Wednesday, December 10, 2014

International Human Rights Day: 10 December 2014

The UN General Assembly proclaimed 10 December as Human Rights Day in 1950, to bring to the attention ‘of the peoples of the world’ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.

This year’s slogan, Human Rights 365, encompasses the idea that every day is Human Rights Day. It celebrates the fundamental proposition in the Universal Declaration that each one of us, everywhere, at all times is entitled to the full range of human rights, that human rights belong equally to each of us and bind us together as a global community with the same ideals and values.

Stop the Apache Land Grab! Stop Rio Tinto!

If you are a US citizen consider signing the petition at We the People. Read the article at

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Foundation for Endangered Languages Conference held 17-20 September 2014

The Foundation for Endangered Languages supports, enables and assists the documentation, protection and promotion of endangered languages. This website describes our activities, and includes our newsletter Ogmios and details of our conferences.


FEL XVIII FEL XVIII, our recent conference, was on the theme: Indigenous Languages: Value to the Community. It took place at Naha, on the Ryukyuan island of Okinawa, 17-20 September 2014. See our FEL conference page and the Ryukyuan Heritage Language Society.

Our latest round of grants is now advertised on our Grants page.

Latest issue of Ogmios, the FEL newsletter

Web news and stories on Endangered Languages

First Report from Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples to General Assembly Print United Nations General Assembly Item 69 (b) of the provisional agenda Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms Pdf version: [En] [Sp] [Fr] [Ar] [Ru] [Ch]

Rights of indigenous peoples, including their economic, social and cultural rights in the post-2015 development framework Note by the Secretary-General

The Secretary-General has the honour to transmit to the General Assembly, in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 24/10, the report of the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

New book: Indigenous Peoples, Customary Law and Human Rights – Why Living Law Matters

At a time when the self-determination, land, resources and cultural heritage of Indigenous peoples are increasingly under threat, this accessible book presents the key issues for both legal and non-legal scholars, practitioners, students of human rights and environmental justice, and Indigenous peoples themselves.

Brendan Tobin, Indigenous Peoples, Customary Law and Human Rights – Why Living Law Matters

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A different view on the Canadian Human Rights Museum

From the Calgary Herald:
19 September 2014
Stephen Maher, Postmedia News

"Getting Harder to Ignore Canada's Genocide"

The (really good) hip hop trio A Tribe Called Red announced Friday that it won’t play a free concert to celebrate the opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg on Saturday night because the museum won’t acknowledge that aboriginals were the victims of genocide. “Until this is rectified, we’ll support the museum from a distance,” said the band.

It's getting harder to ignore Canada's genocide/10219357/story.html


Saturday, September 06, 2014

United Nations World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, 22-23 September 2014, New York

The UN has organized a World Conference on Indigenous Peoples to be held at UN Headquarters in New York City on 22-23 September of this year. Official details can be found at the above link.

A different perspective on the WCIP is found on the page from the Indigenous Global Coordinating Group site at

Various preparatory meetings have resulted in a revised Second Draft Outcome Statement [PDF].

A new site and Blog: Alternautas;

From the About page:
We believe that there exists a vast and valuable production of relevant and original thinking about such issues in Latin America, or Abya Yala,as its native population used to refer to it. However, it remains largely confined to regional boundaries due to language barriers. Alternautas emerges from a desire to bridge such barriers, by bringing Latin-American intellectual reflections on development to larger, English-speaking, audiences.

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'