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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Declaration of the Abya Yala Council, Ixim Uleu-Maya Territories [Guatemala]


DECLARATION
International Encounter of Original Nations and Indigenous Peoples of
Abya Yala
In Exercise of the Right of Self Determination

Ixim Uleu, Maya Territories [Guatemala]
 August 12, 2014 
Original Nations and Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala:

Terena of Brazil; Nahuizalco, Pushtan, Indigenous Communities of Texacuango and Central El Salvador; Izkaloteka, Zuni, O'otham, Xikano of Turtle Island, Abya Yala North; Yukatek Maya of Mexico and the Maya Pueblos articulated in the CPO: K'iche, Mam, Kaqchiqel, Ixil, Achi, Q'eqch'i, Akateka Poptí, Q'anjob 'al Chuj, Sakapulteco; having assembled in COUNCIL in the territories of Txeljub' - Quetzaltenango, Quiche Aj Q'umaraq, Iximche ' - Chimaltenango upon the occasion of the International Day of Indigenous Peoples, we affirm and record the following:


The Original Nations of our continent are clear that we are currently facing a fourth cycle of plunder under the guise of a false premise of economic development, where colonial governments and transnational corporations are robbing our territories without our consent by imposing projects including mining operations, hydroelectric plants, petroleum extraction, monoculture agribusinesses, and many more.
We note with great concern the humanitarian crisis that is being generated in the northern territories of Abya Yala, Turtle Island via the criminalization of migration across international borders of the states.  This crisis has been manufactured by political interests and colonial government states in order to divert attention away from the root causes of the Human Rights issues of colonialism that demand true reform as articulated by the migrant communities themselves.



Before this situation, we DECLARE:

In the exercise of the right of self-determination, self-government and sovereignty of our Original Nations as articulated in the framework of norms, treaties, national and international conventions, we as Original Nations are in the process of regeneration as Indigenous Peoples while we strengthening our mutual relationships at the continental level in order to put a halt to the false economic development schemes being imposed upon our territories without free, prior and informed consent.  Today, in the fertile soil of the Maya Nations, we plant the seed of the Council of the United Nations of the Original Nations of Abya Yala.

We denounce the lack of legitimacy of the representation of self-appointed indigenous peoples or those appointed by successive governments states who do not represent the legitimate demands of our peoples as in the case of the upcoming "World Conference on Indigenous Peoples" which is nothing more than a plenary assembly of the UN member states.  We demand that these governments instead comply with the relevant international covenants and treaties in full recognition, respect, and protection of the rights of Indigenous Peoples.  Likewise, we reject the representation of the Central American Indigenous Council (CICA) because they do not represent us as Indigenous Peoples, instead they represent the interests of successive national governments and oligarchies.  We demand an audit of the investment of the funds allocated to this institution on behalf of our Indigenous Peoples.

The mechanisms of Indigenous representation underwritten by the government states of North, Central and South America are illegal and illegitimate because they were not elected by our indigenous peoples or Original Nations according to our laws, so their opinions do not have our support and consent, such as the case of the Central American Indigenous Council (CICA).  As Indigenous Peoples we engaged are in the reconstitution of our original nationalities therefore we shall decide for ourselves the representation of our delegations as Original Nations.

We add our support and solidarity with the decision of the North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus (NAIPC) at the continental level of Abya Yala, Turtle Island and will not participate in the "World Conference of Indigenous Peoples" because this initiative does not represent the legitimate interests of our Indigenous Peoples and Original Nations, but the discriminatory and racist interests of the states and multi-national corporations.  We demand that the international community comply fully with the international conventions and treaties in recognition, respect, and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples.

We demand of the colonial government states of the Americas not to unjustly criminalize the humanitarian crisis that has led to the migration of our relatives north towards the USA.  The international borders of the colonial states are racist impositions of the illegal colonization of Abya Yala.  As Original Nations, we Indigenous Peoples are free to traverse through our ancestral territories as Indigenous Peoples and Nations.   We do not acknowledge or submit to the false international borders of the states that have been imposed by colonialism.

