Friday, May 31, 2013

Indigenous Law Institute: High Level Plenary Meeting (WCIP)

United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 12th Session,
May 20-31, 2013
Agenda Item 6, Discussion on the High Level Plenary Meeting (WCIP) on Indigenous Peoples
Presented by Steven Newcomb, May 28, 2013

Thank you Mr. Chairman, 

Let me begin by paying my respects to my Lenape, Munsee, and Delaware ancestors, for it is on our traditional territory that this United Nations building stands. The Indigenous Law Institute takes this opportunity to comment on the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly, to be called the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, which will be convened here in our traditional territory in 2014.

The UN HLP/WCIP is being framed as an opportunity to implement the UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, including of course Article 3 of the UN Declaration, which affirms the Right to Self-Determination. We have grave concerns about the prospect of such a High Level Plenary Meeting when states, such as the United States, take positions that are contrary to the full right of self-determination for Indigenous Nations and Peoples.

Mr. Chairman, I want to take this opportunity to state unequivocally that the Indigenous Law Institute does not accept the view or suggestion by any state—such as the United States—that the right of self-determination affirmed in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is different from the already existing right of self-determination in international law. The suggestion that there is a standard and right of self-determination for Indigenous Peoples and Nations that is different from the standard and right of self-determination for all Peoples in international law is racist and predicated on ancient theological-political bigotry.

There is nothing in the history of the development of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that supports the view of Article 3 reiterated by the United States in this forum on May 22, 2013.

Mr. Chairman, our originally free Nations and Peoples of Great Turtle Island entered the international arena in the twentieth century because of the lack of redress in, for example, U.S. federal Indian law. Based on our spiritual work and historical investigations over the past three decades we now know that such lack of redress is founded on the doctrine of discovery and domination as enshrined in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Johnson v. M’Intosh and its assertion of a underlying title to our lands and territories “independent of our will,” based on the supposed Christian discovery of the lands of non-Christian Nations and Peoples.

To effect fundamental change we have to engage in fundamental analysis of the root causes of the domination and dehumanization that is inflicted by states on a daily basis on our Original Nations and Peoples, and that result in so much destruction. The only way for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to create fundamental reform is if we are able to use that international instrument as an opportunity to engage in the deep structure analysis of the underlying reason for the state system of the world continuing to define our Nations and Peoples as innately inferior.

This is, of course, based on fictional symbolic acts of possession and sovereignty, racism, and Christian war against our unbaptized ancestors, all in the name of “the blessings of evangelism” and “the blessings of civilization.” The Christianizing mission and the civilizing mission are two sides of the same sword blade.

Mr. Chairman, the issues being dealt with in the United Nations regarding our Original Nations and Peoples are a direct outgrowth and contemporary version of debates that took place in earlier centuries, which were also debates about the significance of the dominating and dehumanizing Vatican papal bulls of the fifteenth and early sixteenth century, issued by the Holy See.

The UN High Level Plenary Meeting to be known as a World Conference on Indigenous Peoples will not result in positive and fundamental reform for our Nations and Peoples unless it is used as an opportunity to engage in the kinds of moral discussions that took place in the sixteenth century. Those debates were engaged in by such personalities as Bartolomé de Las Casas and Juan Ginés Sepúlveda regarding Aristotle’s theory of natural domination, or slavery, and whether our ancestors were human. This difference today, of course, is that we have our own voices.

Tenamaztle 1541

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Intervention by the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC)

United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 12th session, May 20 – 31, 2013

Agenda Item 6, Discussion on the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples

Intervention by the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC),

Presented by Roberto Borrero, May 27th, 2012

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

The International Indian Treaty Council considers that the High-level Plenary of the UN General Assembly, to be called the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, in the best case scenario, will provide States, Indigenous Peoples and the UN System with an historic opportunity to commit to strategies and mechanisms for the full and effective implementation of the inherent rights affirmed by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  To repeat, its focus and purpose must be implementation.       

We have expressed concerns, shared by other Indigenous Peoples, that the World Conference might instead be used by some States in an attempt to diminish, qualify or redefine the rights affirmed in this hard fought minimum standard, or to limit the intended scope of its implementation.  We are firmly resolved and will stand united with the Indigenous Peoples of the world to ensure that this will not happen.  Discrimination must not be tolerated in any body or process of the United Nations which is based on the fundamental principles of International human rights law and the tenants of the UN Charter which include non-discrimination.   

