Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2
Talk: Indigenous Land Rights within an International Legal Framework
Speaker: Sharon Venne, LLB
Sharon H. Venne (Notokwew Muskwa Manitokan) is an Indigenous Treaty person (Cree) and by marriage a member of the Blood Tribe within Treaty 7 with one son. She has worked at the United Nations prior to the establishment of the Working group on Indigenous Peoples in 1982. The background research to the many clauses on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is included in her book: Our Elders Understand Our Rights: Evolving international law regarding Indigenous Peoples. She has lectured on the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, France, Italy, Hawaii, United States and Canada. In addition to her work on the Declaration, she worked to secure a UN Study on Treaties. From the first introduction of the resolution in 1983 until the report was finalized in 1999, Sharon worked to ensure that the report reflected Indigenous laws and norms. Sharon has written numerous articles on the Treaty Rights of Indigenous Peoples. All her work internationally and domestically relates to the promotion of the rights of Indigenous Peoples especially rights related to lands, resources and treaties. Some of her works on laws of the Cree Peoples related to treaty making were published in Aboriginal and Treaty Rights in Canada (Michael Asch ed.) and Natives and Settlers – Now & Then (Paul DePasquale ed.). Sharon has published materials on the history of Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations since 1977 and an article on the problem of NGO’s and their interference in Indigenous Peoples’ exercise of the right to self-determination within international law. On the 10th of September 2015, Sharon was given the lifetime achievement award from the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians for her work for Treaty Peoples.