UNITED STATES ACTION ALERT: Encourage the Government of the United States of America to Sign the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

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CPTnet
11 December 2010
UNITED STATES ACTION ALERT: Encourage the Government of the United
States of America to Sign the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples

 

“We
owe a very great debt of gratitude to those who remember the old ways to live
and honor the earth.  And yet, we have
ignored them, oppressed them, and even stripped them of the land that is their
life.  The United Nations Declaration on
the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is an important step toward protecting these
vulnerable members of our human family, of giving them the dignity and the
respect that they so richly deserve.” Archbishop
Desmond Tutu

 

Support
the Rights of Indigenous People – An Appeal to the President of the United
States.

The Aboriginal Justice Team
of Christian Peacemaker Teams has participated in the initiative to encourage
the governments of Canada and the United States to endorse the United Nations
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

On 12 November 2010, Canada finally endorsed the UN
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  Canada was one of four countries that
initially voted against the Declaration when it was adopted by the UN General
Assembly on 13 September 2007.  Since
then, Australia, New Zealand, and now Canada, have all reversed their positions
and officially support the Declaration.  The only country that has not acknowledged the
Declaration is the United States.  The
Declaration is the result of more than twenty years of discussions and
negotiations, making it one of the most carefully designed instruments to support
human rights on an international level.

According to Amnesty International, “The Declaration does
not create new or special rights.  Instead, the Declaration provides urgently
needed guidance in applying existing international human rights standards to
the specific circumstances and needs of Indigenous peoples.”

The call for the government of the United States to
endorse the Declaration does not require that it change its constitution or
laws, but it would say a lot about the commitment of the government to
Indigenous Peoples and the relations that they want to build.  While people and institutions in the United
States can start to put in practice the Declaration on their own initiative, it
would make a big difference if they know that they have the support of the
people and institutions that are representing them.

We invite you to stand for the rights of Indigenous
Peoples by signing on to the campaign headed by Amnesty International Support
the Rights of Indigenous People – An Appeal to the President of the United
States.


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