Indigenous Notes, 2011 Issue 1
|Moving UNDRIP Forward|
In the span of less than two years, the four countries which had voted against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples — Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States — all changed their positions. Indigenous peoples’ leaders in those countries must be commended for their diplomatic efforts. Here in the United States, the White House received more than 3,000 letters in support of the Declaration, with several Indian and Alaskan Native Nations officially supporting an endorsement by the United States.
The United States endorsement of the Declaration, on December 16 of last year was cause for celebration. With his announcement of support for the Declaration, President Obama emphasized that the endorsement wouldn’t be an empty gesture, but that the administration will take actions in line with the Declaration. (MORE…)
|International Community Steps In To Stop Violence Against the Rapa Nui Nation|
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Escalating violence between the Rapa Nui indigenous communities and the Chilean government on Rapa Nui Island, also known as “Easter Island,” has led to action by an international human rights body.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has granted precautionary measures to immediately stop the violent use of armed forces against the Rapa Nui clans and to begin an investigation on recent events. The precautionary measures were requested by the Indian Law Resource Center on behalf of the Rapa Nui Nation. (MORE…)
On February 7, 2011, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights granted Precautionary Measures for the Rapa Nui Nation on Rapa Nui Island (also known as “Easter Island”). This article provides some background information on the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Commission) and precautionary measures granted by the Commission. (MORE…)
|Guatemala Court Makes Landmark Decision|
Washington, D.C.— The highest court in Guatemala has made a precedent setting decision in favor of the community of Agua Caliente, a small Maya Q’eqchi’ indigenous community of 385 people in El Estor, in the country’s Izabal province. The community has been fighting for formal recognition of its land rights and for justice against plans to mine nickel on the community’s lands. On February 8th, 2011, the Constitutional Court of Guatemala issued a decision that recognizes the community’s collective property rights to its lands, and ordered the government to take the necessary measures for issuing a land title to the community. The decision is the first of its kind in the country. (MORE…)
|UN Expert Investigates Violence Against Women|
CHEROKEE, N.C.— At 64 years-old, Matilda Black Bear, better known as Tillie, refers to herself as a “classic case” in regards to her story of domestic violence. She was 26 years old when she entered into a relationship that turned violent. She knew after the first week that she had to get out, but it took her three years to leave.
“In the ’70s there were no services for victims, let alone any laws to hold perpetrators accountable,” recalls Tillie. “I went to the police and to the judges and they didn’t know what to do with me.”
According to U.S. Department of Justice Statistics, not much has changed in nearly 40 years. Tillie’s story is shared by thousands of Native women in the United States. One out of three Native women will be raped in her lifetime, and three out of four will be physically assaulted. (MORE…)
by Terri Henry
CHEROKEE, N.C.— It was with great honor that my nation, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, hosted the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Ms. Rashida Manjoo. Her visit to Cherokee was spurred by the concern that American Indian and Alaska Native women are victimized at more than double the rate of violence of any other population of women in the United States. Fortunately, there is a growing global awareness of the voices of Native women calling for safety and justice. (MORE…)
|OAS: Indigenous Leaders Work to Protect Economic, Cultural, and Political Rights|
Indigenous leaders from 25 countries met in Washington D.C. in January 2011 seeking consensus on a proposed legal framework to protect economic, cultural and political rights of indigenous peoples of the Americas.
This was the 13th meeting of the Working Group hosted by the Organization of American States (OAS) to negotiate an American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that can be supported by OAS-member countries and indigenous peoples. The working group is comprised of all OAS-member countries and indigenous representatives from throughout the Americas. Center staff participated in the sessions and were on hand to provide legal advice to the Indigenous Peoples Caucus and the Working Group. Following three days of extensive negotiations, consensus was reached on three of the articles of the draft Declaration. Significant progress was made in approving paragraphs of various articles. Participants agreed to continue the dialogue and hope to meet again in 2011. (MORE…)
|Meet Armstrong Wiggins|
|Support the Indian Law Resource Center|
Jon Roush, an environmental consultant in Portland, Oregon, is a long-time supporter of the Indian Law Resource Center. He believes in the Center’s work to protect the environment and the rights of indigenous people around the world. Jon and his wife, Joyce Chinn, have included the Center in their estate plans.
“We’ve had the good fortune to be involved with the Indian Law Resource Center for almost 20 years. Our first contact was professional. We helped the Center work with conservation organization to protect traditional Seminole ceremonial ground in Florida. Since then we have seen the Center from many perspectives in its work for indigenous rights. We especially admire its ability to focus on the most important issues and stay with them for years. The Center is special for its passion, integrity and the quality of its work. It gets results. We are confident that by including it in our wills, we have found a secure place where our contribution will continue to meet important needs that no one else is serving.”Since 1991, Jon and Joyce have been associated with Indian Law Resource Center through their conservation careers. Jon has been a dedicated Board Member for the Center since 1997.
For more information about how to include the Center in your estate plans, please contact our Development Office at (406) 449.2006 ext. 104. Examples and bequest language may be found here: http://www.indianlaw.org/node/463.