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Our work with Indian peoples has for years drawn connections between indigenous land rights, environmental protection and human rights. In most indigenous cultures, separating these issues makes no sense. Our Purpose Statement points out the intersection of these threats to indigenous peoples:
"Indian nations and tribes and other indigenous communities throughout the world are afﬂicted by poverty, poor health and discrimination. ... When indigenous peoples are deprived of their ways of life and their ties to the earth, they suffer. Many have disappeared completely."
Almost all of our projects, including our work with the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council in Alaska and the Yukon Territory and with the Assiniboine and Gros Ventre Tribes of the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana, address the inextricable relationship between land rights, environmental health, and human rights.
The Indian Law Resource Center has a long history of work with indigenous peoples in Brazil, going back to 1979 when we brought the first indigenous rights case to Inter-American Commission on Human Rights arguing for demarcation of Yanomami land in the Amazon rainforest. The case and many years of advocacy in the Organization of American States and United Nations was part of a forceful and successful international campaign that led to the creation of a 23+ million acre Yanomami indigenous territory and expulsion of gold miners from the region.
Video and resources from the October 9 panel discussion, "Indigenous Peoples’ Lands and Development: World Bank Interventions and Lessons Learned" (More...)
El máximo Tribunal de Guatemala tomó una decisión histórica hace casi seis meses que se presume hubiera arrojado una ola de cambios a nivel nacional para los pueblos indígenas. Sin embargo, el Gobierno de Guatemala no ha implementado esta orden judicial de manera adecuada y oportuna. El caso versa sobre el derecho colectivo de propiedad sobre la tierra de Agua Caliente, una comunidad Maya Q'eqchi' de 385 personas en El Estor, en la provincia de Izabal del país.
For more than 15 years, the Center has provided legal representation to the Assiniboine and Gros Ventre Tribes of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in their fight for environmental justice and clean-up of the contamination caused by the Zortman and Landusky gold mines adjacent to the Fort Belknap Reservation. Through lawsuits and public pressure, we helped the Tribes shut down the mines – once the largest heap-leach g
The Center has a long history of environmental advocacy in Alaska.
Multilateral development banks (MDBs) and some national development banks play a central role in the approval of large-scale development projects, such as dams and forestry initiatives, which have had devastating effects on indigenous peoples and other local communities. The Center works to ensure that these financial institutions respect the environment and human rights of indigenous peoples in all their development activities.