Land Reform in Vanuatu

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), passed in 2007, gave a new language to indigenous rights struggles. While the Declaration is not considered an international treaty, it is a very important foundational document that acknowledges the circumstances specific to the unique needs of indigenous peoples.

The language it created is finding its way into laws and policies of governments. Recently, the government of Vanuatu passed a new land reform law that inscribed the language of “free, prior, and informed consent” as a guiding principle to prevent land loss and to protect indigenous customary land tenure practices. Read more about it here.

About Dina

Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville Confederated Tribes) is a lecturer of American Indian Studies at California State University San Marcos, and a consultant and educator in environmental justice policy planning. Dina’s research interests focuses on Indigenous nationalism, self-determination, environmental justice, and education. She also works within the field of critical sports studies, examining the intersections of indigeneity and the sport of surfing. Dina is co-author with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz of Beacon Press’s “All the Real Indians Died Off” and 20 Other Myths About Native Americans, and her forthcoming book, As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice from Colonization to Standing Rock, is scheduled for release by Beacon Press in April 2019.
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