide
    More sites on www.dickshovel.com
    Heroes of Wounded Knee Creek
    Lakota US - Central
    by Bob Smith; an article about the Medals of Honor awarded to those who massacred the people at Wounded Knee in 1890.
    More sites on www.nativeweb.org
    Histories of Convenience: Understanding Twentieth Century Aboriginal Film Images in Context
    by Ted S. Palys, Simon Fraser University (science, policy, and film portrayals of Aboriginal peoples over the last 100 years)
    More sites on www.sfu.ca
    How the Sentence on Indigenous Peoples Got into the Johannesburg Political Declaration
    By Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Executive Director, TEBTEBBA Foundation.
    The representatives of indigenous peoples met at Kimberly, South Africa for the "Indigenous Peoples' International Summit on Sustainable Development" from 19-23 August 2002. One of the objectives of this Summit was to come up with a strategy on how to influence the outcome of the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz of Tebtebba gives a personal account of their success and provides an analysis on what this means for indigenous peoples.
    More sites on www.tebtebba.org
    Ideology, Epistemology, and Modes of Inquiry
    subtitle: "Aboriginal Issues, Trajectories of Truth, and the Criteria of Evaluation Research," by Ted S. Palys, Simon Fraser University
    More sites on www.sfu.ca
    Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA): Need for a Separate Law
    by B.J. Jones, litigation director for Dakota Plains Legal Services.
    Indian health is being bushwhacked
    Albuquerque Tribune article. Instead of cutting staff and services at Albuquerque's Indian Health Services clinic, officials should be doubling physicians, nurses and space to serve the city's growing American Indian population.
    Indian Identity - Who's drawing the boundaries?
      United States
    by Rekha Balu; published by the American Bar Association. Explores issues of "tribal enrollment."
    More sites on www.nativeweb.org
    Indian Usufructuary Rights in Ceded Territories
    Chippewa US - Central
    by Attorney Stephen P. Dresch. Analysis of Indian Treaty Rights and Private Property Rights and the Reach of State Regulation.
    Indigenous Declaration Regarding the Human Genome Diversity Project
      US - Alaska
    Hosted by Alaska Native Knowledge Network
    More sites on www.ankn.uaf.edu
    Indigenous Law Journal Homepage
      Canada - Eastern
    This is the home page of the new Indigenous Law Journal, a University of Toronto publication. The Journal is student-run and was initiated and suported by the Native Law Student Association members. This journal will provide a forum for the debate of issues regarding Indigenous Law and Law as it applies to Indigenous peoples.
    Indigenous People, Law, and Politics in Peru
      America - South
    by Joanna Drzewieniecki (State University of New York/Buffalo)
    More sites on www.lanic.utexas.edu
      Europe & Russia
    By Aidan Rankin. A position statement issued by Third Way, a UK political party which advocates the decentralisation of power through constitutional reform and the creation of a society in which wealth is more equitably distributed.
    Indigenous Peoples: Rights and Aspirations
    by Ann Stewart, from Peacework Magazine (March, 1996); commentary on UN Draft Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples
    More sites on www.nativeweb.org
    Janice G.A.E. Switlo
      Canada - Western
    Janice works on access to justice for Indigenous Peoples domestically and internationally. Her publications are read worldwide and she educates and empowers Peoples by providing strategic advice on current political, policy, legal and economic issues and objectives.
    John Marshall: Indian Lover?
      United States
    by Peter d'Errico (originally published in Journal of the West)
    Far from being an "advocate for Indians," Chief Justice John Marshall may be seen as advocating a concept of "tribal quasi-sovereignty," to protect the chain of land title derived from royal grants and colonial "discovery." Marshall's adoption of "Christian discovery" as the foundation of land title in the United States is a subjugation of indigenous peoples to 15th century theological and colonial legalisms, in derogation of their status as free and independent nations.
    More sites on www.umass.edu
    Judge's eye view of the Waitangi Tribunal
      Aotearoa-New Zealand
    Kevin Gover: Briefcase Warrior
    Cherokee US - Central
    "Kevin Gover is an Indian lawyer, a briefcase warrior. With that status comes responsibility and conflict. The responsibility is to protect Indian people and what little property they have left. The conflicts are many. I suspect that Kevin Gover, during his tenure with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, has fallen into some of the gaps between theory and practice."
    More sites on www.nativeweb.org
    Means Testing Indian Governments: Taxing What Works
      United States
    A critique of Sen. Slade Gorton's attempt to tax Indian governments, and a commentary on American Indian economics.
