Wednesday, July 30, 2014

International Indian Treaty Council

International Indian Treaty Council

Declaration of Continuing Independence (1974)

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Aboriginal bones are being returned to Australia. Where and when will they be reburied?

From The Guardian,
Paul Daley
The Guardian, Friday 13 June 2014:

The bone collectors: a brutal chapter in Australia's past
The remains of hundreds of Aboriginal people, dug up from sacred ground and once displayed in museums all over the world, are now stored in a Canberra warehouse. When will they be given a national resting place?
According to national museum records, in recent decades Indigenous remains have been repatriated to the museum from cultural institutions, including museums, educational facilities, medical schools and private collections in Britain, the United States, Sweden and Austria. Other remains from collections in Berlin, at Washington's Smithsonian Museum, Oxford University and London's Natural History Museum have been repatriated directly to Australian Indigenous communities. The federal government, through the Ministry for the Arts, supports the national museum's Indigenous repatriation programme. Other Australian state and territory institutions also hold significant collections of Indigenous remains and sacred artefacts. All have programmes to return them to country. The government estimates that the remains of as many as 900 Indigenous Australians are still held in institutions in the UK, Germany, France, the US and elsewhere.

Continued here:

Full article here:

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples [CANADA], James Anaya

Citation: A/HRC/27/52/Add.2

Human Rights Council 
Twenty-seventh session 
Agenda item 3 
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, 
political, economic, social and cultural rights, 
including the right to development

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya


The situation of indigenous peoples in Canada*


In this report, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples examines the human rights situation of indigenous peoples in Canada based on research and information gathered from various sources, including during a visit to Canada from 7 to 15 October 2013. The visit was a follow up to the 2004 visit to and report on Canada by the previous Special Rapporteur (E/CN.4/2005/88/Add.3). During his visit, the Special Rapporteur met with government officials at the federal and provincial levels in six provinces.

Canada’s relationship with the indigenous peoples within its borders is governed by a well-developed legal framework a number of policy initiaties that in many respects are protective of indigenous peoples’ rights. But despite positive steps, daunting challenges remain. The numerous initiatives that have been taken at the federal and provincial/territorial levels to address the problems faced by indigenous peoples have been insufficient. The well-being gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people in Canada has not narrowed over the last several years, treaty and aboriginals claims remain persistently unresolved, indigenous women and girls remain vulnerable to abuse, and overall there appear to be high levels of distrust among indigenous peoples toward government at both the federal and provincial levels.


Indigenous peoples’ concerns merit higher priority at all levels and within all branches of Government, and across all departments. Concerted measures, based on mutual understanding and real partnership with aboriginal peoples, through their own representative institutions, are vital to establishing long-term solutions. To that end, it is necessary for Canada to arrive at a common understanding with indigenous peoples of objectives and goals that are based on full respect for their constitutional, treaty, and internationally-recognized rights.

* The summary of the present report is circulated in all official languages. The report itself, which is annexed to the summary, is circulated in the language of submission only.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Apology to Native Peoples of the United States

From Text of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010 H.R. 3326 (111th Cong., 9 Dec 2009).

This bill was enacted after being signed by the President on December 19, 2009. The text of the bill below is as of Aug 24, 2010 (Passed Congress/Enrolled Bill).

Apology to Native Peoples of the United States

Sec. 8113.

(a)Acknowledgment and apology

The United States, acting through Congress—

(1)recognizes the special legal and political relationship Indian tribes have with the United States and the solemn covenant with the land we share;

(2)commends and honors Native Peoples for the thousands of years that they have stewarded and protected this land;

(3)recognizes that there have been years of official depredations, ill-conceived policies, and the breaking of covenants by the Federal Government regarding Indian tribes;

(4)apologizes on behalf of the people of the United States to all Native Peoples for the many instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect inflicted on Native Peoples by citizens of the United States;

(5)expresses its regret for the ramifications of former wrongs and its commitment to build on the positive relationships of the past and present to move toward a brighter future where all the people of this land live reconciled as brothers and sisters, and harmoniously steward and protect this land together;

(6)urges the President to acknowledge the wrongs of the United States against Indian tribes in the history of the United States in order to bring healing to this land; and

(7)commends the State governments that have begun reconciliation efforts with recognized Indian tribes located in their boundaries and encourages all State governments similarly to work toward reconciling relationships with Indian tribes within their boundaries.


