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.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Ancient nuclear genomes enable repatriation of Indigenous human remains


After European colonization, the ancestral remains of Indigenous people were often collected for scientific research or display in museum collections. For many decades, Indigenous people, including Native Americans and Aboriginal Australians, have fought for their return. However, many of these remains have no recorded provenance, making their repatriation very difficult or impossible. To determine whether DNA-based methods could resolve this important problem, we sequenced 10 nuclear genomes and 27 mitogenomes from ancient pre-European Aboriginal Australians (up to 1540 years before the present) of known provenance and compared them to 100 high-coverage contemporary Aboriginal Australian genomes, also of known provenance.

We report substantial ancient population structure showing strong genetic affinities between ancient and contemporary Aboriginal Australian individuals from the same geographic location. Our findings demonstrate the feasibility of successfully identifying the origins of unprovenanced ancestral remains using genomic methods.

Article continues

Monday, December 10, 2018

UN Human Rights Day: 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

UN Human Rights Day

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70
Let's stand up for equality, justice and human dignity

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December – the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year, Human Rights Day marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being -- regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.