The Rights of Indigenous Peoples in International Law: An Annotated Bibliography


97 pages
ISBN 0-88880-163-7





Reviewed by Sam Coghlan

Sam Coghlan was Deputy Director and Senior Consultant of the Thames Ontario Library Service Board, Southwestern Ontario.


Any bibliography (or a reference work of any sort) that contains a sentence like the one in the Preface of this work deserves the benefit of the doubt. The authors modestly and ambitiously state that the “present bibliography is by no means exhaustive and the authors welcome any suggestions and additions to be used in future supplements.”

The book’s title is accurately descriptive: the articles and publications annotated within it deal with international law issues related to indigenous people in various countries, including especially Australia, Canada, and the United States. The annotations provide clear, concise descriptions with a refreshing touch of subjective assessment. However, the hint is strong that when the authors refer to an “interesting parallel” or “well-researched article,” they are describing works that present perspectives similar to their own.

Some suggestions ought to be considered by the authors to enhance the usefulness of future supplements. The subject headings used are quite broad. Access to relevant articles would be assisted if more precise headings were used as well as cross references. The assignment of subject headings might also be more carefully done. The special issue of a newsletter devoted to the “Study of the Problem of Discrimination against Indigenous Populations” is not indexed under “Discrimination.” Instead, it is an actual sub-heading under “United Nations — Organs” and has several entries listed beneath it. No cross reference is provided to, or under, the heading “Discrimination.” Discrepancies such as these are not endemic and need not interfere with the book’s utility.

A table of contents listing the subject headings would be useful, as would the inclusion of the assigned subject headings in each annotation. Also, the book’s layout presents the reader with a rather formidable-looking ocean of black type. Readability would be improved if titles of entries were somehow made more distinctive. The bibliography is a useful publication for persons concerned with native rights and/or international law. The supplements may make it even more useful.


Roy, Bernadette Kelly, and Dallas K. Miller, “The Rights of Indigenous Peoples in International Law: An Annotated Bibliography,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 21, 2024,