Saturday, September 15, 2007

Indigenous: Struggle for rights is just beginning

Indigenous say United States offers little hope
By Brenda Norrell
Human Rights Editor
U.N. OBSERVER & International Report

Indigenous Peoples around the world are celebrating the United Nations' adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Still, Indigenous are outraged that four of the countries with the largest Indigenous populations voted against it: Canada, United States, Australia and New Zealand.
While there is a loud outpouring of outrage coming from Canada, people in the United States have been quiet about the U.S. vote of 'No' to Indigenous rights.
Why the lack of outrage in the US?
Patricia from Canada writes that there is little hope in America.
"There is a lack of outrage in the United States, however what happened was wh
at was going to happen from day one. The US quit supporting or honouring any good-will gestures a long time ago. The people didn’t expect it, therefore they are not disappointed it didn’t happen.
However, there is also a lack of avenues to express it; there is a lack of attention from the settler people, despite 40 years since 'Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee' or 'Touch the Earth' came out; there is a lack of a single voice speaking for The People there.
There is little hope and less expectation of the indigenous having any avenue of respect, any sense of value among the majority of people and any recourse to anything the US has done or will do to them or anyone else.
I believe that while ‘merika' is willing to support a war such as that in Iraq, the people there can hope for very very little. And I believe they know it."
--Please scroll down for the latest from Canada and Venezuela, and the words of victory and celebration from Indigenous warriors from around the world who struggled for decades for passage of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
--Photo: Tohono O'odham Angie Ramon, whose son Bennett Patricio, Jr., 18, was ran over and killed by the Border Patrol, in the crowd after the Alcatraz Sunrise Ceremony in Nov. 2006. The occupation of Alcatraz ignited a new era of Indian rights in the United States in 1969. Photo from Alcatraz in 1960s.

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