Unfortunately, we saw that our concerns may well be justified when a blatantly discriminatory intervention was read last week by the United States of America government representative in this body under agenda item 7 addressing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.   This intervention by the United States is now available on the US State Department web page, the most objectionable was their reiterated position that the rights of self-determination as recognized under international law for ALL PEOPLES is somehow a different right for Indigenous Peoples.  

In fact, the US government tried but failed over a number of years to include this discriminatory distinction in the actual text of the UN Declaration itself during the development of the text in Geneva.  Although they were not able to achieve the inclusion of such racially discriminatory language in the Declaration itself, the US resurrected it when they decided to "lend their support to the Declaration in December 2010. 

At that time Indigenous Peoples did not accept this attempt to redefine international law as affirmed in the UN Charter and the Covenants, or to diminish the internationally recognized minimum standard of the UN Declaration.  We do not accept it now.    The representative of the International Indian Treaty Council who spoke last week under the agenda item 7 b challenged this attempt to redefine self-determination for Indigenous Peoples.  He pointed out that the over 300 legally binding Nation to Nation Treaties concluded by the US with Indigenous Nations, identified by the US Constitution as the “Supreme Law of the Land”, are both the evidence and affirmation of US recognition of this right from the beginning of their contact with the Indigenous Nations of this land.     

We request that the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at its 12th session make a formal statement expressing its concern and joining with the Indigenous Peoples of this land in rejecting discriminatory attempts by the United States or any other State to diminish the rights affirmed in the UN Declaration in this body and at the High Level Plenary which carries our name.  This is an historic opportunity for full and effective implementation, in good faith and partnership.  The time for racial discrimination and all doctrines which justify it is the past.  Their proper place is in the dust bin of history.  

For all our relations. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

AILA Joint Intervention: Future Work

Agenda Item 8: Future work of the Permanent Forum, including matters of the Economic and Social Council and emerging issues.
Joint Intervention

The American Indian Law Alliance with the Haudenosaunee, Seventh Generation Fund for Indian Development, Native Children’s Survival, Maya Vision, Techantit, TONATIERRA, American Indian Community House, Rigoberta Menchú Tum Foundation, Flying Eagle Woman Fund for Peace, Justice, & Sovereignty, Southern Diaspora Research and Development Center, United Methodist Women, Spiderwoman, Morning Star Foundation, WESPAC Foundation, and the Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action.

May 20-31, 2013

Mr. Chairman,

1) We wish to address an issue regarding the future work of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, concerning the rightful status of Indigenous Peoples and Nations participation in all UN fora.  Therefore we will respond to the statement of several umbrella groups, “National Congress of American Indians, United South and Eastern Tribes, and California Association of Tribal Governments, 72 Indigenous Nations and Seven Indigenous Organizations,” made yesterday under Agenda item six (6) discussion on the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in particular recommendation number three (3) regarding an appropriate status for Indigenous Peoples participating in UN activities.  We do agree that “Indigenous Peoples deserve to have a permanent status for participation in the UN that reflects their character as peoples and governments,” and we would respectfully request that traditional Indigenous Nations be included in this recommendation along with peoples and governments.

2)  On May 16, 2013 a Communiqué was issued by the Haudenosaunee, a signatory to this joint statement, reiterating their position on imposed elected councils.  The position holds that the primary intent of imposed elected band and council governments is and was to abolish the strength and national character of traditional governments as well as to assist in the assimilation of the Haudenosaunee and other traditional governments into the national fabric of both Canada and the United States.  The abolishment and termination of traditional indigenous governments is in direct violation of the minimum standard of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent over our lands, territories and resources, including our inherent right to self-determination as established in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

3)  The line between traditional councils and imposed elected band and council governments is clear and distinct. Traditional councils are the original and continuous governments in place for over 1,000 years, while the imposed elected band and council governments are systems of the Indian Act in Canada and the Indian Reorganization Act in the United States for the administration of colonial policies in each of our respective communities.

4) Continuing these ongoing destructive policies, on May 22, 2013 the distinguished representative of the Permanent Mission of the United States to the UN made an intervention at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues on Agenda Item 7 Human Rights, (a) Implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in which they reiterated their position that the rights of self-determination as recognized under international law for all peoples is somehow a different right for Indigenous Peoples.

