Indians Appeal to a Higher Court

| July/August 2002 Issue

Frustrated by their lack of progress in the U.S. courts, some American Indian tribes are taking their land disputes to international tribunals, notes Paul Tolme in In These Times (April 15, 2002). In a landmark case involving the Western Shoshone of Nevada, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has ruled that the U.S. government has violated the tribe’s rights by annexing land the tribe argues was granted by an 1863 treaty. The U.S. government counters that it purchased the land in 1972. The Western Shoshone, however, never accepted the payment. The commission has no enforcement power, but has threatened to release its report to the public in hopes of forcing compliance.