    More sites on www.nativeweb.org
    Mouvement Culturel Berbere (Berber Cultural Movement)
    Berber Africa
    by Abdenour-Augustin Benyahia, Berber Cultural Movement Representative in Switzerland; in French
    MSJM Indian Law Papers
    A collection of articles on American Indian Law topics, including tax, natural resources damages, ICWA, cultural resources, jurisdiction, etc.
    Multinationals and the United Nations: A Working Paper
    by Prof. John Bonsignore
    "Indigenous people are both inside and outside conventional law-government systems, national through international, an odd position for people who have often been in a place from time out of mind."
    More sites on www.umass.edu
    Ovide Mercredi at Save Canada Conference
    Cree Canada - Eastern
    speech delivered by Ovide Mercredi, a First Nations leader in Canada, to the participants at the Save Canada Conference in Ottawa, Ontario, August 21, 1999.
    "We the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas understand all too well that our survival and future is linked to the maintenance of our separate and distinct identity, and to the free exercise of our inherent self determination within our territories."
    More sites on www.nativeweb.org
    Passions & Law: A Haudenosaunee Perspective
    Haudenosaunee Canada - Eastern
    by Kanatiyosh (Barbara Gray)
    "I will examine how narratives provide cultures with a medium in which to teach the values, mores, and laws of acceptable behavior to the community. I will do so by examining and comparing The Oresteia, a Greek drama from antiquity, with the Great Law of Peace, a founding narrative of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy that dates back to 1142 AD."
    More sites on www.tuscaroras.com
    Political Asylum for Lakota Activist Little Rock Reed
    Lakota US - Southwest
    by Mike Adams, Indian Country Today reporter
    More sites on www.geocities.com
    PRISON AT NIGHT: Native Spirituality Behind Bars
      US - Northeast
    an essay about a lawsuit in behalf of a Native American Spiritual Awareness Council in a Massachusetts prison
    by Peter d'Errico
    More sites on www.nativeweb.org
    Racism on the Flathead reservation
    Flathead US - Northwest
    Focusing on personal experiences of racism from my youth to my present tenure as an employee for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, I attempt to provide a rational explanation for these experiences.
    Report to UN by Taroko People of Taiwan (1997)
    Taroko Asia
    "Our Experience of the Incursion of Cement Companies onto the Land of the Taroko People, Hwalien, Taiwan"
    by Igung Shiban (Tien Chun-Chou)
    More sites on www.nativeweb.org
    Restorative Justice in an Aboriginal Context
    Maori Canada
    by Natasha Schleich, honours Anthropology Student at McMaster University (Canada)
    Roles Of Non-Hawaiians in the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement
    Kanaka Maoli US - Hawaii
    By Anthony Castanha; University of Hawai'i Master's thesis in Political Science, with supporting documents
    Seminole Decision could be the victory that lost the war
      United States
    by Charles J. Irwin, Esq.
    commentary on the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Seminole v. Florida
    Soul Wound: The Legacy of Native American Schools
      United States
    By Andrea Smith, Amnesty Now, Summer 2003 (pp. 14-17).
    U.S. and Canadian authorities took Native children from their homes and tried to school, and sometimes beat, the Indian out them. Now Native Americans are fighting the theft of language, of culture, and of childhood itself.
    More sites on www.amnestyusa.org
    STATEMENT BY LEONARD PELTIER After Denial of Clemency, January 2001
      United States
    January 20, 2001, was a sad day for all of us. I know that this denial of clemency has affected many of you as much as it has affected both my family and myself. It is a terrible feeling and disappointment knowing that this nightmare has not ended and will continue for many months to come.
    More sites on www.nativeweb.org
    Subsistence Hunting in Alaska
      US - Alaska
    effects of current subsistence hunting regulations
    Take Heed - Trouble Coming
    Choctaw US - Southwest
    by Standing Deer
    More sites on www.nativeweb.org
    Taking Back "The Rock" (Alcatraz)
      US - West
    by Ben Winton, in Native Peoples Magazine; "Thirty years ago this fall (1999), the American Indian occupation of Alcatraz transformed the lives of Native peoples. How does it look today?"
    More sites on www.nativepeoples.com
    The Circle Game: Shadows and Substance in the Indian Residential School Experience in Canada
    A Report to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, by Roland D. Chrisjohn, Ph. D., & Sherri L. Young, M. A., with contributions by Michael Maraun, Ph. D.
