CNC: State Department holds consultation on indigenous rights
"Back in 2007, the United States was one of just four countries that voted against the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. That move disappointed a lot of Native Americans – those who think the declaration would bolster their rights to self determination, and that it could help efforts to protect Indian culture, language, land and other resources. In response to pressure from a number of tribes, the Obama administration has decided to take another look at that declaration.

Caleen Sisk-Franco is Chief of California’s Winnemen Wintu tribe.

SISK-FRANCO - “The U.N. Declaration of Indigenous People’s Rights is very important to us because at this current time, we don’t really have any rights… this declaration covers issues that fall off the radar of all the government.”

During a meeting last week with tribal leaders at the National Museum of the American Indian, White House official Jodi Gillette said all government agencies will scrutinize the declaration. However she cautioned against seeing the declaration as any sort of panacea. John Kane -- a Mohawk -- says the declaration won’t solve all Indian sovereignty problems. But he thinks it would help address some of the Challenges the posed by federal recognition of some tribes, and not others.

KANE - “It’s a little hard to talk about government-to-government relations when the Bureau of Indian Affairs is going to dictate who is and who isn’t a government.”

U.S. State Department attorney Kathy Milton says there’s no timeline to complete the review of the U.N. declaration."

Get the Story:
American Indians and UN Indigenous Peoples Principles (Capitol News Connection 7/11)

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