5)  We agree with the intervention made by the International Indian Treaty Council on May 28, 2013 under Agenda Item 6, Discussion on the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples “discrimination must not be tolerated in any body or process of the United Nations, which is based on the fundamental principles of international human rights law and the tenets of the UN charter which include non-discrimination.”  The failure of the governments of Canada and the United States to recognize the legitimate, traditional governments and their right to self-determination is blatantly discriminatory.

6)  Since 1923 and more recently 1977, the Haudenosaunee and other traditional governments of the Western Hemisphere have pioneered the Indigenous presence at the United Nations and other international venues, leading to the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007 by the UN General Assembly. Throughout these decades of work traditional governments have been advocating for a proper status within all UN processes. It should be noted that the same traditional governments never referred to themselves as NGOs or domestic dependent nations.

7) Therefore Mr. Chairman, we would respectfully request that the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues consider for its future work the following recommendation:

8) Recognizing that the Haudenosaunee and other traditional indigenous Nations and Peoples have continued to express their fundamental right to self-determination and their original unbroken right to sovereignty over their lands, resources, and territories; we recommend observer status be given serious consideration, building upon the recommendation of the Expert Mechanism in 2011, “adopt, as a matter of urgency, appropriate permanent measures to ensure that indigenous peoples’ governance bodies and institutions, including traditional indigenous governments, indigenous parliaments, assemblies and councils, are able to participate at the UN as observers with, at a minimum, the same participatory rights as non-governmental organization in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council” U.N.Doc. A/HRC/18/43 (Aug. 19, 2011).

9) However, Mr. Chairman we would go further and bring to your attention the observer mission status of entities which have received a standing invitation to participate as observers in the sessions and the work of the General Assembly and while maintaining permanent observer missions at UN Headquarters, as examples we suggest you look towards the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See and the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine.  Indigenous Peoples and Nations cannot lock ourselves into a minor position; our position has always been that we are equal to all peoples and nations.

10)  In closing Mr. Chair, Considering that traditional Indigenous Nations have worked diligently these past several decades within the international community of nations and have done so on a level that represents our status as sovereign, independent nations we therefore feel that observer status within the UN system is reasonable and appropriate.

Thank you Mr. Chair for your kind attention.

Presented on May 29, 2013 by Tonya Gonnella Frichner, Esq. (Onondaga) to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Intervencion del Caucus Indigena de Guatemala: Derechos Humanos

En el marco del doceavo periodo de sesiones del Foro Permanente de Los Pueblos Indígenas, que se realiza del 18 al 31 de mayo de 2013,  En el Tema 7 sobre Los Derechos Humanos en la sede de Las Naciones Unidas en Nueva York, NY

El caucus Guatemala conformado por las siguientes organizaciones: Asociación Para La Justicia y Reconciliación, Maya Visión, Defensa Legal Indígena, Asociación de mujeres poqomchi, AMPODEC, ADIVIMA.

Aunados  en nuestros pensamientos  y palabras, y en el ejercicio de nuestros derechos inherentes y consagrados en los tratados y convenios internacionales en materia de los derechos de los pueblos indígenas, ante la situación actual que atraviesa nuestro  país Guatemala, las organizaciones representadas en este evento internacional, y por delegación de nuestras comunidades y pueblos queremos traer a la atención del Foro Permanente y el consejo de Derechos Humanos la situación de violación inminente a los derechos humanos de los pueblos Indígenas en Guatemala.

Señalamos que desde la firma de los acuerdos de paz en Guatemala no ha habido voluntad política para implementar dichos acuerdos, el estado siempre ha tomado medidas dilatorias para no cumplirlos; en su lugar si ha aplicado convenios y acuerdos comerciales que únicamente benefician a las elites económicas del país y los intereses foráneos, como por ejemplo otorgando licencias de exploración y explotación a favor de las industrias extractivas así mismo ha otorgado la instalación de hidroeléctricas como ejemplo podemos citar Hidro Santa Cruz en Barillas Huehuetenango y Chixoy en la región de Las Verapaces.

