Thursday, November 18, 2021

FInland establishes the Sami Truth and Reconsiliation Commission

From the US Library of Congress:

Finland: Sami Truth and Reconciliation Commission Established

On October 28, 2021, the Finnish government established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to address the historical treatment of the indigenous Sami population and promote the attainment of the Sami people’s rights.

Finnish law recognizes the Sami people as indigenous to Finland, and the Finnish Constitution affords them protection as a native people. (17 § Finlands Grundlag (FFS 11.6.1999/731).) Thus, the Sami people have a right to exercise their culture and language. The Sami people’s right to use its language is further regulated in the Sami Language Act (Samisk sprĂ„klag (FFS 15.12.2003/1086)), whereas the Sami Parliament Act (Sametingslag (FFS 17.7.1995/974)) provides for the establishment of a Sami Parliament and specifies that the Sami, because of their status as indigenous, “shall be guaranteed cultural autonomy within their home area in matters concerning their language and culture. For the management of matters belonging to the cultural autonomy, the ‘Sami’ shall, by elections conducted among them, elect a Sami parliament.” (1 § Sametingslagen.)


Saturday, August 07, 2021

American Indian Tribal Law projects

A blog post from the Foreign and Comparative Law section of the American Association of Law Libraries reviews some efforts to collect and publish tribal law statutes, legislation, and court decisions in the USA.AALL 2021 Recap: Sovereignty, Native America, and Legal Culture: Why Accessing and Understanding Tribal Law Just Became More Important

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Article: Environmental Justice

Environmental conflicts and defenders: a global overview is a free access article from Global Environmental Change.


Recent research and policies recognize the importance of environmental defenders for global sustainability and emphasize their need for protection against violence and repression. However, effective support may benefit from a more systematic understanding of the underlying environmental conflicts, as well as from better knowledge on the factors that enable environmental defenders to mobilize successfully. We have created the global Environmental Justice Atlas to address this knowledge gap. 

Here we present a large-n analysis of 2743 cases that sheds light on the characteristics of environmental conflicts and the environmental defenders involved, as well as on successful mobilization strategies. 

We find that bottom-up mobilizations for more sustainable and socially just uses of the environment occur worldwide across all income groups, testifying to the global existence of various forms of grassroots environmentalism as a promising force for sustainability. Environmental defenders are frequently members of vulnerable groups who employ largely non-violent protest forms. In 11% of cases globally, they contributed to halt environmentally destructive and socially conflictive projects, defending the environment and livelihoods. Combining strategies of preventive mobilization, protest diversification and litigation can increase this success rate significantly to up to 27%. 

However, defenders face globally also high rates of criminalization (20% of cases), physical violence (18%), and assassinations (13%), which significantly increase when Indigenous people are involved. Our results call for targeted actions to enhance the conditions enabling successful mobilizations, and for specific support for Indigenous environmental defenders.

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Wednesday, August 07, 2019

How scientists are working to partner with indigenous communities for genomics research: SING

From Illinois Public Media News: Christine Herman, reporting:

How scientists are working to partner with indigenous communities for genomics research

Many scientists are interested in studying the DNA of Indigenous populations in an effort to reveal the "human migration story" and contribute to our understanding about the genetic basis of disease.

But many in the Indigenous community feel these scientific pursuits have a history of being exploitative, achieved without consideration of the needs or interests of the people who have contributed their DNA for science.

The result is a lack of trust between Indigenous people and scientists, said University of Illinois anthropologist Ripan Malhi.

“There's a long history (of) anthropologists and scientists going to Indigenous communities, getting what they need, leaving and never coming back,” Malhi said. “I learned early on that that was the norm in science and anthropology up until recently.”

Summer Internships for Indigenous People in Genomics

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Landmark: A world map of Indigenous Lands

From Medium:

This Alternative to Google Maps Aims to Protect Indigenous Land

Even high tech often ignores indigenous lands, but an ambitious mapping project called LandMark is helping communities stake their claims

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Japan to recognize Ainu as "an indigenous people" reversing 1899 non-recognition law

Japan prepares law to finally recognize and protect its indigenous Ainu people

Japan finally began to acknowledge the existence of the Ainu as an ethnic group in recent decades, under domestic and international pressure. The 1899 law was repealed in 1997, and funds were provided to promote Ainu culture, helping to revive their language, dance and music.

In 2008, Japan’s two houses of parliament passed a joint resolution recognizing the Ainu for the first time as “an indigenous people with a distinct language, religion and culture.”

The new draft bill aims to give some legal weight to that symbolic gesture.

It recognizes the Ainu as an indigenous people for the first time in legislation and lists its objective as “realizing a society that will respect the pride of the Ainu as an ethnic group.” It sets aside money to promote Ainu culture and makes it easier for Ainu people to log in state-owned forests and catch salmon in rivers, NHK reported.