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S. James Anaya: Weissberg Chair in International Studies 2014-15

Residency:  April 6 - 11, 2015

James Anaya PhotoS. James Anaya is Regents' and James J. Lenoir Professor of Human Rights Law and Policy at the University of Arizona's James E. Rogers College of Law.

Professor Anaya's bio from the University of Arizona's website:

Professor Anaya teaches and writes in the areas of international human rights, constitutional law, and issues concerning indigenous peoples. Among his numerous publications is his acclaimed book, Indigenous Peoples in International Law (Oxford Univ. Press (1996); 2d ed. (2004)). He currently serves as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples.

Professor Anaya has lectured in many countries in all continents of the globe. He has advised numerous indigenous and other organizations from several countries on matters of human rights and indigenous peoples, and he has represented indigenous groups from many parts of North and Central America in landmark cases before courts and international organizations. Among his noteworthy activities, he participated in the drafting of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and was the lead counsel for the indigenous parties in the case of Awas Tingni v. Nicaragua, in which the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for the first time upheld indigenous land rights as a matter of international law.

As UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Professor Anaya monitors the human rights conditions of indigenous peoples worldwide, addresses situations in which their rights are being violated, and promotes practical measures to secure indigenous peoples' rights, all through direct contacts with governments, indigenous peoples, and others.

Prior to becoming a full time law professor, he practiced law in Albuquerque, New Mexico, representing Native American peoples and other minority groups. For his work during that period, Barrister magazine, a national publication of the American Bar Association, named him as one of "20 young lawyers who make a difference."
Professor Anaya served on the law faculty at the University of Iowa from 1988 to 1999, and he has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, the University of Toronto, and the University of Tulsa.

Public Events:

 Thursday, February 12, Richardson Auditorium, 7:00 p.m.

"Indigenous Cultural Heritage Preservation and Repatriation: International & U.S. Perspectives"

 A panel discussion including:

  • Dr. Patty Gerstenblith, DePaul University
  • Dr. Larry Zimmerman, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis
  • Mr. Bill Quackenbush, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Ho-Chunk Nation
  • Jennifer Kolb '79, Native American Liaison, Wisconsin Historical Society

Tuesday, March 3 - April 5, Wright Museum of Art

“Re-Riding History: From the Southern Plains to the Matanzas Bay”

Re-Riding History 

An exceptional collaboration with artwork by Emily Arthur, Marwin Begaye, and John Hitchcock, Re-Riding HIstory emphasizes the struggle of 33 Cheyenne, 27 Kiowa, 9 Comanche, 2 Arapaho, and 1 Caddo over 1875-1878.  Captured at Salt Fork, OK, the art also considers their experiences after being brought to St. Augustine, Florida.


Friday, April 10

4:00 p.m. Panel Discussion:  Identity and the Law, Moore Lounge

  • Bonita Lawrence, York University. Identity Issues:  “Real” Indians and Others
  • Lisa Brunner, National Indigenous Women's Resource Center.  Violence against Women and Legal Reform
  • Jeff Corntassel, University of Victoria.  The Politics of Gaming and the Manipulation of the "Rich Indian" Image.


8:00 p.m. Keynote Address by James Anaya: "Lessons from Serving as U.N. Rapporteur for Indigenous People's Rights"  Eaton Chapel


Saturday, April 11

10:00 a.m. Panel Discussion:  Environment and Natural Resources  Moore Lounge

  • Ashlee Cunsolo Willox, Cape Breton University. The Intersection of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples with Health and Environment
  • James Anaya, 2015 Weissberg Chair in Human Rights. Extractive Industries and Indigenous Rights: Perspectives from Serving as the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Juanita Cabrera Lopez, International Mayan League. Extractive Industries in Guatemala
  • Al Gedicks, University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. The GTac mine in Northern Wisconsin:  Potential Impacts on the Environment and Indigenous Communities
  • Stan Stevens, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Indigenous Peoples' Land Use and their Struggles for Self-Determination and Sovereignty