Denunciamos que nuestros pueblos son víctimas de encarcelamiento, persecución y amenazas permanentes. En lo que va de este gobierno se han consumado secuestros y asesinatos contra los defensores de la comunidad y la madre tierra; como ejemplo citamos: La masacre de Totonicapán, El asesinato de un abuelo en Santa Cruz Barrillas, el asesinato de Lideres Xincas y el último asesinato de un líder indígena en Santa Eulalia Huehuetenango.

Así  la imposición de estados de sitio implementados por el gobierno queda denotando la incapacidad y el interés en proteger a la industria extractiva y no a la población civil que es víctima de genocidio permanente.

Todo lo dicho anteriormente deriva del sistema de impunidad y el hecho de que el ejército ha tomado control del gobierno. Tenemos casos particulares como Totonicapán, Barrillas  y Xalapan en donde el ejército nacional está involucrado, y bajo el argumento de cumplir con su deber y perseguir al crimen organizado, ha cometido nuevamente violaciones, atropellos, abusos y masacres contra la población civil y la indígena en particular.

Cabe señalar que en el proceso judicial contra dos generales vinculados al genocidio cometido contra pueblos mayas durante la guerra en Guatemala, uno de los testigos de la fiscalía señalo la participación del actual jefe de gobierno.

Denunciamos que como consecuencia de la guerra, el genocidio permanente y la implementación de la neo colonización en Guatemala surgen los desplazamientos forzados que implica destierro de comunidades, familias y personas que salen del país amenazados por la violencia del estado y el crimen organizado, la destrucción y contaminación causada por las industrias extractivas, así mismo la desigualdad social, política y económica que les niega toda posibilidad de una vida digna en su propio territorio. Ante tales hechos y en aras del reconocimiento de nuestros derechos colectivos.


Que se exija el respeto y cumplimiento del convenio 169 de OIT en relación a la consulta libre, previa e informada, y los artículos 2, 3 y 8 de la Declaración de Los Derechos de los pueblos Indígenas proclamados en la ONU en el año 2007.

Se revise y reforme las políticas que emanan el mandato del foro, a efecto de que los informes rendidos y las resoluciones emitidas, tengan carácter vinculante.

Sin más que agregar reiteramos nuestra solidaridad con todos los pueblos del mundo, Ni en Guatemala ni en ningún lugar del mundo, genocidio nunca más.


con el Pueblo Maya de Guatemala denuciando la Impunidad en el caso de GENOCIDIO en Guatemala por el ex-presidente Rios Montt.

Demand for ACCOUNTABILITY and JUSTICE for the CIA’s involvement in the GENOCIDE of the Maya in Guatemala under the regime of ex-president Rios Montt before the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.


Ante el 12vo Periodo de Sesiones del Foro Permanente de Los Pueblos
Indígenas en las Naciones Unidas.
20-31 de Mayo de 2013
Salón del Consejo de Administración Fiduciaria
Naciones Unidas Nueva York

Mi nombre es Policarpo Chaj Director Ejecutivo de la Organización Maya Visión afiliados del Seventh Generation Fund. Ante el Foro Permanente exponemos las siguientes recomendaciones:
1.            A los estados miembros y al Foro Permanente establecer mecanismos nacionales para generar un dialogo abierto, transparente y vinculante con los pueblos indígenas, para buscar soluciones a la grave conflictibilidad social generado por las industrias extractivas y otras empresas que se establecen en tierras indígenas.

2.            Que  en cumplimiento con los instrumentos internacionales y otras resoluciones del sistema de Naciones Unidas los estados establezcan mecanismos para desarrollar las consultas con los pueblos Indígenas. Tomando como base los mas legítimos intereses y aspiraciones de los pueblos indígenas sobre la base de diálogos que se generen con las propias instituciones representativas de los mismos.

3.            Que el Foro Permanente busque mecanismos de seguimiento y monitoreo a las distintas recomendaciones y resoluciones emanadas de los distintos órganos de las Naciones Unidas vinculadas a los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas, debido a que muchas de las recomendaciones que aquí se emanan quedan en simples papeles y no tienen efectos sobre la vida de los Pueblos Indígenas.

