Initiatives

The Capps Center is pleased to participate in the following initiatives:

 

UC DRN (Disaster Resilience Network) 

The University of California’s Disaster Resilience Network (UC DRN) is a multidisciplinary, UC-wide launchpad for faculty, students and staff to bring our unparalleled collective talents to address disasters and crises of all stripes as we improve resilience outcomes across barriers. UC DRN, officially inaugurated in 2021, will provide a platform for collating talent, matching UC resources with external needs, conducting research, training leaders and researchers to contribute to resilience, and thereby assisting communities facing unprecedented challenges. Backed by science and the multiplicative strength of the ten-campus UC system, UC DRN will inform action that considers all facets of prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery, including the health, safety, socioeconomics, equity, and environmental sustainability of communities.

 

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN DRIP) Implementation Project

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN DRIP) was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007. The Declaration is the most comprehensive global statement addressing the human rights of indigenous peoples. It establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity, and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world and it elaborates on existing human rights standards and fundamental freedoms as they apply to the specific situation of indigenous peoples. It emphasizes the rights of indigenous peoples to live in dignity, to maintain and strengthen their own institutions, cultures, and traditions, and to pursue their self-determined development, in keeping with their own needs and aspirations.

The Implementation Project (TIP) aims to raise awareness of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to provide information and support for implementation efforts in Indian Country.

In 2022, Capps Center Director and Professor of Religious Studies Greg Johnson co-organized a series of workshops in Hawai'i. TIP and the Capps Center held discussions with Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners, leaders, experts, attorneys, and advocates about using the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration) to protect their peoples and communities. The sessions explored ways the Declaration can support the protection of sacred places, language revitalization, food sovereignty, and cultural rights among Native Hawaiian communities. After the discussions, TIP will collaborate with Professor Johnson and other partners to create a publication about Hawai’i and the Declaration. Professor Johnson studies the intersection of law and religion in Hawaii, and has participated in TIP-related events and publications. 

 

Repatriation at UCSB and Beyond

In step with Walter Capps’ interest in Native American communities and human rights, the Capps Center is actively focusing on repatriation work through its programming as well as direct involvement with the campus and community on this important issue. We are eager to continue engaging Chumash and other Native nations in the effort to facilitate the timely return of their ancestors.

Capps Center director Greg Johnson currently serves on the UCSB repatriation committee, which is charged with implementation of federal and state repatriation laws and UC system policy. The committee is one component of UCSB’s rejuvenated repatriation effort. To facilitate the committee’s work, the Capps Center hosted repatriation expert Edward Halealoha Ayau in October of 2021 to speak with the committee about best practices in dealing with Indigenous communities in repatriation consultations.

In addition to its campus-oriented work, the Capps Center has organized two panel discussions about repatriation in recent years. The first, which was convened in the Winter Quarter of 2021, focused on repatriation as a human right. The second, convened in the Winter Quarter of 2022, addressed the complexities of international repatriation. Recordings of both events can be found on our video page.

We will continue to support repatriation efforts and related programming. Check back here for updates on our repatriation-related work.