International Indigenous Rights

Despite longstanding political, social and economic marginalization, indigenous communities in the Americas have recently achieved fundamental legal reforms and have raised awareness of indigenous concerns in their respective national agendas. Still, these communities largely remain outsiders to the decision-making processes of local and national governments. Hobbs Straus’ deep experience working with U.S. Indian and Alaska Native tribes in matters of tribal sovereignty and Indian law is relevant and applicable to issues of international indigenous rights. We are committed to helping indigenous communities and leaders in the Americas advance and protect their sovereign rights.

Hobbs Straus assists tribes in sharing best practices regarding advocacy, self-determination and self-governance and enterprise development with indigenous communities and leaders in the Americas. We bring our experience with tribal dispute resolution to bear with respect to the incorporation of indigenous customary law (derecho consuetudinario) into other national legal systems. And, we have been able to demonstrate the relevance of the U.S. self-governance experience to international political and economic development programs.

The firm helps tribes and tribal organizations draft bilingual (Spanish-English) partnership agreements, contract negotiations, and policy statements with indigenous organizations. We advise on international program strategy, facilitate meetings with governmental and non-governmental entities, and assist tribal clients with contracting opportunities in international development programs with U.S. and multi-lateral governmental institutions.

Hobbs Straus helped Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO) internationalize their award-winning American Indian Ambassadors leadership program and assisted in the design of the Latin American component of this program. Through a series of meetings with the AIO, the President of Bolivia, and the New Zealand counterpart of the AIO, the AMO (Advancement of Maori Opportunity), our firm helped the AIO strengthen partnerships for implementing an indigenous leadership program in Bolivia that will involve indigenous communities and organizations in the Andean highlands, the Amazonian Basin and valley regions of Bolivia.