Posted by on Mar 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

UN Special Rapporteur to visit Rosebud Reservation

By Evelyn Red Lodge

MISSION, South Dakota – Sinte Gleska University will host an official consultation on the United Nations Rights of Indigenous Peoples Declaration on May 1-2.

According to www.ohchr.org, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights explained, “Indigenous peoples across the world experience the consequences of historical colonization and invasion of their territories, and face discrimination because of their distinct cultures, identities and ways of life.”

The First Peoples Human Rights Coalition reports James Anaya who is the Special Rapporteur for this declaration will address several issues concerning:

1)      “Treaties, land and resource rights

2)      Cultural Rights, language and protection of Sacred Sites

3)      Self-determination and self-government

4)      Food Sovereignty and environmental protection

5)      Education and health; social and economic rights

6)      Indian Child Welfare and removal of Indian Children from communities and families.”

Tribal representatives of government, organizations, colleges, treaty councils, and communities along with concerned Indigenous Peoples of all Nations are invited to attend and to make oral submissions as time allows.

Registration for oral submissions can be done by emailing shawn.bordeaux@sintegleska.edu and onsite registration will take place on May 1.

Those wishing to submit written testimony can email indigenous@ohchr.org and can view guidance on how to do so by visiting: http://unsr.jamesanaya.org/comm/submitting-information-to-the-special-rapporteur.

FPHRC further explained, “The Special Rapporteur, through meetings and consultations with federal, state and Indigenous government, and representatives, will assess ways in which the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the rights it affirms are currently reflected in U.S. law and policy, domestically, and internationally.

He will identify areas of needed reform in light of the declaration which contains the internationally recognized “minimum standards for the dignity, survival and well-being of the Indigenous Peoples around the world.”

Following the visit, the Special Rapporteur will prepare a report containing his observations which will be made public and presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council.”

In December of 2010, Valerie Richardson wrote for The Washington Times: “President Obama announced that the U.S. would reverse the position of the Bush administration and become the last nation to drop its opposition to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

She added, “The nonbinding declaration recognizes the rights of indigenous peoples to self-determination, as well as their institutions, cultures and traditions, and prohibits discrimination against them. When the document was introduced in 2007, 143 countries voted to approve it, 11 abstained, and four – the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Australia – voted to oppose it.”

Since then, the other three nations have switched their votes in support of the declaration, leaving the U.S. as the “lone holdout” until now.

More information and updates on Anaya’s visit to the Sicangu Lakota Nation can be found at www.unsur.jamesanaya.org.
No agenda was available at presstime.
SGU is located at 101 Antelope Lake Circle in Mission.

(Contact Evelyn Red Lodge at welakota@yahoo.com)