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Volume 11: 2010-2011

Senior Editor-in-Chief

Christine Zuni-Cruz (Pueblos of Isleta & Ohkay Owingeh) (on sabbatical 2010-11)


Barbara Creel (Pueblo of Jemez)
Margaret Montoya

Managing Editor

Selesia Winston (Navajo Nation)

Professional Articles Editors

Renee Ashley (Navajo Nation)
Jonathan Polloni
Veronique Richardson (Pueblo of Laguna)

Student Articles Editors

Emily Luke (Northern Cheyenne)
Heidi Macdonald (Assiniboine Sioux)

Senior Staff

Margarita Araiza


Morgan Currey (Osage), Natasha Cuylear (Jicarilla Apache Nation), Kelly Dennis (Shinnecock Nation), Consuelo Garcia, Billy Jimenez, Preston Sanchez (Navajo Nation/Pueblo of Jemez), Daniel Snyder, JoEtta Toppah (Navajo Nation/Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma), Jonathan Turner, Moses Winston


Australian Aboriginality and Sociobiology

By Allan Ardill
“It has been argued elsewhere that the colonization, dispossession, and oppression of indigenous Australians have a close nexus with biological determinism, scientific racism, and the ideology known as sociobiology. In the United States similar arguments are made concerning the historic maltreatment meted out to African Americans.   In Australia, the concern is with the continuing colonial control over the identity of Australian Aboriginal people.”

In his essay Dr. Ardill explores indigenous Australian identity and its “reciprocal relationship with health, education, poverty, (loss of) language, native title, sovereignty and self-determination.” He argues “that the legal reasoning underpinning colonial control over Aboriginal identity is steeped in sociobiological ideology. That is to say, these ideas involve a hierarchy of race, and are further used to justify colonial control instead of embracing the principle of self-determination. This colonial rule fails to relinquish control in favour of self-determination in accord with international standards and instead applies a descent test.” Dr. Ardill explores a series of judicial tests that have been used to determine “Aboriginality”. He “concludes that despite the plethora of international tropes, rhetoric, and measures to decolonize, Australia retains colonial control over indigenous people through sociobiological legal processes that ultimately dictate who can be Aboriginal.”

Cultivating Native Intellect and Philosophy

Professor Christine Zuni Cruz (`83) was the focus of a March 10 symposium organized by the Tribal Law Journal. Cultivating Native Intellect and Philosophy: A Community Symposium Recognizing and Discussing the Contributions of Christine Zuni Cruz was the title of the symposium at the University of New Mexico School of Law.
Zuni Cruz's work was discussed in two panel discussions, which focused on Native thought and philosophy in tribal courts and community lawyering.
Professors Christine Zuni Cruz (`80) and Margaret Montoya
Professors Christine Zuni Cruz (`80) and Margaret Montoya present their own performance piece.
A member of Isleta Pueblo, Zuni Cruz joined the UNM law faculty in 1993 to establish the Southwest Indian Law Clinic (SILC). As co-director of SILC, she has developed cultural literacy methods for students and practitioners representing Indian tribes and Indian people. In her research and teaching, Zuni Cruz explores law and culture, including the impact of law on Indian families, the practice of Indian Law and lawyering for native communities and the internal traditional and modern law of indigenous peoples domestically and internationally.