Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance & the Criminalization of Indigenous Human Rights Defenders
Thursday, April 19, 2:45–4 PM
United Nations Secretariat Building, New York
(Room S-2725 BR)
IPLP convened a panel of experts to discuss the criminalization of peaceful protest as part of United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). The event “Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance and the Criminalization of Indigenous Human Rights Defenders,” took place April 19, 2:45–4 PM at the United Nations Secretariat Building (Room S-2725 BR).
The event featured leading human rights scholars and activists who discussed the criminalization of indigenous activists and the need for protection of indigenous human rights defenders worldwide.
The panelists for the event were:
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz (United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples)
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz is an indigenous leader from the Kankanaey Igorot people of the Cordillera Region in the Philippines. She is a social development consultant, indigenous activist, civic leader, human rights expert, public servant, and an advocate of women's rights in the Philippines. She was the former Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2005-2010). As an indigenous leader she got actively engaged in drafting and adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007. She helped build the indigenous peoples' movement in the Cordillera as a youth activist in the early 1970s. She helped organize indigenous peoples in the community level to fight against the projects of the Marcos Dictatorship such as the Chico River Hydroelectric Dam and the Cellophil Resources Corporation. These communities succeeded in stopping these.
Elifuraha Laltaika (Member, United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues)
Elifuraha Laltaika is the executive director of association for law and advocacy for pastoralists (ALAPA) and a law lecturer of Tumaini University Makumira (Arusha, Tanzania). He previously served as a Harvard Law School visiting researcher. He holds a Doctorate in Law from the University of Arizona Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program. Elifuraha is an expert member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) and a member of the Tanzanian national Bar association (Tanganyika Law Society). Mr. Laltaika has 10 year’s experience working on indigenous peoples’ issues, including as senior fellow at OHCHR in Geneva. He is currently employed as a Lecturer in Law in Tanzania.
Seanna Howard (Professor, University of Arizona, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program)
Seánna Howard teaches International Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples and the International Human Rights Advocacy Workshop. Professor Howard has been with the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program since 2006, representing indigenous communities on precedent setting cases before the Inter-American and United Nations human rights systems.
Carla Fredericks (Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder School of Law)
Carla Fredericks is Director of the American Indian Law Clinic and Director of the American Indian Law Program (AILP), which serves as the umbrella organization for Colorado Law's academic, practice-focused, and community outreach activities in American Indian law. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado and Columbia Law School. At Colorado Law, Fredericks leads a year-long clinic in which students have the opportunity to represent American Indian tribes, organizations, and individuals in a variety of matters, designed to ready students for the complexities of general counsel work. Fredericks is also of counsel to Fredericks, Peebles and Morgan LLP, where she focuses on complex and appellate litigation and Native American affairs, representing Indian tribes and organizations in a variety of litigation and policy matters.
LaDonna Brave Bull Allard (Sacred Stone Camp Founder)
LaDonna Brave Bull Allard is a mother, Lakota historian, land-owner along the Dakota Access Pipeline route, and the founder of Sacred Stone Camp, the first prayerful resistance camp opened as part of the movement to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota. By December 2016, more than 10,000 Indigenous people and environmental activists were camping in the area on and around LaDonna’s home. She has been a major catalyst and leader in the Standing Rock movement, which has become the perhaps the largest ever intertribal alliance on the American continent, with over 200 Indigenous nations represented. With most Standing Rock defenders now departed from her land - LaDonna remains as a ceaseless voice for her people, the Earth and the water - sharing her story and calls to action at platforms around the world as she continues to advocate for justice. Allard is an enrolled member of, and former historical preservation officer for, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Her people are Inhunktonwan from the Jamestown Valley, Hunkpapa and Blackfoot.
Michelle Cook (SJD Candidate, IPLP)
Michelle Cook is an indigenous human rights lawyer and SJD candidate at Arizona Law’s Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program. She is writing her dissertation on international law, indigenous people’s human rights, gender, sexuality, and indigenous transnationalism. She is a founding member of the Water Protector Legal Collective, the on-the-ground legal team which provides legal services to those arrested at the Standing Rock encampment.
Kanyinke Sena (Member, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights)
Kanjinke currently serves as Member of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa (Working Group). A member of the Ogiek indigenous community of Kenya, Kanyinke is a long-time advocate for inclusionary approaches to conservation policy and indigenous peoples’ rights in Africa. He currently serves as a Professor of Law at Egerton University in Kenya. Prior to his role as Member of the Working Group, Kanyinke served as chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues from 2013–14.