Lannan Foundation recognizes that the U.S. legal system can be an important means to advance the rights of indigenous peoples who are fighting to protect their traditional ways of life. The foundation supports legal efforts that benefit Native issues and causes, particularly in the area of environmental protection.
Grants have been awarded to support various legal rights cases, and to provide general support for Native-led law and advocacy organizations.
UPDATE: The Ponca Tribe recently celebrated a $10.5 million dollar settlement it reached with the Continental Carbon Company, which the tribe and individual tribal members had sued for damages caused by black dust created during years of the company’s carbon black plant operations in Ponca City, Oklahoma.
The Indian Law Resource Center is a non-profit law and advocacy organization established and directed by American Indians. It provides legal assistance to Indian and Alaska Native nations working to protect their land, resources, human rights, environment, and cultural integrity. The principal goal of the Center is the preservation and security of Indian and other Native nations and tribes.
Eastern Navajo Dine Against Uranium Mining (ENDAUM) is working to stop the construction and operation of three new uranium solution mines in Navajo communities in northwestern New Mexico. Individuals from this organization are concerned about the impacts of proposed uranium solution mining on the Crownpoint region’s sole source of drinking water, the Westwater Canyon Aquifer.
February 20, 2004 — The Picuris Pueblo, which received a grant from Lannan Foundation for legal expenses, announced that it has filed an aboriginal title claim in order to stop destruction of a sensitive cultural site by industrial mica mining companies.