Coming soon.

As the rights of indigenous peoples gain recognition across the globe, governments and business enterprises face the challenge of respecting those rights in complex settings, especially in the management or development of projects in areas used or occupied by indigenous peoples. At the same time, standards and procedures for the protection of the environment are ever more pervasive in relation to natural resource and other development projects. International and domestic policy and regulatory regimes have emerged to require or encourage governmental actors to protect indigenous peoples’ rights, as well as to ensure compliance with environmental standards. For their part, oil and gas, mining, and other companies are called upon to comply with environmental standards and related procedures, as well as to exercise due diligence to respect human rights, including the human rights of indigenous peoples.

An intensive and immersive professional development experience led by internationally recognized experts on indigenous rights, this course offers lawyers and government, business, and indigenous leaders the opportunity to develop or hone their expertise in matters relating to indigenous rights and the environment. The program will include lectures from renowned speakers, in-depth case studies, opportunities for relationship building, and much more. The course will cover a wide variety of topics, including:

  • A survey of international instruments, jurisprudence, and mechanisms that have advanced recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights
  • Government responsibilities in the context of decisions to permit natural resource development activities when indigenous peoples might be affected
  • The duty of consultation and the principle of free, prior and informed consent
  • The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, especially in the context of business activities for the development of natural resources within or near indigenous territories
  • A survey of international environmental standards and examples of domestic environmental protection regimes
  • Examination of best practices for environmental and social impact statements
  • The expectation of corporate due diligence, including by financial institutions
  • Lessons learned from case studies around the world


Program Leadership

Jim AnayaDean S. James Anaya

University Distinguished Professor
Faculty Director, Colorado Law Executive Education

S. James Anaya is the Dean of the University of Colorado Law School. He has taught and written extensively on international human rights and issues concerning indigenous peoples, and is the author of, among numerous other publications, two widely-used textbooks: Indigenous Peoples in International Law (Oxford Univ. Press (1996); 2d ed. (2004)), and International Human Rights: Problems of Law, Policy and Process (Wolters/Kluwer, 6th ed. 2011) (with Hurst Hannum and Dinah Shelton). He served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples from May 2008 to June 2014.

Dean Anaya has advised numerous indigenous and other organizations from several countries on matters of human rights and indigenous peoples, and he has represented indigenous groups from many parts of North and Central America in landmark cases before domestic and international tribunals, including the United States Supreme Court and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Among other noteworthy activities, Dean Anaya participated in the drafting of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and was the lead counsel for the indigenous parties in the case of Awas Tingni v. Nicaragua, in which the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for the first time upheld indigenous land rights as a matter of international law. As UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Dean Anaya monitored the human rights conditions of indigenous peoples worldwide, addressed situations in which their rights were being violated, and promoted practical measures to secure indigenous peoples' rights, travelling frequently to meet with government officials and visit indigenous communities.

Prior to becoming a full time law professor, he practiced law in Albuquerque, New Mexico, representing Native American peoples and other minority groups. For his work during that period, Barrister magazine, a national publication of the American Bar Association, named him as one of "20 young lawyers who make a difference." Dean Anaya served on the law faculty at the University of Arizona from 1999 to 2016 and on the faculty of the University of Iowa from 1988 to 1999. Additionally, he has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, the University of Toronto, and the University of Tulsa.