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International Law

Lewis & Clark Law Hosts Event on International Indigenous Rights

May 04, 2015

  • L-R: Professor Nicholas Fromherz, Brett Kenney, Professor Walter R. Echo-Hawk.
    L-R: Professor Nicholas Fromherz, Brett Kenney, Professor Walter R. Echo-Hawk.

On April 21, Lewis & Clark Law School and the American Society of International Law’s Rights of Indigenous Peoples Interest Group hosted a panel discussion and webinar on the topic of Realizing International Indigenous Rights in Domestic Law.  The event drew students and faculty from both the law school and the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as a sizable contingent of local practitioners, and was watched live by members of the American Society of International Law worldwide. 

The focus of the discussion was implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), an instrument adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2007 and endorsed by the Obama Administration in 2010.  The panel explored challenges and opportunities associated with incorporating the rights articulated in UNDRIP into domestic law, and grounded the discussion in two case studies: ongoing efforts by the Coquille Indian Tribe of Oregon to recover traditional lands and co-manage federal natural resources, and difficulties encountered during recent consultations between the government and indigenous groups relating to the proposed construction of a road through an environmental preserve and indigenous territory in Bolivia.

The panel featured Lewis & Clark law professors Walter R. Echo Hawk and Nicholas Fromherz, as well as Brett Kenney, the General Counsel for the Coquille Tribe.  The discussion was moderated by Professor George K. Foster.