Introductory Remarks by N. Bruce Duthu

Article excerpt

Thank you very much. This Closing Plenary is entitled "Indigenous Peoples and International Law," and we're billing it as a conversation between these two very, very distinguished individuals.

Normally, when you're in this kind of a setting, it's easy to say that neither of these folks needs an introduction. But because they are both such accomplished individuals, I think they do need at least a bit of an introduction. You have read the brief bios that are in the program here, but since I am moderator, I will exercise moderator prerogative and just say briefly that I am a faculty member at Dartmouth College. I chair Native American Studies and have been there since 2008. Prior to that, I was on the faculty at Vermont Law School for 17 years where I also served as the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs. My specialty is in the rights of Native Americans and the law. I have worked with both of these speakers, and I am here thanks to Stephanie Farrier, my colleague at Vermont Law School, who invited me to serve as moderator.

On my right is Jim Anaya, a professor at University of Arizona and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and on my left is Dinah Shelton, professor of law at George Washington University and also Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. And they have other titles and responsibilities and roles. They have coauthored with a third author a textbook on international human rights law. Some of you may use that text. They have also published widely, both in terms of textbooks and articles too numerous to mention.

The first hour or so will be the conversation, and I will pose some fairly broad questions to both of them to let them share with you the nature of their work. Then the last half hour will be questions from you, the audience, directed to either or both of our speakers. So here are the areas that we are going to be chatting about in the conversations broadly, and then each speaker will go in whatever direction he or she would like. …