Saturday, December 11, 2010

An Unseemly Tradition

Last month, in the runup to COP 16, the National Congress of American Indians called upon the US State Department and the UN to create a new category of Indigenous Nation Governmental Representative so US Tribal Nations will have a right to participate as governmental representatives in UN activities such as the Framework Convention on Climate Change and Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. While it is obvious that excluding indigenous governments from international conferences is anti-democratic, anti-indigenous states like the US still absurdly demand that tribal governments be treated as non-governmental organizations.

Coming from the United States, such nonsense is at least consistent with its current position as the only country in the world to officially oppose the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. What many may not understand is that the United States, despite playing host to the original UN gathering, has from the outset opposed the establishment of human rights in international law. Fighting their extension to indigenous peoples is merely carrying on an unseemly tradition.

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