Thursday, February 13, 2020

Decolonizing Indigenous Migration by Kristen Carpenter and Angela Riley

The University of Colorado's Citizenship and Equality Colloquium hosted Professor Kristen Carpenter, CU Law Professor on February 12.

Professor Carpenter presented a co-authored paper (with Angela Riley) titled “Decolonizing Indigenous Migration” that shifts the paradigm on border enforcement against indigeneous persons migrating across the US-Mexico and US-Canada border. She describes language translation problems that lead to curtailed process and tragic deaths for native speakers in detention in a system prepared only for Spanish. She describes the closing gates for Tohono Oodham tribal members whose reservations in Arizona are being split by the wall and surveilled by militarized ICE presence. The solutions cannot be found in immigration law alone, given its embedded settler-colonial assumptions about land ownership and rights. Instead, she turns to a human rights framework and the 2018 Global Compact on Migration for new ideas on how to better acknowledge the claims of indigenous people.

CU Geography Professor Joe Bryan provided commentary drawing on his research and experiences working in Oaxaca, Mexico and many parts of Central America. 

Speaker Bios:

Kristen Carpenter is the Council Tree Professor of Law and Director of the American Indian Law Program at the University of Colorado Law School. Professor Carpenter also serves on the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as its member from North America. She was a founding member of the campus-wide Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies at CU-Boulder. In 2016 she was the Oneida Indian Nation Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Joe Bryan is a Professor in the Geography Department at CU. His work focuses on the politics of indigeneity in the Americas, with particular attention to questions of land, territory, and rights. His current project focuses on the contemporary politics of indigeneity in Oaxaca, Mexico. It involves a critical engagement with the concept of territory that works through research on community radio projects across Oaxaca.  This work is broadly informed by his longer involvement with indigenous rights, as both an advocate and a researcher, in Ecuador, Chile, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the western United States. Much of that work further engages with the diversity of mapping practices used to advocate for recognition of indigenous land rights


Citizenship and Equality Spring 2020

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