Thursday, 28 January 2016

Law suit over Treaty Terms

The implications over treaty terms and the boundaries of indigenous nations' lands is not something that is a relic from the past. It is something that continues to have a great deal of relevance in the present day, as this article about a law suit on the 1855 treaty between the US federal government and the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odowa Indians points out.  At issue includes jurisdiction over legal matters -- whether the jurisdiction is in tribal court or in the state legal system. The article notes "child welfare, grave protection, income tax laws, and jurisdiction within the reservation" are raised as areas of contention in the law suit. 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Editorial Comment about Keystone XL Pipeline Litigation

Not surprisingly, the TransCanada litigation against the United States about the Keystone XL pipeline has drawn editorial comment. The contentious plans to build the pipeline leave a legacy in the litigation, and also in the discussion about it. 

This editorial written by the Sierra Club Senior Managing Attorney and Sierra Club Research Analyst is dismissive of the litigation, referring to it as out of step with the realities of climate change and of the implications of the December 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. 

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Dispute over Keystone XL Pipeline Rumbles On

After President Obama denied the approval needed for the Keystone XL pipeline to be built, in November 2015, it might have been thought that the matter would be finally over. It had, after all, been in dispute for an extended period over seven years.

Opposition to the pipeline galvanized an unlikely coalition of environmental activists, indigenous advocates, and farmers and ranchers, as this article details. 

But what had been claimed as a victory for these interests is now clouded by the news that a lawsuit has been filed against the US governmentTransCanada, the company that has been seeking permission to build the pipeline is quoted in this article as saying that the denial of permission to build the pipeline was a political one, fuelled by concerns about  an international image  on climate change policies.

It would appear the battle over the Keystone XL pipeline is not yet finished. 


Monday, 28 December 2015

Call for Papers: SLSA stream on Indigenous and Minority Rights

The annual SLSA conference will be held at the Law School of Lancaster University from April 5 to April 7 2016. The call for papers is now open. The deadline for submission of abstracts is January 18, 2016. Once again, there will be a stream on Indigenous and Minority Rights.

The SLSA conference is a great opportunity for the exchange of research information, ideas and arguments in a lively and friendly setting.

Postgraduate students are particularly welcomed to consider making a submission to the stream on minority and indigenous rights.

Monday, 10 August 2015

International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, Well-Being, Health and the Keystone XL Pipeline

August 9 was the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The theme for this year’s day was to ensure the well-being and health of the indigenous peoples. This theme comes curiously timed with events  and decisions that determine whether or not the contentious Keystone XL Pipeline will received needed permits to be constructed.

Pipeline proponents are anticipating a final rejection by President Obama, which, according to this news article, might be delivered sometime in August. 

9 days of hearings were held in South Dakota  on the issue of pipe construction through that state.

The pipeline’s planned route through South Dakota would “pass through Lakota treaty territory”   “[R]epresentatives and expert witnessesfor four tribal governments” provided testimony at the recent concluded South Dakota hearings against the construction of the pipeline. 

Monday, 27 July 2015

Saturday, 18 July 2015

The US Adoption Industry, the Indian Child Welfare Act, and Black American Infants Sent in Intercountry Adoption

The news of the multiple legal challenges to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) are beginning to percolate through to the consciousness of news reporting outlets. The reasons behind these attacks on the law are also starting to be queried. This report from  explains that these law suits are a backlash against the proposed binding ICWA regulations, noting that “These proposed regulations have angered opponents of the bill, including the lucrative adoption industry.” In other words, the news story points to those involved in adoption as being opposed to not only the idea of binding ICWA regulations but to the Act itself. The news story goes on to comment that “Since the regulations were proposed, multiple lawsuits have been filed around the country challenging ICWA…”
Just how “lucrative” is the adoption industry in the United States? And why would it care about the adoption of American Indian children? The demise of children available to adopt to the United States through intercountry adoption is well-known. These statisticsfrom the United States Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State,  demonstrate the dramatic fall that continues in the number of children received by the United States.  And yet, at the same time, there are children sent from the United States for intercountry adoption—with an estimate, given in this article  that “as many as 500 infants, most of whom are black, leave this country through outgoing adoption every year.”

At the same time the US adoption industry is apparently concerned about restrictions on the adoptions of American Indian children to non-Indians, there is relative silence about the numbers of black children leaving the US in intercountry adoption.  Why a strong reaction to the proposed regulations to ICWA and yet seemingly very little about sending black American children in intercountry adoption?