Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
From The Guardian,
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.
Full article here: http://meanjin.com.au/articles/post/restless-indigenous-remains/
Sunday, June 29, 2014
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
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).
(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
Sunday, March 23, 2014
March 8th was International Women's Day.
According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2013, the top 10 countries for women are these:
- 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
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? 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 postnauka.ru/faq/10578.
“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?
Wednesday, October 09, 2013
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.
A video on the Expert Mechanism is here: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IPeoples/EMRIP/Pages/Video.aspx
Saturday, August 24, 2013
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.Continued here http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=13610&LangID=E
“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.