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International Law & American Indians

Europeans used international law in North America from the beginning of their explorations and settlements on this continent. They used the Doctrine of Discovery to claim for themselves many of the sovereign, diplomatic, commercial and human rights of native peoples. The Doctrine still applies to American Indians and Indian Nations today. In addition, international law is starting to be applied to American Indians, including the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that was adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 13, 2007. Some American Indians and tribal governments are also beginning to look to the Organization of American States as an alternate venue to pursue claims against the United States. We will address these issues and more in this class.

Professor Robert J. Miller’s areas of expertise are civil procedure, federal Indian law, American Indians and international law, American Indian economic development and Native American natural resources. An enrolled citizen of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, he is the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals of the Grand Ronde Tribe and sits as a judge for other tribes. Professor Miller joined the faculty at the University Of Arizona Sandra Day O’Connor College Of Law in 2013, after several years on the Lewis & Clark faculty.