    More sites on www.treaty7.org
    The Colville Tribe Blazes the Trail
    Colville US - Northwest
    by Peter Donovan; how and why the Colville Confederated Tribes of eastern Washington adopted holistic management
    The Forgotten Heritage: African-Amerindian Relations in America
      United States
    by Walton L. Brown, from Proteus, Volume 9, Number 1, Fall 1992
    The International Personality of Indigenous Peoples
    by David Schneider & Dr. Louis Furmanski, University of Central Oklahoma
    More sites on www.geocities.com
    The new buffalo-but who got the meat?
    Pequot US - Northeast
    critique of Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, by William G. Flanagan with James Samuelson (Forbes magazine)
    The Quincentennial: Native America at the Threshold
      US - Northeast
    By Jon Reed
    "There is no statute of limitations on fraud." In this ambitious piece, Jon takes on the turbulent history of Native Americans, specifically of those in Western Massachusetts. Through interviews with local Indians and advocates, he uncovers some hidden history, sheds light on the ongoing struggle for energy resources, and explores alternative ways to celebrate the Quincentennial. Jon concludes that "despite the barriers of prejudice and poverty, there is legitimate cause for hope" for unexpected reasons. [As originally published in The Valley Optimist in June, 1992.]
    To Shout Into the Wind
    by Jordan S. Dill ("treaties" and "sovereignty")
    More sites on www.dickshovel.com
    Towards a Maori Criminal Justice System
    Maori Aotearoa-New Zealand
    by Noaia Arena Napia
    More sites on www.nativeweb.org
    Traveling the Spiritual Path: The Struggle for Native American Religious Freedom
    by Laura Brooks
    More sites on www.dickshovel.com
    Tribal Lands Conference - Audio Archive
      US - Northeast
    Talks presented at the conference "From the Arctic to Amazonia: Industrialized Nations' Exploitation of Tribal Lands," which was held 22-24 September, 1989, at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. RealAudio(tm) files encoded and produced by Gary Trujillo.
    More sites on nativenet.uthscsa.edu
    Tribal Law as Indigenous Social Reality and Separate Consciousness
    Pueblo US - Southwest
    by Christine Zuni Cruz
    An essay on "[Re]Incorporating Customs and Traditions into Tribal Law"
    More sites on tlj.unm.edu
    Tribal Law Journal
    The purpose of the Tribal Law Journal is to promote indigenous self-determination by facilitating discussion of the internal law of the worldÕs indigenous nations. Published by the University of New Mexico School of Law.
    More sites on tlj.unm.edu
    Tribal Sovereignty
    Penobscot US - Northeast
    By Mark A. Chavaree, Esq., Tribal Staff Attorney for the Penobscot Nation and member of the Board of Directors for Pine Tree Legal Assistance.
    More sites on www.ptla.org
    Two Kinds of Beings: The Doctrine of Discovery
    by Robert Francis
    If you actually believe that American Indians are, in fact, persons and that American Indian tribes and nations are, in fact, peoples, then I challenge you to do something to prove your belief. Educate yourself on these issues.
    More sites on www.manataka.org
    United States Constitution: An Haudenosaunee Perspective
    Haudenosaunee Canada - Eastern
    by Kanatiyosh (Barbara Gray)
    "In this paper, the Great Law of Peace (also known as the Iroquois Constitution) will be discussed through the perspective of a Haudenosaunee to show how the Confederacy functions. The influence that the Great Law of Peace had on the founding fathers and on the United States Constitution, as well as the interaction between the great Mohawk orators and the founding fathers, will be discussed."
    More sites on www.tuscaroras.com
    Voices of the Wintercount
    original, unedited comments by people taking a stand for their way of life
    We are here. We have arrived.
    Speech by Zapatista Subcomandante Marcos, EZLN. March 11, 2001 in the Zocalo of Mexico City.
    Translated by irlandesa.
    More sites on www.nativeweb.org
    We Must do the Necessary Thinking for Them
    by Jordan S. Dill (the "legal" basis of colonization)
    More sites on www.dickshovel.com
    What Is In Your Heart They Cannot Take
    Choctaw US - Southwest
    by Standing Deer
    More sites on www.nativeweb.org
    Where Cultures Clash: Native Peoples and A Fair Trial
      Canada - Eastern
    by Timothy T. Daley, B.A.,B.Ed.,M.S.W.,LL.B., Family and Youth Court Judge, Province of Nova Scotia
    More sites on www.acjnet.org
    Who Represents Indigenous People In Ottawa Canada?
    Mohawk Canada - Eastern
    Speech by the President of the Canadian Alliance in Solidarity with the Native Peoples, Kahn-Tineta Horn, January 29, 1999, at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law "35th Annual Conference on Law and Contemporary Affairs."
    More sites on www.nativeweb.org

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