We welcome the fruit of the efforts of our relatives from El Salvador for achieving constitutional recognition for Indigenous Peoples and join with them in calling for the national government of the state and the present administration to ratify ILO Convention 169 and other conventions on Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

We condemn the policy of the government of Brazil of dismantling the constitutional rights of the Indigenous Peoples to impede the process of territorial demarcation, and the reopening of cases of demarcation already granted, in order to encourage private landowners and transnational mining companies and hydroelectric dams with the intent of imposing these projects on Indigenous Peoples' territories in violation of the right of free, prior and informed consent.

Finally we join the call from the V Continental Summit of Indigenous Peoples and Nationalities of Abya Yala in calling upon Pope Francis and the Vatican State to address the issues of violation of our Human Rights, particularly the right of Self-Determination of Indigenous Peoples, in order to institute collective corrective measures in rejection of the Doctrine of Discovery, since this doctrine continues to serve as a mantle of camouflage that upholds and immorally legitimizes the continuing colonization and neo-colonization of our Indigenous Peoples and the territories of our Original Nations.



Ixim Uleu, Maya Territories
[Guatemala]

 August 12, 2014


###

Saturday, August 2, 2014

UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review - USA


Office of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs

US Department of State

Universal Periodic Review Consultation with Civil Society

August 1, 2014


Human Rights Council

Universal Periodic Review
Report of the

Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review

United States of America

Statement by
Movimiento Macehualli
Los Comités de Defensa del Barrio
TONATIERRA

Good Greetings,

In addressing this call for consultation by the US State Department regarding hearings that the US government is obligated to conduct in order to uphold the standards of International Human Rights laws, policies and practices, we begin with a general comment:

As Indigenous Peoples who do not subscribe to US status as federally recognized tribes, we stand with the position of the Oglala Lakota Nation submitted to the 13th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (May 2014):


“The Oglala Lakota Nation further rejects the assertions of the United States government, as stated in its announcement that the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples calls for “a distinct international concept of self-determination specific to indigenous peoples.”  The Oglala Lakota Nation rejects the fabricated claim of the United States that the Declaration is intended “to promote the development of a concept of self-determination for indigenous peoples that is different from the existing right of self-determination in international law.”

Subsequently, while the US government accurately reports in their 2010 report to the UN Human Rights Council that by virtue of their status as sovereigns that pre-date the federal Union, as well as subsequent treaties, statutes, executive orders, and judicial decisions, Indian tribes are recognized as political entities with inherent powers of self government, we clarify now that the designation of “tribes” while consistent with US Federal Indian Law, does not that accurately describe the pre-existing sovereignties of the Nations of Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala [the Americas], nor our international and intercontinental Confederations that not only precede European American colonial governments, but still today continue to exercise our inherent Human Rights as Indigenous Peoples, in spite of US government policies and the imposition of international borders of the states.



Universal Periodic Review Recommendations

1. CIVIL RIGHTS, ETHNIC, AND RACIAL DISCRIMINATION

Statement: 
While the US government’s role in the defense of Civil Rights in the state of Arizona has been the focus of litigation in the case of AZ SB1070 specifically, and the subsequent appointment of a US federal marshal in the case of Melendres v. Arpaio, neither instance has identified the violations of Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples as migrant workers with their families as is articulated in Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, a subsidiary body of the UN system. Designation of categories of “racial profiling” identified for redress in both cases, excludes Indigenous Peoples and only provides relief for categories “Latinos” as litigants, a blatant act of systemic discrimination by the US domestic legal system in denial of the principles and standards of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 

8. THE ENVIRONMENT

Statement: 
Our inherent Human Rights as Nations of Indigenous Peoples are founded in the reality of our nationhood and collective responsibility as children of Mother Earth, and respect for the Territorial Integrity of Mother Earth.  The position of the US government on this issue of climate change, global warming and climate chaos is an unacceptable and flagrant denial of responsibility as a mass consumer society before the natural world and future generations which constitutes complicity in the crime of TERRACIDE.

