Understanding the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Law of Nations

Fri Jan 07, 2022

Many people are under the impression that the international arena and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) provide a path of decolonization, a leverage Indigenous nations and peoples can use to their advantage. Few people appreciate that “international law” originated in the fifteenth century as the “Law of Nations,” also known as the “Law of Christendom,” an idea-system of nation-state domination over non-Christian peoples. 

Future US Supreme Court Justice John Catron described this domination system of international law in 1835 while he was on the Supreme Court of Tennessee, in the case of State v. Foreman. The Foreman case said Tennessee had criminal jurisdiction over Cherokee people in Cherokee lands. Judge Catron explained the basis of the decision: 

“We maintain…the principle declared in the fifteenth century as the law of Christendom, that discovery gave title to assume sovereignty over, and to govern the unconverted natives of Africa, Asia, and North and South America.” Christian discovery “gave the law of nations, …[with] the unqualified sanction of all Christian governments.” Tennessee jurisdiction over the Cherokee “is based on the right to coerce obedience” of the “native Indian.”

This Redthought event will focus on understanding the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the broad history of the claim of a right of domination by “States” over Indigenous nations and peoples. We will explore the practical implications of the UN Declaration’s assertion of “human rights” and “fundamental reform.” We will ask, What has happened to the claim of a right of domination by “States”? 

Details

Date 01-07-2022 10:00 am PST
End Date 01-07-2022 2:00 pm PST
Registration Start Date 12-30-2021
Event Time Zone PST
Cut off date 01-07-2022
Individual Price Free
We are no longer accepting registration for this event