Angela Riley & Kristen Carpenter Publish “Owning Red”

Angela R. Riley and Kristen A. Carpenter have published “Owning Red: A Theory of Indian (Cultural) Appropriation” (PDF) in the Texas Law Review.

Here is the abstract:

In a number of recent controversies, from sports teams’ use of Indian mascots to the federal government’s desecration of sacred sites, American Indians have lodged charges of “cultural appropriation” or the unauthorized use by members of one group of the cultural expressions and resources of another.  While these and other incidents make contemporary headlines, American Indians often experience these claims within a historical and continuing experience of dispossession.  For hundreds of years, the U.S. legal system has sanctioned the taking and destruction of Indian lands, artifacts, bodies, religions, identities, and beliefs, all toward the project of conquest and colonization.  Indian resources have been devalued by the law and made available for non-Indians to use for their own purposes.  Seeking redresses for the losses caused by these actions, tribes have brought claims under a variety of laws, from trademark and copyright to the First Amendment and Fifth Amendment, and some have been more successful than others.  As a matter of property law, courts have compensated—albeit incompletely—the taking of certain Indian lands and have also come to recognize tribal interests in human remains, gravesites, and associated artifacts.  When it comes to intangible property, however, the situation is more complicated.  It is difficult for legal decision makers and scholars alike to understand why Indian tribes should be able to regulate the use of Indian names, symbols, and expressions.  Indeed, non-Indians often claim interests, sounding in free speech and the public domain, in the very same resources.  To advance understanding of this contested area of law, Professor Riley and Professor Carpenter  situate intangible cultural property claims in a larger history of the legal dispossession of Indian property—a phenomenon they call “Indian appropriation.”  It then evaluates these claims vis-à-vis prevailing legal doctrine and offers a normative view of solutions, both legal and extralegal.

Angela Riley & Kristen Carpenter on a Theory of Indian Cultural Appropriation

Angela Riley and Kristen Carpenter have posted “Owning Red: A Theory of Indian (Cultural) Appropriation,” forthcoming in the Texas Law Review, on SSRN.

Here is the abstract:

In a number of recent controversies, from sports teams’ use of Indian mascots to the federal government’s desecration of sacred sites, American Indians have lodged charges of “cultural appropriation” or the unauthorized use by members of one group the cultural expressions and resources of another. While these and other incidents are currently in the headlines, American Indians often experience these claims within an historical and continuing experience of dispossession. For hundreds of years, the U.S. legal system has sanctioned the taking and destruction of Indian lands and artifacts, bodies and religions, identities and beliefs, all toward the project of conquest and colonization. Indian resources have been devalued by the law and made available for non-Indians to use of their own purposes. Seeking redresses for the losses caused by these actions, tribes have brought claims under a variety of laws, from trademark and copyright, to the First Amendment and Fifth Amendment, and some have been more successful than others. As a matter of property law, courts have compensated – albeit incompletely – the taking of certain Indian lands and has also come to recognize tribal interests in human remains, gravesites, and associated artifacts. When it comes to intangible property, however, the situation is more complicated. It is difficult for legal decision-makers and scholars alike to understand why Indian tribes should be able to regulate the use of Indian names, symbols, and expressions. Indeed, non-Indians often claim interests, sounding in free speech and the public domain, in the very same resources. To advance understanding of this contested area of law, this Article situates intangible cultural property claims in a larger history of the legal dispossession of Indian property – a phenomenon we call “Indian appropriation.” It then evaluates these claims vis à vis prevailing legal doctrine, and offers a normative view of solutions, both legal and extralegal.

Highly, highly recommended! I had a chance to review a draft of this paper and Profs. Riley and Carpenter are changing the way Indian law scholars and property law scholars think about cultural property. A terrific contribution.

Michigan State Law Review Symposium on Wenona Singel’s “Indian Tribes and Human Rights Accountability”

Michigan State Law Review has published several articles from its symposium on Wenona Singel’s paper “Indian Tribes and Human Rights Accountability.”

Tribal Rights, Human Rights

Kristen A. Carpenter & Angela R. Riley

2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 293 | Download PDF

Nenabozho’s Smart Berries: Rethinking Tribal Sovereignty and Accountability

Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark

2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 339 | Download PDF

Jurisdiction and Human Rights Accountability in Indian Country

Kirsten Matoy Carlson

2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 355 | Download PDF

First “Review” of Scholarly Promise and Achievement

Frank Pommersheim

2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 291 | Download PDF

Tribal Sovereignty and Human Rights

Joseph William Singer

2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 307 | Download PDF

A Most Grievous Display of Behavior: Self-Decimation in Indian Country

David E. Wilkins

2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 325 | Download PDF

Healing to Wellness Courts: Therapeutic Justice

Joseph Thomas Flies-Away & Carrie E. Garrow

2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 403 | Download PDF

 

UCLA Indian Studies Director Angela Riley Open Letter to No Doubt

Here:

Open Letter No Doubt

An excerpt:

We commend No Doubt, Interscope, and Supersonic for making the decision to pull the “Looking Hot” video immediately from the Internet upon learning of the overwhelming response from the Native community. We also want to make clear that, while No Doubt’s apology claimed to have consulted “Native American studies experts at the University of California,” to our knowledge, no such person from UCLA was consulted about the video prior to its release. Nevertheless, in furtherance of our educational and collaborative mission, we extend to you an invitation to engage with the American Indian Studies Center and the Los Angeles Indian community, as we see this unfortunate incident as presenting an opportunity for growth and mutual understanding.

Lots of screen shots from this video here.

A sampling:

“In Defense of Property” in the Yale Law Journal

Here.

Written by Kristen A. Carpenter, Sonia K. Katyal, and Angela R. Riley [View as PDF]
118 Yale L.J. 1022 (2009).

This Article responds to an emerging view, in scholarship and popular society, that it is normatively undesirable to employ property law as a means of protecting indigenous cultural heritage. Recent critiques suggest that propertizing culture impedes the free flow of ideas, speech, and perhaps culture itself. In our view, these critiques arise largely because commentators associate “property” with a narrow model of individual ownership that reflects neither the substance of indigenous cultural property claims nor major theoretical developments in the broader field of property law. Thus, departing from the individual rights paradigm, our Article situates indigenous cultural property claims, particularly those of American Indians, in the interests of “peoples” rather than “persons,” arguing that such cultural properties are integral to indigenous group identity or peoplehood, and deserve particular legal protection. Further, we observe that whereas individual rights are overwhelmingly advanced by property law’s dominant ownership model, which consolidates control in the title-holder, indigenous peoples often seek to fulfill an ongoing duty of care toward cultural resources in the absence of title. To capture this distinction, we offer a stewardship model of property to explain and justify indigenous peoples’ cultural property claims in terms of nonowners’ fiduciary obligations toward cultural resources. We posit that re-envisioning cultural property law in terms of peoplehood and stewardship more fully illuminates both the particular nature of indigenous claims and the potential for property law itself to embrace a broader and more flexible set of interests.