Recognition, Relocation, and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

This panel will explore the unique legal landscape of Native American rights, with a particular focus on relocation issues associated with climate change, the use of indigenous land rights as a tool for environmental action, and statutory rights under Indian rights law.

  • Mary Nagle, Law Partner and Playwright Mary-Kathryn-Nagle - Alex Ponca Stock
    Mary Kathryn Nagle is a playwright and partner at Pipestem Law, a Law firm specializing in sovereignty of Native tribes and peoples. She is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and a Tulane Law alumna.
  • Adam Crepelle, Attorney, LLM student  in indigenous peoples law and policy at the University of Arizona AC1 - Adam Crepelle
    Adam has an array of Indian law and policy experience. He is an enrolled citizen of the United Houma Nation and has served on the tribe’s election committee, diabetes coalition, and tribal security and community services committee. He is a former vice president of the California Indian Law Association and is a co-founder of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana. He has authored several articles on topics including tribal federal recognition, violence against American Indian women, and American Indian economic development. Adam is also an award winning film producer. His film, Indian Santa, screened at numerous venues including the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian. He is currently pursuing an LLM in indigenous peoples law and policy at the University of Arizona.
  • Alfred Brownell, Lead Campaigner, Green Advocates and Visiting Scholar, Northeastern University School of Law
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    Alfred Brownell is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading defenders of human rights and the environment in Africa.  He is the Founder and lead campaigner of Green Advocates International and currently served as Visiting Scholar at Northeastern University School of Law. He is a litigator and served as lead  counsel to Green Advocates and its community partners and networks which include  hundreds of local community organizations, labor unions and informal sector business enterprises and tens of thousands of indigenous peoples and local community inhabitants.  He has campaigned ferociously for the recognition of the customary land and property rights of local communities and indigenous peoples throughout Liberia. Through Green Advocates Public Interest Law Program, Alfred has filed several international complaints against major agro companies on behalf of local communities and indigenous peoples.  He established a network civil society and local community organizations across West Africa   In recent years, these organizations have succeeded in suspending the activities of logging companies, won reparations in millions of dollars and secured an independent forensic investigation into complaints alleging that oil palm companies were grabbing customary lands which were home to communities for generations.He is active in the field of business and human rights, serving on the Steering Committee of ESCR-Net’s Corporate Accountability Working Group and assuming leadership in the African regional civil society processes relating to the drafting of a treaty on business and human rights at the United Nations Human Rights Council. Alfred is a member of the OECD Watch, Coordinating committee, representing civil society in Africa, a founding member of the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition and a former international board member of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI).  He is currently a Steering Committee member of the  ETO  Consortium  which refers to the extraterritorial (human rights) obligations of states towards persons outside their territoriesAt the sub regional level, Alfred along with other civil society colleagues, formed the Mano River Union Civil society Natural Resources Rights and Governance Platform  and the Public Interest Lawyering Initiative of West Africa  (PILIWA) where  Alfred currently serves as the co-director.
  • Barrett Ristroph, Ristroph Law, Planning, and Research (moderator) IMG_20171230_160840321 - Barrett Ristroph 

    Barrett works as a lawyer and planner with Alaska Native Villages and other entities to support climate change adaptation (including relocation), increased jurisdiction, natural resource protection, and the appropriate use of indigenous knowledge. She also serves as counsel to Gazewood and Weiner, P.C. She is pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Hawaii-Manoa on how Alaska Native Villages are adapting to climate change and how laws and planning help or hinder. Originally from Cajun Country, Louisiana, USA, she has gained perspective from living and working in the Northern Mariana Islands, the Philippines, Hawaii, Arctic Alaska and Russia. She now lives in Fairbanks, Alaska with her husband, Chief Pj Simon, and their son Magnus. Through her work, she hopes to build bridges between communities in South Louisiana, Alaska, and the Pacific Islands that are struggling with climate change and the need for sustainable development.