10. TREATIES AND INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

Statement: 
As Indigenous Peoples, equal to all other peoples, our children must also be acknowledged, respected and protected as equals in Human Rights, most importantly the Right of Self Determination.  We call upon the US government to uphold the principles and standards articulated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and in full responsibility for the Human Rights of the Future Generations, we call for recognition of the Human Rights of the refugee children arriving at the US-Mexico border as refugees of the illegal colonization of Abya Yala [the Americas] beginning on October 12, 1492 with the Doctrine of Discovery and with complicity by subsequent US government administrations under the premise of the Monroe Doctrine (1823) by military intervention and trade polices that make the US government a responsible party for the extreme violence driving the mass migration of children, youth, and families from the Central American countries of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

In the same regard, in defense of the Human Rights of all children, we denounce the complicity of the US government in contracting with the government of the Zionist apartheid state of Israel to supply armaments being used at this moment to massacre the civilian population of Palestinians in Gaza, including an unbearable number of children as victims of state sponsored genocide.

###
August 1, 2014

UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review - USA 

Movimiento Macehualli

YouTube:

 STATEMENT

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Zero : DRAFT : Zero

 
Relatives,
  • Please confirm the observation that there is no mention (zero) of the Treaties, or the UN Treaty Study in this zero : draft.


"We call for the restitution of the primary source materials and testimony that was lent to the United Nations system as fundamental to the evidence in document form of the systemic (system to system) nature of the legal relationships between the Nations of Indigenous Peoples and the member states of the UN system for the purpose of the Treaty Study conducted by Dr. Miguel Alfonso Martinez of Cuba.

Such delivery, should be initial act of good faith in terms of the continuing process of systemic documentation among the Nations of Indigenous Peoples and the UN system prior to and as a necessary act of condition to allow for the full and effective participation of the Indigenous Peoples with the High Level Plenary Meeting on an equal basis and without systemic discrimination in the process of producing the Final Outcome Document of the High Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly 2014."


  • As this was the initial purpose of sending the Wounded Knee Chiefs to the UN in '73, this cannot be an acceptable outcome of not only the document to be authored by the President of the UNGA upon imposition of the UNHLPM 2014, but the sum of international work within the UN arena some 41 years later.  We are speaking of the recognition, establishment, and integration of the Treaties among our Nations of Indigenous Peoples, and with the government states of the UN system as fundamental to the protection of our collective rights in contemporary international law as Nations of Mother Earth, and not simply minorities or ethnic groups of the states.  While the standards of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples may be understood as the minimum threshold within the UN system for recognition of the rights of Indigenous Peoples, without the Treaty Status, namely International Personality of the Nations of Indigenous Peoples beyond the conceptual constraints (Westphalian system) of the UN as a system of global dominion, the minimum can not be the High Level.  Unless of course the intent is to constrain the further development of international law, which now since September 13, 2007 must integrate Indigenous Peoples as Equals.  As a mechanism of such constraint the UNHLPM 2014 is being engineered to deliver a procedural perfume to the translation of the UNDRIP into a minimum standard by states, not a legal obligation.  The result is the reduction at a global level of the right of nationhood of Indigenous Peoples into domesticated dependencies and not Nations in our own right.  An International Convention on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the next step in the process after the UN Declaration - is being surgically aborted by the UNHLPM 2014. This is not why the Chiefs of the Independent Oglala Nation were sent to the UN in  1973 from Wounded Knee.

“If we as Indigenous Peoples are equal to all other peoples, our treaties are also equal to all other treaties.”



“We also recommend that a systemic analysis of the history and causes of the colonization, domination and subordination of IP’s and our territories, be undertaken, and that additional studies be commissioned by the Permanent Forum on issues related to the use and impact of the racist Doctrine of Discovery that has allowed States to steal Indigenous territories and resources. We insist that the Doctrine of Discovery be repudiated as a matter of law and policy in the HLPM Outcomes Document.”




  • With the understanding that the final outcome document of the imposed (without consent) UNHLPM 2014 will be constructed in Silence Procedure where only the states will be participants, what is the mechanism to address the void (0x0) that will occur in terms of implementing such a UN policy position when a state such as China proclaims that there are no indigenous peoples within its jurisdiction of state sovereignty? Or, if state government such as (Canada-US-Mexico) prescribes with prejudice recognition only to those native constituencies that fall within the domestic parameters of control within their respective federal systems?

