An OpEd published in "Indian Country Today"
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Articles by Center Staff
Environmental Impact Assessment and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Published in the American University International Law Review
Published by the Yale Journal of International Law. Winter 1993, Volume 18, Number 1
by Robert T. Coulter - The Declaration contains more than 15 articles spelling out and protecting many aspects of tribal self-government and jurisdiction. Tribes are studying these detailed provisions, making strategies, and deciding what elements of the Declaration to implement first. The Declaration is a very useful guide for what changes are necessary, but it will take a strong, national campaign by tribes to get serious, concrete changes made.
December 16, 2010
Today, the United States government at last officially endorsed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and joined the international community in recognizing that American Indians and other indigenous peoples have a permanent right to exist as peoples, nations, cultures, and societies.
On Wednesday, December 2, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held an oversight hearing: “Tribal Law and Order Act – 5 Years Later: How have the justice systems in Indian Country improved?”
by Karla E. General* - The Declaration recognizes and affirms the rights of indigenous peoples to their cultural, religious, and spiritual practices, to have private access to sacred sites, as well as to maintain and strengthen their spiritual relationship with their traditionally held lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources.
by Jana Walker - Despite some strides in addressing violence against Native women, there is no doubt United States law falls far short of even the minimum human rights standards set forth in the UN Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples. Considering the United States’ trust responsibility to Indian nations, coupled with the standards in the Declaration, it is imperative that the U.S. act now to end the epidemic of violence against Native women.
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.
For the first time, the United States will participate in a Universal Periodic Report before the UN Human Rights Council. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process to review the human rights records of all 192 UN member-states every four years. Its ultimate goal is to improve human rights conditions in every country and it is designed to prompt, support, and expand the promotion and protection of human rights on the ground.
A few Indian nations have achieved great wealth as a result of gaming enterprises, creating the impression that casinos can be a magic bullet for fixing the economic and social ills of Native communities. But despite the success of a few Indian nations, Indians continue to rank at the bottom of every indicator of social and economic well-being in America.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is the private sector lending arm of the World Bank. It has some of the greatest impacts on indigenous communities around the world because it funds numerous multi-national companies and private actors. The IFC is reviewing its processes in regards to Sustainability Framework, including the Policy on Social and Environmental Sustainability, Performance Standards, and the Policy of Disclosure of Information.