Nothing in this section—

(1)authorizes or supports any claim against the United States; or

(2)serves as a settlement of any claim against the United States.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Free Download: Restoring Indigenous Self-Determination

E-INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MAY 3 2014 Series Editor: Marc Woons
Restoring Indigenous Self Determination E-IRIndigenous peoples find themselves locked in power struggles with dominant states and transnational actors who resist their claims to land, culture, political recognition and other key factors associated with the idea of self-determination. In 2007, the importance of Indigenous self-determination alongside that of nation-states was significantly enhanced when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of Indigenous Peoples – suggesting that an important attitudinal shift might now be taking place internationally. This volume’s contributors suggest that much more work is needed in terms of, on the one hand, what Indigenous self-determination means in theory and, on the other hand, how it is to be achieved in practice. Click here(pdf) to download.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Global Gender Gap Report and International Women's Day

March 8th was International Women's Day.

According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2013, the top 10 countries for women are these:

Top countries
  • 1. Iceland
  • 2. Finland
  • 3. Norway
  • 4. Sweden
  • 5. Philippines
  • 6. Ireland
  • 7. New Zealand
  • 8. Denmark
  • 9. Switzerland
  • 10. Nicaragua

Great Britain was 18th and the United States was 23rd. No member of the G20 countries were in the top 10.

The BBC has a good overview of the report here: Women Gain as Gender gap 'Narrows'

Monday, October 21, 2013

International Council on Mining and Metals' Indigenous Peoples and Mining Position Statement

In May 2013 the ICMM issued its Indigenous Peoples and Mining Position Statement extending Free Prior and Informed Consent to its member companies. See Emily Greenspan's brief article at Oxfam America for comment on the Position Statement.

Migration Flows Raise the Question: Who are the Indigenous Peoples of Russia?

Who are Indigenous Peoples? This question has several answers and causes a number of problems in domestic and international law. This brief article from Estonian World Review gives one view from the Russian perspective.

Migration Flows Raise the Question: Who are the Indigenous Peoples of Russia? Arvamus 21 Mar 2013 Paul Goble EWR

Staunton, March 21 – Sergey Sokolovsky, a senior scholar at the Moscow Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, notes that the concept of “indigenous peoples” however strange it may seem entered into Russian anthropological discourse relatively recently and arose first in the sphere of law and administration.

Sokolovsky, who edits “Etnograficheskoye obozreniye,” says that “when we speak about statuses connected with the particular features of culture and language of communities … as indigenous peoples or national minorities, we inevitably land in [a complicated] inter-disciplinary situation,” where law, “powerful political influence, and everyday understandings” about indigenousness intersect

“How are indigenous peoples distinguished from others?” the ethnographer asks. What does this term refer to? Is it just an updating of the now outdated Russian term “tuzemnost’” and what do suggested replacements like “autochthonian, aboriginal, or indigenous” add or contribute to our understanding?

Continued at

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

The United Nations' Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples


The Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) was established by the Human Rights Council, the UN’s main human rights body, in 2007 under Resolution 6/36 as a subsidiary body of the Council.


The Expert Mechanism provides the Human Rights Council with thematic advice, in the form of studies and research, on the rights of Indigenous peoples as directed by the Council. The Expert Mechanism may also suggest proposals to the Council for its consideration and approval.

Continued here:

A video on the Expert Mechanism is here:

Saturday, August 24, 2013

UNHCHR on Treaty Obligations to Indigenous People

UN rights chief Navi Pillay urges States to do more to respect treaties with indigenous peoples

GENEVA (07 August 2013) –States need to do more to honour and strengthen their treaties with indigenous peoples, no matter how long ago they were signed, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay has said in a statement to mark International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on 9 August.

“Even when signed or otherwise agreed more than a century ago, many treaties remain the cornerstone for the protection of the identity, land and customs of indigenous peoples, determining the relationship they have with the State. They are thus of major significance to human rights today,” she said.

Treaties often marked a decisive step in ending a period of conflict, exploitation and expropriation, the High Commissioner noted.

“The honouring of treaties has in many cases been described as a sacred undertaking requiring good faith by each party for their proper enforcement. Yet too often indigenous communities are obliged to go to the courts to force States to live up to their promises,” she added.

Continued here