Indigenous Notes, Issue 3 2011
|President’s Message: Critical Next Steps for Implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples|
When President Barack Obama announced U.S. support for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on December 16, 2010, he did something that no other leader has done — he promised action. There are many things that Native leaders and advocates can do now to begin moving the implementation of the Declaration forward. We could, for example, ask the President to act on his word by issuing an Executive Order directing his administrative agencies to implement the Declaration. (More…)
|Safe Women/Strong Nations Project Updates|
International Commission Holds Historic Hearing on Violence Against Native Women in the U.S.
Creating awareness about the epidemic of violence against Native women in the United States is an important step toward better protecting Native women and breaking the cycles of violence. The Center recently launched these short videos to help raise the profile of this human rights crisis. In just two weeks, more than 14,000 people have watched the videos. We hope you, too, will take a look and help us spread the word. Forward, re-post, or tweet the links to the videos to others.
Also, please be sure to visit our new “Take Action” web page to learn what else you can do to help reduce violence against Native women.
SAVE Native Women Act
Last month, Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii) introduced the Stand Against Violence and Empower Native Women (SAVE Native Women) Act. The bill, S. 1763, would provide participating tribes with jurisdiction over non-Indians who commit certain crimes against Native women in Indian Country, improve the Native programs under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and improve data gathering programs to better understand and respond to sex trafficking of Native women. Senator Parick Leahy (D-VT) is expected to introduce a VAWA reauthorization bill before the end of the year, and supporters of the SAVE Native Women Act hope to see the life-saving provisions of S. 1763 reflected in VAWA’s reauthorization. To learn more about the SAVE Native Women Act, watch or read a summary of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs’ legislative hearing held on November 10. (More…)
|Update: Significant Strides Made in Protecting Rapa Nui Rights|
It was about a year ago that we began sharing with you the struggle of the Rapa Nui Nation, and their battle to recover ancestral lands and regain self-government over clan issues. With the help of generous donations, in August 2011, the Center was able to send a team of lawyers to Rapa Nui to meet Rapa Nui leaders and discuss how international law standards developed to protect indigenous peoples can be used to protect the Rapa Nui Nation’s human rights. Center attorneys Robert T. Coulter and Leonardo Crippa led a series of meetings and dialogues about indigenous peoples land rights and right of self-determination. The full recognition of these rights, among others, is critical for the survival of the Rapa Nui as a distinct people. (More…)
|World Bank Program Threatens Indigenous Communities|
The World Bank is proposing a new loan program that would do away with critical safeguards that protect indigenous peoples and their lands and resources. “Program for Results” (P4R) is going forward with no consultation with indigenous peoples. It is critical that indigenous peoples and advocates make their concerns known to Bank and national government officials before any vote takes place. (More…)
|Support the Indian Law Resource Center|
We have much to celebrate as 2011 comes to a close, thanks to the support of friends like you. This year, we helped secure a landmark ruling from Guatemala’s highest court for the Maya Q’eqchi’ people of Agua Caliente, and we began a program to build the capacity of Native leaders and advocates to begin implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the United States. We have contributed to securing peace for members of the Rapa Nui Nation who faced violent evictions by the Chilean government, and we are beginning to see tangible results of our work to build awareness about the human rights crisis of violence against Native women.
As you prepare to welcome the New Year, we hope you will consider making a gift to support the life-changing work of the Indian Law Resource Center.
With the end of this tax year rapidly approaching, this is a great time to make a tax-deductible investment in justice for indigenous peoples.
|In the News|
Landmark court decision to aid Native women facing domestic violence
Call On The World Bank to Respect Indigenous Peoples, Before It’s Too Late!