Jodi Rave: Indigenous rights declaration up for vote

Update: The Declaration was adopted by a vote of 143 to 4, with 11 abstensions. The U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Australia voted no.

"The United Nations General Assembly is prepared to vote Thursday on a declaration that would support the human rights of indigenous people - a document more than two decades in the making.

But key nations, including the United States, are poised to put up a fight.

If passed, the declaration supports the right of indigenous people to protect their land, resources, languages, economic development, education, rights to self-determination, hunting, fishing and sacred sites.

On Wednesday, people from around the world bustled about the halls of the United Nations, providing a backdrop for the upcoming vote on the declaration, which has been deliberated and debated for more than 20 years.

The U.N. Human Rights Council adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in June 2006.

It was expected to go before the General Assembly of 192 countries in May, but was delayed when African nations asked for more time for deliberation.

The African countries are now proposing 34 amendments that would weaken key parts of the declaration, according to groups that support the document.

And the declaration itself faces opposition from countries with significant indigenous representation, including the United States."

Get the Story:
U.N. prepared to vote on indigenous rights declaration (The Missoulian 9/13)

Relevant Links:
UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples -