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Old 04-14-2006, 05:29 AM   #1
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International Law Protects Native American Interests

************************************************** ******************
This Message Is Reprinted Under The FAIR USE
Doctrine Of International Copyright Law:
_http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html_
(http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html)
************************************************** ******************
FROM: THE SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER NEWSPAPER
_http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/266160_indigenous11.html_
(http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinio...igenous11.html)
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
International Law Protects Native American Interests
By RUSSELL A. MILLER
GUEST COLUMNIST
With 29 tribes in Washington and five in Idaho, the Pacific Northwest's
Native American communities play an essential part in the region's contemporary
political and cultural life. There have been a number of significant policy
disputes between the federal government, the states and their Native American
populations, most notably involving water rights. Long viewed as strictly
domestic matters, these issues now reverberate in international law.
The case of the Dann sisters is a poignant example. Mary (now deceased) and
Carrie Dann, Western Shoshone Elders, have long sought access to Western
Shoshone ancestral lands, including much of present-day Nevada and extending to
parts of Idaho, Utah and California. When denied access by the U.S. courts, the
Dann sisters continued their struggle as a matter of international human
rights law.
In a strongly worded rebuke to the United States in 2002, the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights (a body of the Organization of American States)
found that the inadequate process afforded the Dann sisters by the U.S. Indian
Claims Commission constituted a violation of the protections they were owed
under the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.
Now, in a ruling on March 10 of this year, the U.N. Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination has joined the fray. The United Nations claimed
to have credible information that calls into question the U.S. government's
assertion of federal ownership of nearly 90 percent of Western Shoshone
lands. In a landmark ruling, the United Nations expressed concern about the U.S.
claim to the land by theory of "gradual encroachment" and urged the United
States to "freeze," "desist" and "stop" activities that threaten Western
Shoshone ancestral lands. Diplomatic exchanges rarely take such an urgent and stern
tone.
The U.N. ruling signals that international law is emerging as a means of
promoting and protecting Native American interests, including their rights to
live as a distinct community; to practice and revitalize cultural and religious
traditions; to participate meaningfully in the political and policy decisions
that affect them; to enjoy the use of traditional lands and to govern
themselves in sovereign autonomy.
Professor S. James Anaya, the world's leading expert on this emerging body of
international law, recounts in his seminal book on the subject that "the
political philosophy for the Iroquois Confederacy is expressed in the Great Law
of Peace, which describes a great tree with roots extending in the four
cardinal directions to all peoples of the Earth." If that tree were international
law, the roots reaching out to the world's indigenous peoples, including the
Pacific Northwest's Native Americans, have been deepening and strengthening.
Russell A. Miller is the Alan G. Shepard professor of law at the University
of Idaho College of Law.
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Old 04-16-2006, 09:39 PM   #2
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Please explain this will do what? The US does not recognize international law.
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Old 04-17-2006, 04:43 AM   #3
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you might want to write to the person in charge to explain what this will do.
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