Christine Zuni Cruz on Shadow Scholarship and Indian Law

Christine Zuni Cruz has posted her great paper, “ Shadow War Scholarship, Indigenous Legal Tradition, and Modern Law in Indian Country “, published in the Tribal Law Journal, on SSRN.

Here is the abstract:

This article documents the purposes and reasons for the development of the Tribal Law Journal, the University of New Mexico School of Law’s electronic journal created to promote scholarship on tribal law and the Indigenous legal tradition. It discusses the use of the internet for the work of the journal and of the need to increase an understanding and awareness of the law of Indigenous peoples. The diversity of indigenous peoples, in and of itself, requires unique approaches to the discussion of tribal law. The article considers how the Zapatista Movement in Chiapas utilized the internet. The Zapatista’s engagement of the Mexican government has been described as a “shadow war” for its engagement in conflict in “symbolic rather than real terms.” This early exploitation of the internet allowed the Zapatista to get their position across without having to rely on gatekeepers. The article describes how the Journal follows the same strategy in respect to tribal law. The important developments occurring in law at the tribal level require Indigenous Peoples’ awareness of trends among Indigenous peoples in the United States and across the world. Electronic communication has significantly facilitated this. The article concludes with a discussion of the limitations that challenge electronic communication among Indigenous Peoples.

Dispute over Sexist Ads at Buffalo Thunder Concludes

Here is the news article in ICT by Rob Capriccioso. As many of us know, Pojoaque Pueblo is the home of the 2010 FBA Indian Law Conference.

SANTA FE, N.M – Noted legal scholar and Native American gender studies expert, Christine Zuni Cruz, has made her case against what she calls a striking case of sexism in the advertising of a Pueblo tribe’s casino. And she’s won.

On July 21, Zuni Cruz sent a fax to George Rivera, governor of the Pueblo of Pojoaque in northern New Mexico, in which she labeled a recent round of advertising for the tribe’s Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino as sexist and culturally inappropriate.

The advertising contained questionable images of what looked to be female tribal members, which Zuni Cruz, a member of the Isleta Pueblo, said “demean the self-esteem of Native women.”

In the ads – which appeared on the Web and on billboards – the women were depicted in stylized poses next to a Mercedes as part of a casino promotion. In one ad, the Mercedes emblem was part of the earring of one of the women.

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Christine Zuni Cruz on Indigenous Law Scholarship and the Tribal Law Journal

Christine Zuni Cruz, EIC of the Tribal Law Journal, has published “Shadow War Scholarship, Indigenous Legal Tradition, and Modern Law in Indian Country” in the Washburn Law Journal.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction:

This essay comments on the multi-layered experience of establishing an electronic law journal for the serious, scholarly treatment of the Indigenous (Chthonic) Legal Tradition and the law “of” Indigenous Peoples, as opposed to the nation-state law “concerning,” “about,” or “for” Indian tribes. It addresses the challenges to both the enterprise of seeking to write and publish about an oral legal tradition and its emerging modern, and written, offshoot in an electronic format, and of doing so in an academic and technological setting that contradicts and opposes the enterprise. It lays out the thought, the vision, the obstacles, and the concerns of the endeavor.