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

Anaya in class

S. James Anaya is a Regents' Professor and the 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 are his acclaimed book, Indigenous Peoples in International Law(Oxford Univ. Press (1996); 2d ed. (2004)), and his widely used textbook,International Human Rights:  Problems of Law, Policy and Process (Wolters/Kluwar, 6th ed. 2011) (with Hurst Hannum and Dinah Shelton). He served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples from May 2008 to June 2014.

Professor Anaya has lectured in many countries throughout the world. 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 monitored the human rights conditions of indigenous peoples worldwide, addressed situations in which their rights were being violated, and promoted practical measures to secure indigenous peoples' rights, travelling frequently to meet with government officials and visit indigenous communities.

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

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.


Thursday, April 2, Moore  Lounge, 5:00 p.m.  

Kimberly BlaeserPoetry reading with Kimberly Blaeser, 2015-16 Wisconsin Poet Laureate and author and professor of creative writing, Native American literature and American nature writing, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Conference on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Friday, April 10

Jeff Corntassel - Rights of Indigenous Peoples4:00 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 (pictured), University of Victoria.  The Politics of Gaming and the Manipulation of the "Rich Indian" Image.


8:00 p.m. Keynote Address by James Anaya: "Indigenous Peoples in the Contemporary World:  The Power of Human Rights Ideas and the Challenges of Implementation," Eaton Chapel


Saturday, April 11

Conference on Indigenous rights - Cabrera-Lopez10:00 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
  • Juanita Cabrera Lopez (pictured), 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
  • Respondent: James Anaya, 2015 Weissberg Chair in Human Rights.