James [Sákéj] Youngblood Henderson Research Fellow

Profile

Born to the Bear Clan of the Chickasaw Nation and Cheyenne Tribe in Oklahoma in 1944 and is married to Marie Battiste, an Míkmaw educator. They have three children. In 1974, he received a Juris doctorate in law from Harvard Law School and became a law professor who created litigation strategies to restore Aboriginal culture, institutions and rights. During the constitutional process (1978-1993) in Canada, he served as a constitutional advisor for the Míkmaw nation and the NIB-Assembly of First Nations. He has continued to develop in aboriginal and treaty right and treaty federalism in constitutional law. His latest books are on Aboriginal Tenure in the Constitution of Canada (2000), Protecting Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage (2000), Míkmaw Society v. Canada in UN Human Rights Committee (ebook 2005). He is working on two books: Indigenous Jurisprudence and Aboriginal Rights and Treaty Rights in the Constitution of Canada.He is a noted international human rights lawyer and an authority of protecting Indigneous heritage, knowledge, and culture. He was one of the drafters and expert advisors of the principles and guidelines for the protection of Indigenous Heritage in the UN Human Rights fora. Also, he has been a member of the Advisory Board to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and is currently he is a member of the Sectoral Commission on Culture, Communication and Information of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and Experts Advisory Group on International Cultural Diversity.