Monday, July 7, 2014

North Amercan Indigenous Peoples Caucus Statment - Alta, Norway

YouTube
Alta, Norway
North Amercan Indigenous Peoples Caucus Concluding Statement 
Arthur Manuel
"Canada and the United States voted against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples despite the fact that their entire economy and their entire world global position is based upon the colonization, based on the stealing of the land and resources of our people and it is our people who are the poorest of the poor, in Canada and the United States and we’ve been that way for generation after generation.
That what I mean it’s colonization."
Arthur Manuel, NAIPC Co-chair
 
 
Global Indigenous Preparatory Conference in Alta, Norway
June 8-12, 2013. 


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

UNPFII Report on the thirteenth session



Link:
United Nations
Economic and Social Council
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Report of the thirteenth session

At its thirteenth session, the Permanent Forum convened a one-day dialogue on the High-level Plenary Meeting/World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. The Forum is seriously concerned at the lack of substantive progress in the informal consultations held by, or on behalf of, the President of the General Assembly with Member States and indigenous peoples. The Forum is also alarmed at the conduct of certain States, whose interactions with the President of the General Assembly indicate the clear departure from the provision of the modalities resolutions. Notwithstanding the commitments made by the General Assembly in its resolution 66/296 on the organization of the Conference, the Forum is deeply concerned that the full, effective and equal participation of indigenous peoples in all processes leading to and including the High-level Plenary Meeting remains uncertain. 





Friday, June 27, 2014

Background paper prepared by Ms. Sharon Venne, Akaitcho Dene Treaty 8


HR/GENEVA/TSIP/SEM/2003/BP.11


EXPERT SEMINAR ON TREATIES, AGREEMENTS AND OTHER CONSTRUCTIVE ARRANGEMENTS BETWEEN STATES AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

Geneva
15-17 December 2003


Organized by the Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights


Background paper prepared by
Ms. Sharon Venne, Akaitcho Dene Treaty 8



Under item 2
Analysis of the difficulties relating to the full implementation of existing Treaties

The purpose of this discussion paper is to present some questions for consideration in relation to the future use of treaties with Indigenous Peoples and the importance of their implementation.  The difficulties encountered by Indigenous Peoples relate directly to the colonizer state’s failure to recognize the true nature of the Treaties.  The main failure is the refusal of the state governments to recognize the sovereignty of Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous Peoples who entered into Treaties negotiated and concluded Treaties as Nations not as domestic dependent nations as claimed by various colonial courts. The lack of following international legal norms and law had led Indigenous Peoples to the League of Nations and to the United Nations.  Indigenous Peoples pushed for a study to be done as a means to find peaceful and long lasting resolution to ongoing disputes on Treaty implementation.  The State’s lack of recognition of the finding of the UN Special Rapporteur’s final report (E/CN.4/Sub.2/1999.20) on the Treaties and his conclusions and recommendations continues to lead to confrontations between Indigenous Peoples and the state.  It has been four years since the report was submitted and accepted by the United Nations. There has been no substantive attempt by states to implement the recommendations of the final Report. The number of factors related to the state refusing to implement Treaties will be briefly highlighted in this discussion paper.

1.              There is a lack of political will on the part of the government.  The government of Canada rather than trying to implement the Treaties wants to extinguish the Treaties and replace them with comprehensive land claim agreements in the area north of 60.  The Akaitcho Dene are opposed to the comprehensive claims process and rejected a major settlement in 1990 when it required them to extinguish their rights to the lands and resources of their territories.  When the Akaitcho Dene negotiated and concluded the peace and friendship Treaty in 1900, they did not give up their relationship with their lands and resources.  Canada wants to change the relationship while the Akaitcho Dene want to implement the spirit and intent of the Treaty concluded in good faith in 1900. Since the failure of the Dene/Métis process in 1900, the Akaitcho Dene have tried a number of times to get into a process with Canada to implement their Treaty.  In the oral understanding of the Peace and Friendship Treaty, Akaitcho Dene agreed that non-Dene could live among them. However, Dene did not agree that their lives would be controlled by the non-Dene. Dene laws would continue to apply in their lands and their rights to live within their territory was not to be interfered with by the non-Dene. Initially, the non-Dene did not interfere but as more resources were found within their lands, non-Dene have been pushing Dene out of their territory and destroying the lands and waters causing hardship to the Dene.  The Elders wants to see the respect shown by the Dene at the original Treaty to be continued.

