Event Title

Indigenous Human Rights and the Ethics of "Remediation": Redressing the Legacy of Uranium Contamination for Native Peoples and Native Lands

Location

Williman Room, Benson Center

Event Website

http://law.scu.edu/ai1ec_event/2014-journal-of-international-law-symposium-2

Start Date

25-1-2014 9:00 AM

End Date

25-1-2014 10:30 AM

Description

This essay explores the legacy of uranium contamination for Native peoples throughout the United States, evaluating the consequences of historic government policies and the way that these policies are perpetuated in the present era. The paper also engages the possibilities for “remediation,” within domestic and international frameworks of “environmental justice.” The paper advances the view that a human rights approach requires holistic attention to the current environmental and public health issues, as well as the economic and ethical issues that continue to divide nations at both the domestic and international levels, and prevent coherent policy strategies. In addition, there is a need to engage the policies of “war” and “peace” that have driven the global policy agenda, to the disadvantage of Native peoples, as well as the dynamic of colonialism that perpetuates a notion of Native lands as “resource” colonies for dominant policy interests. An “ethics of remediation,” therefore, is as much about redressing inequities of power, capacity, and agency, as it is about “environmental justice.”

Comments

Speaker Biographies:

Rebecca Tsosie
Rebecca Tsosie is a Regent’s Professor of Law at Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. She teaches in the areas of Indian law, Property, Bioethics, and Critical Race Theory, as well as seminars in International Indigenous Rights and in the College’s Tribal Policy, Law, and Government Master of Laws program. Professor Tsosie has written and published widely on doctrinal and theoretical issues related to tribal sovereignty, environmental policy, and cultural rights, and her current research deals with Native rights to genetic resources. Professor Tsosie, who is of Yaqui descent, has worked extensively with tribal governments and organizations and serves as a Supreme Court Justice for the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. She annually speaks at several national conferences on tribal sovereignty, self-determination, and tribal rights to environmental and cultural resources. Professor Tsosie holds a bachelor’s degree and J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Robert T. Coulter
Robert Coulter is an attorney who practices in the fields of Indian law and international human rights. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Indian Law Resource Center, which provides legal assistance for indigenous peoples throughout the Americas. He is also an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and a Justice of the Supreme Court of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. With more than 35 years of legal experience in the field of Indian affairs and human rights, Mr. Coulter has published numerous articles in these and other fields of law. Before starting the Indian Law Resoruce Center in 1978, he was Acting Executive Director of the Institute for the Development of Indian Law, staff attorney for the Native American Legal Defense and Education Fund and the United States Commission on Civil Rights. In 2001 Mr. Coulter was awarded the Lawrence A. Wein Prize for Social Responsibility by Columbia University Law School and in 2002 the Bicentennial Medal by Williams College. He received his bachelor’s degree from Williams College and his law degree cum laude from Columbia University Law School.

Elizabeth A. Kronk Warner
Elizabeth Kronk Warner is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Kansas, School of Law where she teaches property, environmental and natural resources law and federal Indian law. She also serves as the director of the Tribal law and Government Center and as an Affiliated Professor of Indigenous Studies. Prior to joining the University of Kansas, she taught at Texas Tech University and the University of Montana. In 2010, Professor Kronk Warner was selected to serve as an Environmental Justice Young Fellow through the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law at Vermont Law School. In addition to teaching, Professor Kronk Warner serves as an appellate judge for the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Court of Appeals in Michigan. Before entering academia, Professor Kronk practiced environmental, Indian, and energy law as an associate in the Washington, D.C., offices of Latham & Watkins LLP and Troutman Sanders LLP. She previously served as chair of the Federal Bar Association Indian Law Section and was elected to the Association’s national board of directors in 2011. Professor Kronk Warner is a citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. She graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication and received her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.

 
Jan 25th, 9:00 AM Jan 25th, 10:30 AM

Indigenous Human Rights and the Ethics of "Remediation": Redressing the Legacy of Uranium Contamination for Native Peoples and Native Lands

Williman Room, Benson Center

This essay explores the legacy of uranium contamination for Native peoples throughout the United States, evaluating the consequences of historic government policies and the way that these policies are perpetuated in the present era. The paper also engages the possibilities for “remediation,” within domestic and international frameworks of “environmental justice.” The paper advances the view that a human rights approach requires holistic attention to the current environmental and public health issues, as well as the economic and ethical issues that continue to divide nations at both the domestic and international levels, and prevent coherent policy strategies. In addition, there is a need to engage the policies of “war” and “peace” that have driven the global policy agenda, to the disadvantage of Native peoples, as well as the dynamic of colonialism that perpetuates a notion of Native lands as “resource” colonies for dominant policy interests. An “ethics of remediation,” therefore, is as much about redressing inequities of power, capacity, and agency, as it is about “environmental justice.”

http://digitalcommons.law.scu.edu/scujil_symposia/environment/2014/3