Indigenous Notes Issue 1, 2018

Indian Law Resource Center Launches Search for a New Executive Director

The Indian Law Resource Center Board of Directors is continuing its search for a new executive director. Over the course of 40 years, the Center has helped shape modern indigenous rights advocacy. The Center is widely recognized for its role in helping Indian and Alaska Native nations and other indigenous communities negotiate and win the adoptions of the UN and the American Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Senate Resolution designates May 5, 2018 as a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women

On July 5, 2013, Hanna Harris, a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, was reported missing by her family in Lame Deer, Montana. When her body was found five days later, she had been raped and murdered. “Too often in Indian country and Alaska Native villages indigenous women are disappearing and nothing is done,” says Jana Walker, director of the Indian Law Resource Center’s Safe Women, Strong Nations project.

International Advocacy to Protect Indigenous Women and Children

During the 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, indigenous experts called for action to fix a legal system that too often leaves Native women, particularly those in rural America, unprotected from violence and sexual assault. The March 19 panel, part of the NGO-CSW62 Forum, took place along with a screening of select scenes from Wind River, a feature film written and directed by Taylor Sheridan that tackles the subjects of sexual assault and missing and murdered indigenous women.

Commercial Interests vs. Traditional Ecological Knowledge

The Tlingit, Haida, Aleut, and Tsimpsian peoples of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska are fighting to protect Pacific herring in Sitka Sound. With commercial fishing interests operating in the Sound, the Sitka Tribe has been observing losses in both the spatial distribution and quality of Pacific herring spawn. They are now fighting to preserve their traditional way of life and seeking to have the State of Alaska take account of their traditional ecological knowledge in decision-making to protect the Pacific herring.

Update: Implementing the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Since the of the adoption of the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (ADRIP) on June 15, 2016, the Organization of American States (OAS) has outlined steps toward advancing the promises in the declaration. Last June, the OAS adopted a Plan of Action with the mission to promote policies to ensure that indigenous peoples in the Americas enjoy and exercise all their rights. Most recently, the OAS passed a resolution to organize an annual event dedicated to indigenous peoples.

In Other News

2018 marks 40 years that the Center has been working to protect and advance the rights of indigenous peoples! And, with the recent launch of a search for the Center’s next executive director, it marks the start of a new chapter for our organization. 

Help us commemorate this exciting time: please consider making a donation of $140 or more, or pledge to make a monthly, $40 sustaining donation. Your continued support will help ensure the Center can endure and continue to secure justice for indigenous peoples for the next 40 years!