Publication of the week: Dr Sarah Sargent

22 July 2015

Sarah Sargent & Graham Melling, “The exercise of external self-determination by indigenous groups: An examination of the Republic of Lakotah and the inherent sovereignty of American indigenous peoples”, Sri Lanka Journal of International and Comparative Law 1 (2015), 49. ISSN: 2424-6883.

This article examines the choices made by the Republic of Lakotah in declaring itself as a sovereign and independent entity from the United States in 2007 and 2010. The Republic of Lakotah chose to rely upon international treaty law rather than on the exercise of self-determination. The implications of this, and the source of state reaction to the notion of indigenous self-determination are considered in a discussion of the Republic of Lakotah.

The Republic of Lakotah is a self-declared independent state located within the boundaries of the present day United States. It uses the boundaries created in two treaties, one in 1851 and the other in 1868, to set out the boundaries of its state. The treaties were between the United States and the Sioux Nation, a group of indigenous peoples in the United States.

Dr Sarah Sargent is the stream convener (since 2009) for the indigenous and minority rights stream for the annual SLSA conference. Her ongoing research interests focus on issues of culture and cultural heritage, in different areas of law including transracial adoption and the rights of the child, and the rights of indigenous peoples.  Please contact her for more information about the article.  Dr Graham Melling is a former Lecturer in Law at Buckingham, and now Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Lincoln.