Discussion on international indigenous human rights is Nov. 19


An informal talk and open discussion on international human rights and indigenous peoples will be presented at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, in the Memorial Union Lecture Bowl with collaboration from UND Honors students, students from the UND Law School and the department of Anthropology.

The current fieldwork in Brazil of Marcia Mikulak, associate professor of Anthropology, will be highlighted, and Mikulak, Cacique (Chief) Marcus Xukuru, and other Xukuru tribal leaders will be present via Skype from Brazil.

The evening will consist of discussions about international human rights documents by professor Gregory Gordon from the UND Law School, and a PowerPoint presentation by Joseph Mandala, currently a student in the UND School of Law, and Political Science.

Mandala traveled to Pernambuco, Brazil with Mikulak in September 2009 to meet with Cacique Marcus Xukuru and Non-Governmental human rights organizations involved in assisting Xukuru leaders in legal cases that criminalize their fight for ancestral lands. Mandala continues to assist Mikulak while she continues her human rights work in Brazil.

Films will be screened that present the history of the Xukuru’s decades long fight for the return of their traditional territories and the right to practice their cultural heritage. Discussions about how nation-states have historically created constructions about indigenous peoples that marginalize them and diminish their basic human rights will be explored. An open forum for questions and possible solutions will conclude the evenings discussions. This event is Free and open to the public, and is partially funded by the Multicultural Awareness Committee.
-- Marcia Mikulak, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, marcia.mikulak@und.edu, 701-330-1311