2.              One of the major identified problems in relation to the implementation of the Peace and Friendship is the failure of the education system of the state to give the true history of the colonization of Indigenous territories and the significance of the Treaties. The lack of education among the colonizers about the rights of Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Peoples living under a Treaty has lead to racial tension and discrimination directed at Indigenous Peoples.  The racism being directed toward Indigenous Peoples by the colonizers who see themselves having to pay for the settlement of outstanding issues. In the Treaties, a number of undertakings were given by the Crown’s negotiators that the successor state has inherited.  Due to the lack of education on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, racism develops and causes conflict.  In a number of major studies on the justice system in Canada, the studies concluded that there was systemic racism shown towards Indigenous Peoples by the judicial system from the police to the prisons. The colonizers laws have taken precedent over the Indigenous laws that gives arise to Indigenous Peoples being forced into a racist and uncaring system. In these cases, the collective rights of the colonizers are used to override the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples.  There are many examples in Canada where non-Indigenous Peoples have tried to undermine negotiations with Indigenous Peoples. The province of British Columbia tried to have a referendum to determine the parameters of the negotiations. The questions posed in the referendum were biased. The Courts refused to intervene when asked by Indigenous Peoples. Then, Indigenous Peoples organized a massive public campaign to bring awareness of the issue. The Indigenous Peoples were able to attach the attention of unions, church groups, environmental groups, human rights organizations and individuals who campaigned against the referendum.  Despite the campaign, the write in ballots went against the Indigenous Peoples who are trying to negotiate agreements for the first time since their lands and territories were occupied by the colonizer in a complete violation of international, British, Commonwealth and Canadian legal norms.  In the same province, a modern land claim agreement concluded with the Nisgha was subjected to court challenges and demonstrations by non-Indigenous People.

3.              In attempting to negotiate the implementation of a Treaty within Canada, the negotiators have policies and procedures to follow.  The negotiations are not based on the rule of law.  While the laws are in place to protect the relationship under the Treaties, the government’s negotiators do not appear to be bound by those laws. Rather, there is reference to policies and procedures that Treaty Peoples neither negotiated nor agreed to be bound.  These policies and programs used by government to undermine the treaties by degrading their status to administrative issues rather than political arrangements between Peoples.

4.              The federal government of Canada is not prepared to accept that Indigenous Governments and laws had previously negotiated and entered into Treaties.  The process proposed by the state is an attempt to impose Eurocentric values rather than have recognition and acceptance of the Dene governments and legal system. The preferred method of Canada is to “impose” a government based on the model developed by Canada. The most recent attempts are to incorporate the governments and laws into the legislative framework of the state thereby undermining the original spirit and intent of the Treaties to live side by side in peace and friendship.

5.              In the negotiation process to implement the Treaty, Canada wants the Dene to give up their lands and resources as a means to settle outstanding disputes. The negotiations are an attempt to sever the Dene relationship with their lands and resources. For the Akaitcho Dene, the severance of their links to their lands and resources is to relinquish an integral part of themselves. When Dene give up their lands, what happens to the future generations?  It was the future generations that the Elders considered at the time of treaty making.

6.              These restrictions imposed on Indigenous Peoples by the state prohibit the full intent of the original treaties from being implemented. Indigenous Peoples spend extraordinary time and their limited funds fighting for their basic rights guaranteed under the original treaties.  The lands of the Treaty areas are being depleted from their resources causing damage to the animals, plants, waters, fish and other living organisms leaving Indigenous Peoples dependent on the colonizers for their basic needs from clothing to health care.

There are other factors related to the implementation of a Treaty:

1.              There is the difficulty of the oral and written version of the treaties.  Governments tend to follow the written version which contains much general and ambiguous language especially with respect to bring the words into language giving it life as intended.  In the new arrangements made under so-called land claims - the agreements are general and have ambiguous language, especially with respect to programs, funding and technical assistance. It is a huge problem for the so-called modern land claim groups to have their agreements implemented.

2.              In relation to new land claim agreements, there is a general failure to index compensation to take into account the impact of inflation and delayed capital payments.

3.              There were no appropriate mechanisms included in the original treaties and the modern-agreements related to implementation and that implementation would be worked out through a process of continuing negotiations.

4.              There is a perception on the part of governments that programs are not negotiable regardless of the words contained in the original treaties or the modern agreements.

