CNAIS was chartered in 2015, and was provided start-up funding from the CU Chancellor’s Office, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the CU Graduate School. We currently have over 40 core and affiliated faculty.
CNAIS is global in focus. The United Nations General Assembly’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) points to the interconnections among indigenous peoples and groups around the world. The understanding and support of developing global indigeneity is our focus.
Some highlights that illustrate our work and uniqueness are:
- Global Research & Connections: CNAIS faculty and affiliated programs have projects and connections extending from Sápmi (Sami territories) to Tahiti; we have a presence at the U.N., with a member of our Executive Board acting as legal counsel for the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and another faculty on the UN Executive Mechanism for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- Indigenous Legal Scholars: CU Law is home to American Indian Law Program.We also are honored to host S. James Anaya, the Dean of CU Law, as well a CNAIS Core faculty member. Dean Anaya was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work as the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples. We interface with legal scholars on a daily basis and have unparalleled access to legal studies resources through our collaborations with NARF the NILL, situated within sight of our office.
- Outreach and Engagement: CNAIS’s First Peoples Worldwide program provides legal and economic expertise to Indigenous communities around the world, and consults widely on Indigenous topics. FPW’s report on the Dakota Access Pipeline gained widespread attention, as it highlighted the extraordinary costs in time and money associated with failures to follow best practices and respect the rights of indigenous peoples.