Sunday, January 06, 2008

Expert mechanism adds implementation clout to UN declaration

Posted: January 04, 2008
by: Gale Courey Toensing / Indian Country Today

GENEVA - The adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the U.N. General Assembly last September was hailed as a historic political and moral victory for the world's 370 million indigenous peoples. Now that victory will be backed up with some practical clout to implement the declaration's principles of self-government, protection of cultural identities and control over traditional lands and territories.

On Dec. 13, the U.N. Human Rights Council adopted by consensus a resolution to establish the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The expert mechanism will report directly to the council as a subsidiary body that will ''assist the Human Rights Council in the implementation of its mandate.'' The body will consist of five independent experts selected according to U.N. criteria.

The resolution creating the expert mechanism ''strongly recommends'' the inclusion of indigenous experts. Members of the group will provide thematic expertise and make proposals and recommendations directly to the council regarding the rights of indigenous peoples.

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Draft Reso;ution is at

Lakotah Unilateral Withdrawal from All Agreements and Treaties with the United States of America

Press conference - December 17, 2007

We as the freedom loving Lakotah People are the predecessor sovereign of Dakota Territory as evidenced by the Treaties with the United States Government, including, but not limited to, the Treaty of 1851 and the Treaty of 1868 at Fort Laramie. Lakotah, formally and unilaterally withdraws from all agreements and treaties imposed by the United States Government on the Lakotah People. Lakotah , and the population therein, have waited for at least 155 years for the United States of America to adhere to the provisions of the above referenced treaties. The continuing violations of these treaties’ terms have resulted in the near annihilation of our people physically, spiritually, and culturally. Lakotah rejects United States Termination By Appropriation policy from 1871 to the present. In addition, the evidence of gross violations of the above referenced treaties are listed herein. Lakotah encourages the United States of America, through its Government ,to enter into dialogue with Lakotah regarding the boundaries, the land and the resources therein.

Even though we are citizens of the United States of America, we are denied protections of the United States Constitution while living on Indian reservations, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. The operation of the United States in the nefarious ways outlined above are a violation, not only of the sovereignty and independence of Lakotah, not only of the solemn treaty signed between the U.S. and Lakotah, but it is a violation of the fundamental law of the United States itself. Article Six of the United States Constitution explicitly states that treaties signed by the United States are the supreme law of the land, and must be respected by every court and by every lawmaker, as such.

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