Indigenous Rights Radio Producer Avexnim Cojtí Ren investigates the movement to repatriate sacred objects, remains, and cultural patrimony taken without consent from Indigenous Peoples by governments, collectors, and individuals. Concepts of ownership, histories of oppression, methods of legal recourse, and recent examples of repatriation attempts all play an important role in the prospects for the return of heritage items to Indigenous Peoples.
In many Indigenous communities, dual justice systems operate in tandem: the European system, a colonial imposition characterized by hierarchical, punitive, written codicies, and the Indigenous system, which is often based in tradition and holistic in nature.
Human Rights Lawyer Michelle Cook (Dine') elaborates on the interactions between these two systems, and explains how communities can use the language of human rights to challenge the colonial legal system imposition in order to gain a seat at the table as independent nations with internationally recognized justice systems.
Vicky Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, says she has found an inadequate process of consultation with Indigenous communities on the part of the national government during her visit to Honduras, where she was recently invited for a working visit to comment on a draft of a law regulating Free, Prior and Informed Consent. Indigenous Hondurans do not feel that they were adequately consulted on the content of the law. Further, the law does not meet widely accepted international standards of F.P.I.C.