Indigenous Notes, Issue 3 2014

Implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will save lives

As world leaders are gathered in Lima, Peru for the UN's annual climate change conference, Armstrong Wiggins is calling for action to bring justice to indigenous peoples in Peru. He tells a heart-breaking story about the high price indigenous leaders in the Amazon are paying to speak out against illegal logging. (More...)

The World Conference on Indigenous Peoples: Why It Matters to Tribal Leadership

This week, tribal leaders attended the annual White House Tribal Nations Conference, which comes on the heels of the historic United Nations World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.  Now is the time to remind the United States of its commitments to review laws and policies in consultation with tribes to comply with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  (More ...)

Shining a Light on the Need to End Violence Against Native Children

American Indian and Alaska Native youth suffer from the highest rates of suicide in the country. They are exposed to trauma more often than children of other racial and ethnic groups and are twice as likely to be victims of abuse and neglect, according to a report recently released by the U.S. Attorney General’s office. (More ...)

It’s Time to End Violence Against Women – Everywhere

Jana Walker photoBeing safe and living free from violence and discrimination are human rights. Yet, many women and girls across the globe are not safe. Senior Attorney Jana Walker describes the challenges in Native communities, particularly in Alaska, where violence against Native women and girls are 2½ times higher than any other group of women in the United States. (More ...)

Tribal Protection Orders: An Update on Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) v. U.S.

In 2011, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights issued a landmark decision in Jessica Lenahan (formerly Gonzales) v. U.S., finding the United States violated its obligations under international human rights law to use diligence and reasonable measures to protect a woman and her children from violence.

The failure of state law enforcement officials to recognize and enforce tribal protection orders continues to leave Native women and their children extremely vulnerable to violence. (More ...)

Thank you, Interns!

Carmen Mestizo is an attorney in her final year of study at American University Washington College of Law in Washington, DC.  She is a Colombian national and a candidate for a Master of Laws in International Study. With her experience in international law, Carmen made important contributions to a number of projects during her legal internship at the Center this Fall, including key research for the Guide on Conservation and Indigenous Peoples in Meso-America and the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, and through her participation in several key meetings including the World Bank annual meetings in Washington, DC.

Sarah Armstrong is a third-year law student at the University of New Mexico, where she is pursuing a certificate in Law and Indigenous Peoples.  She completed a 15-week legal internship at the Center’s Washington Office as a participant in the University of New Mexico School of Law’s Washington D.C. Experiential Enrichment Program.  Sarah provided assistance to the Center’s Safe Women, Strong Nations project and Multilateral Development Bank project.

Memmi Rasmussen, the Advocacy and Communications Intern, completed her undergraduate degree at the London School of Economics, studying social anthropology. She is currently applying to law school. While working at the Center, she was most involved with writing case-studies for the Center's Guide on Conservation and Indigenous Peoples in Meso-America. She also helped with preparations for the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.




The Indian Law Resource Center has been called a leader in the work to advance indigenous rights at the international level. If leadership is about the opportunity to serve, then the Center really has been a leader in this work.  If leadership is about finding and providing opportunities so that others can make their contributions, then the Center really is a leader in our work.

I hope that you can continue to join in and support our work and that you will consider making a financial contribution to the Center. We expect great things to come in 2015.  Best wishes in the New Year.”

— Robert T. Coulter,
Executive Director