Steven Newcomb: Indigenous conference yields power to states

Steven Newcomb of the Indigenous Law Institute. Photo from Finding the Missing Link

Steven Newcomb explains the problems with the outcome document adopted during last week's World Conference on Indigenous Peoples:
The UN HLPM Outcome Document is premised upon a skilled misdirection. The text of the document directs attention away from a central fact: The subject matter of the document is peoples deemed to exist under the domination or dominance of states. How peoples called “indigenous,” through their exercise of self-determination, are to liberate themselves from the framework of state domination was not a focus of discussion during the UN High Level Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly.

Instead of providing an opportunity for a discussion of state domination over peoples called “indigenous,” everyone has been expected by state governments to accept the idea that peoples termed “Indigenous” are limited to “aspiring” to attain certain rights in the future, while continuing to exist under the domination of states. The UN Outcome Document was written on the basis of the assumption that peoples called “indigenous” will never exist free from state domination or dominance.

In the name of “implementing” the “ends” and supporting the “principles” of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, state governments have created and now adopted an Outcome Document which accepts at face value the underlying idea that states shall forever be dominant over nations and peoples termed “indigenous.”

As a result of skilled misdirection, the movement to the UN HLPM was a path of folly. Instead of questioning or challenging state dominance over our originally free nations and peoples, those who have been purporting to support the interests and views of Indigenous peoples have inadvertantly accepted state domination as a given. Without realizing it, they have been demanding “rights” under state domination.

Get the Story:
Steven Newcomb: State Magic in the Outcome Document of the UN HLPM (Indian County Today 9/29)

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