White Face: Indigenous rights and the United Nations

"An open letter to the ambassadors of the United Nations.

Thank you for not approving the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that was sent to you from the U.N. Human Rights Council. That declaration would have hurt indigenous peoples across the world. However, the issues will continue to rise, and there is another option.

Representatives from the Tetuwan Oyate and the Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council have participated in the work of drafting and debating the declaration for more than 22 years. We are an indigenous nation in the middle of the North American continent. Our representatives have participated in the original drafting of the declaration since 1984.

When the original declaration was approved by the U.N. Working Group on Indigenous Populations, and then the U.N. sub-commission on Human Rights in 1994 with the consensus of indigenous peoples, we were hopeful that someday we would truly have our own human rights. However, we were dismayed and appalled when the Working Group chairman's text was approved by the new Human Rights Council on June 29, 2006. We are wondering how a body of the U.N. would bypass the recommendations from their own committees when a decade of work had already gone into the approval by those committees in the 1994 of the original sub-commission text."

Get the Story:
Charmaine White Face: U.N. should adopt original declaration (The Rapid City Journal 12/16)

Relevant Links:
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues - http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/pfii

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