5.              In most agreements, there are no provisions to discuss the view of the Indigenous Peoples. It is a government driven process which is unilateral and unyielding that undermines the spirit of making a treaty.



Item 3 (c)
The practical experiences from negotiating process are given in point form:

1.              The process is long and cumbersome.  For example, the state of Canada does not have a policy on Treaty implementation. There are two broad and general categories: land claims and treaty land entitlement.  Both of these process require at the end of the day that Indigenous Peoples must give certainty or “non-assertion undertakings” to the government in exchange for an agreement. A “non-assertion” undertaking means that Indigenous Peoples are locked into the written text of the agreement based on the colonizers language and passed through the parliament making any amendments to the original text very difficult if possible.

2.              Canada wants the negotiations to be done within the context of the state laws rather than recognizing Indigenous laws and governments.  If an Indigenous Nation wants to negotiation based on their laws and governments, the government puts them to the bottom of the list of negotiations.

3.              In Canada, the state controls all the funds for negotiations.  In this way, the state officials can arbitrarily decide who is funded and to what level.  In some instances, Indigenous Peoples negotiated for more than ten years and going into debt up to $50 million Canadian dollars.  As the debt mounts, the pressure to make an agreement becomes more intense.

4.              The state has more resources making more ably to drag on negotiations to wear down the Indigenous Peoples. 

5.              There is a general starting point that the lands and resources of Indigenous Peoples have been vested in the Crown in complete violation of international, commonwealth, English common law and Canadian law.

6.              There are many preconceived notions such as three party interests in the lands of Indigenous Peoples. If Indigenous Peoples are the owners of the lands - how can a third party have an interest in their lands and resources without the consent of the Indigenous Peoples?

7.              There are no effective mechanisms for consultation and getting the consent for use of the land and resources of Indigenous Peoples living under treaties despite rulings from various courts within the state recognizing the need to have an effective consultation process. Some courts in Canada have written that there might be a need to get the fully informed consent of the Indigenous Peoples when a treaty right is going to be impinged or interfered with.

8.              There is no attempt by the state to implement decisions of the courts.  It might take several million dollars to take a case to the Supreme Court of Canada. When a decision is made in favour of Indigenous Peoples, there are no political decisions to implement the decision. As a result, Indigenous Peoples question the true nature of the concept rule of law. What law? When is it implemented?  Only when it benefits the colonizers seem to be the answer.

Item 4 (a)
Roles of the UN

The Study on Treaties (E/CN.4/Sub.2/1999.20) made a number of important findings on the nature of Indigenous Treaties and international law.  It seems that the UN has a real role to play with regard to implementation of the Treaties.   The whole issue of exhaustion of internal mechanisms within a state makes it almost impossible for Indigenous Peoples to access the UN system. At any rate, the present UN system does not have a mechanism for Indigenous Peoples to use when dealing with violations of the Treaties. There is no effective state mechanism to deal with disputes arising from Treaty violation. Different states have developed and controlled tribunals, claims panels and commissions. These different internal bodies have not brought about an equitable and lasting resolution to the problems created by Treaty violations. Most treaty violation usually occurs as a result of a state intervention in the lives of the Indigenous Peoples.  There should be an external process at the UN when there is no effective dispute resolution within a state.  The dispute resolution process must be developed on an equal basis with Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous laws and legal norms must form an integral part of the process. The mechanism has to be independent and free from political interference.  The international system needs to recognize the collective nature of the rights of Indigenous Peoples and the collective rights to their lands and resources. An appropriate dispute resolution mechanism must have international supervision of disputes arising from Treaty violations. Treaties were made with independent sovereign nations. Indigenous Peoples were not subjects of the Crowns of Europe.  Treaties were made to ensure a peaceful settlement of Indigenous territories.  The fact that settlement has occurred in Indigenous lands does not diminish Indigenous Peoples international legal persona.   As the Special Rapporteur wrote in his final report, the treaties continue “to be fully in effect and consequently are sources of rights and obligations for all the original parties to them (or their successors) who shall fulfill their provisions in good faith.” The United Nations has a role to fulfill if there is going to be justice for Indigenous Peoples.

-----
     The views expressed in this paper do not necessarily reflect those of the OHCHR.

Study on Treaties, Agreements and other Constructive Arrangments



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