The time is ripe to examine the forces and urgency behind indigenous peoples and human rights.  The protection of human rights has become more important with the increasingly discriminatory attitudes that have defined the policies and practices of the current federal administration.  

While the United Nations has proclaimed 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages, indigenous children perish at the United States-Mexico border, indigenous women go missing and murdered, indigenous artifacts and remains are sold as public goods, and sacred places are violated.  2019 marks a tenuous time for tribal rights and human rights.  As a result, it is critical to study the ways in which international human rights law can help indigenous peoples.

The 44th Annual Indian Law Conference will examine and contemplate strategies, methods, and best practices for Indian law practitioners to protect and uphold, and to defend against attacks on, well-established principles of federal Indian law and policy. Don’t miss this vital Federal Bar Association conference on April 11-12, 2019 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Register today at www.fedbar.org/indianlaw19.  

Attendees of the Indian Law Conference will explore how such deprivations of human rights can be combated by using international mechanisms and human rights advocacy.  Speakers Juanita Cabrera Lopez (International Mayan League), Jodi Archambault Gillette (Indigenous Peoples Initiatives, Wend), Akilah Kinnison (The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law), and Shannon Keller O’Loughlin (American Indian Affairs) will share their unique insights and experiences in the panel on “Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights: Using International Mechanisms to Protect Indigenous Rights.”

These lauded professionals will address the application of international law to indigenous rights issues in the United States and tools and tips for advocating before federal, tribal, and international courts.  Panelists will identify and address equal protection, due process, and protection from harm at the hands of the government for Indians on and off the reservation.  

As tribal justice systems evolve, tribal leaders, tribal court judges, and advocates are forging new relationships with state and federal actors to increase access to justice in their communities.  The conference panel on “Indigenizing the Judiciary: The Role of Federal Indian Law in Tribal, State, and Federal Judicial Systems” will feature several judges who will discuss the importance of collaboration and reciprocity in tribal, state, and federal judicial systems. Speakers include:

  • Hon. Sunshine S. Sykes, Superior Court Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Riverside
  • Hon. Abby Abinanti, Chief Judge, Yurok Tribal Court
  • Hon. Robert J. Miller, Faculty Director, American Indian Economic Development Program, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
  • Hon. Mark A. Montour, New York State Supreme Court Justice, Erie County, 8th Judicial District, New York State Court System

Attendees of the Indian Law Conference will gain a better understanding of how the judiciary is responding to challenges in Indian country, including developing tools of comity and the use of inter-tribal appellate court systems.  

Join the Federal Bar Association this April for a momentous Indian Law Conference, which will provide practitioners with the opportunity to explore critical areas of Indian law jurisprudence and cutting-edge solutions.  Sign up today at www.fedbar.org/indianlaw19.  


Stacy Slotnick, Esq. holds a J.D., cum laude, from Touro Law Center and a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She performs a broad range of duties as an entertainment lawyer, including drafting and negotiating contracts; addressing and litigating trademark, copyright, patent, and other IP issues; and directing the strategy and implementation of public relations, blogging, and social media campaigns.