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Malaysia: Native Villagers Lose Land Rights Suit over Bakun Dam Construction

(Sept. 12, 2011) On September 8, 2011, Malaysia's Federal Court, the highest judicial authority in the country, delivered a unanimous ruling against members of an indigenous tribe who had challenged Sarawak State's seizure of land to build the massive Bakun Dam. The three-judge panel dismissed the villagers' appeal. The tribe members had argued that the […]

United Nations: Initiative on Rights of Indigenous Peoples

(May 26, 2011) On May 20, 2011, the United Nations began the U.N. Indigenous Peoples' Partnership (UNIPP), an effort to protect the rights of indigenous peoples. The project was launched in conjunction with the 10th session of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, being held in New York. The UNIPP will work to strengthen […]

Sweden: Sami Indigenous Rights

(Apr. 22, 2011) It was reported on March 30, 2011, that the Sami Parliament will send a report to the Swedish government in May demanding more self-determination for the Sami indigenous population in Sweden, which is estimated to number about 20,000 people. There are an estimated 70,000-100,000 Sami (also known as Laplanders) found in Finland, […]

Congo: New Law on Rights of Indigenous Peoples

(Jan. 11, 2011) The Senate and the National Assembly of the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) passed a law on the rights of indigenous peoples on December 30, 2010. The legislation had the backing of the government and will become law as soon as it is signed by the President. It will be the first […]

Canada: Bill Introduced to Require Aboriginal Leaders to Disclose Salaries

(Oct. 20, 2010) A Conservative Member of Canada's Parliament, Kelly Block, has introduced a bill that would require aboriginal leaders paid salaries from federally allocated funds to disclose their earnings. (A Bill to Create the First Nations' Financial Transparency Act, Bill No. C-575, 40th Parl. 3d Sess., Parliament website, http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=4669703&Language=e&Mode=1&File=33 (last visited Oct. 19, 2010).) […]

Taiwan: Milestone Proposal on Indigenous Peoples’ Self-Governance

(Sept. 30, 2010) Taiwan's Executive Yuan (Cabinet) decided on September 23, 2010, to approve a proposal for an Indigenous Peoples Self-Government Act. The foundation of the proposed act is article 4 of the Indigenous Peoples Basic Act, guaranteeing aboriginals' equal status and the development of self-governance. (June Tsai, Cabinet Greenlights Landmark Aboriginal Self-Rule Law, TAIWAN […]

Taiwan: Amendments to Law on Status of Indigenous People

(Jan. 27, 2009) The Law on the Status of Indigenous People, promulgated on January 17, 2001, and in force on January 1 of that year, was amended on December 3, 2008. The phrase “voluntary relinquishment” (italicized below) has been inserted in article 8, paragraph 1, on the process for recovering or acquiring the status of […]