Last month, the Indian Legal Clinic traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend a hearing that focused on the situation of Indigenous Peoples and forced displacement in the context of climate change in the United States before the Inter American Commission on Human Rights. The request for a hearing was made on behalf of four Louisiana Tribes and the Village of Kivalina.
Student attorneys Ruben Zendejas (3L) and Brittany Habbart (3L) were assigned the case with Professor Patty Ferguson-Bohnee. Working with Earth Rights, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and the Georgetown Environmental Law and Justice Clinic, the ILC assisted in preparing a written submission in support of the thematic hearing and preparing witnesses for the hearing. Blair Tarman-Toner (’20) also assisted with the written submission. Ferguson-Bohnee gave the rebuttal statement on behalf of the petitioning Tribes during the Thematic Hearing. While in Washington, ILC students attended a meeting at the White House.
“Ruben and I met different tribal leaders and advocates and learned about their experiences with climate displacement or dealing with the federal recognition process,” said Habbart. “Hearing about issues directly from people who live it or work with it is always invaluable.”