4.            Que el honorable Foro Permanente y el Sistema de Naciones Unidas recomiende y acompañe al estado de Guatemala a establecer mecanismos de mediación y resolución de en graves situaciones de confrontación como ejemplo la persecución y asesinato de nuestros hermanos indígenas en Santa Cruz Barillas, Totonicapán, Santa María Xalapan y san Juan Sacatepéquez entre otros, sumado a todo estos los 1,300 conflictos agrarios en el país.
Las recomendaciones anteriores se fundamentan en lo siguiente:

1.            En Guatemala existe grave polarización y conflictividad social, los problemas acumulados por la falta de acceso a la tierra nos ha llevado a tener más de 1,300 conflictos agrarios que afecta directamente a más de un millón de personas. A parte tenemos los pueblos afectados por las industrias extractivas así mismo instalación de megaproyectos como las hidroeléctricas entre otros.

2.            Nuestra cosmovisión como pueblos indígenas se basa en el poder de la palabra, el dialogo y el consenso, lo cual está reflejado en nuestro libro sagrado Pop Wuj que nos recuerda la relación armónica y holística con todos los elementos nuestra madre tierra como fuente de vida.

3.            Los pueblos indígenas estamos cansados de la violencia y la confrontación porque somos amantes de la vida, la paz y la armonía, No queremos seguir en un espiral de confrontación que agravara aún más la pobreza y el sub-desarrollo.

4.            Finalmente alentamos a los pueblos indígenas del mundo a seguir construyendo paz y armonía en beneficio de las comunidades y sobre todo a buscar mecanismos de solución a los problemas que enfrentamos.

Concluyo esta declaración reafirmando nuestra lucha por el respeto a nuestros derechos como pueblos Indígenas de Guatemala y del mundo.

con el Pueblo Maya de Guatemala denuciando la Impunidad en el caso de GENOCIDIO en Guatemala por el ex-presidente Rios Montt.

Demand for ACCOUNTABILITY and JUSTICE for the CIA’s involvement in the GENOCIDE of the Maya in Guatemala under the regime of ex-president Rios Montt before the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Global Indigenous Youth Caucus Statement on the High Level Plenary 2014 (WCIP)

Global Indigenous Youth Caucus Intervention on the High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly, to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples
We, the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus state that the scheduled High-level Plenary Meeting (HLPM) of the General Assembly, to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, scheduled for September, 2014 is not, in fact, a world conference for Indigenous Nations and Peoples.  Therefore, the HLPM should not be referred to as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. A genuine world conference, which we hope this to be, would be comprehensive, extensive, and participatory by the peoples implicated by the outcomes of the conference.

We the GIYC still see the potential of the High Level Plenary Meeting if it is based on Free, Prior and Informed Consent of Indigenous Nations and Peoples as equal participants in the international diplomatic process and if the wide-open participation of Indigenous Peoples (IP) is proactively sought.

We feel that the HLPM structure represents a closed-door meeting where IP are observers in their own meeting. We therefore address the urgent need to secure IP basic human rights guaranteed by the UNDRIP adopted in the United Nations General Assembly in 2007. We would like to remind the member states that the fundamental obligation to respect and follow the UNDRIP specifically Articles 3, 18, 19, 32(2), and 38 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to secure IP’s right to full and effective participation in the HLPM itself and in the preparatory process.

Thomas Banyacya, Hopi Nation at the House of Mica
Similarly, the modalities resolution for the HLPM has specifically omitted recognition of the international right to self-determination by IP’s and nations, and deleted from an earlier draft the right of IP’s to full and equal participation in UN processes that IP’s, such as the HLPM.

In order for the IP’s preparatory process and the preparatory meeting to be successful, we recommend more funding commitments from states and other funders to be allocated by the Indigenous Peoples Global Coordinating Group for the IP’s preparatory process. We see the potential of having a strong and good outcome document of the Alta conference. We would like to remind the United Nations that all the documents made in the IP’s preparatory process need to be accepted as official documents of the UN.
As Indigenous youth, we are deeply concerned about the tendencies of states to subordinate the Declaration to the domestic laws of their invader, settler regimes, and that further seek to domesticate IP’s through “best practices” through settler-state legal and policy structures.  We have concerns that Indigenous participation in the HLPM could lend the illusion that we have acquiesced the state constructs to advance and extend their history of destruction of the distinct collective rights of Indigenous Nations and Peoples.

Aztateckw'tli: Ambassador of the Confederations of Peace of Mother Earth

1.     We recommend that regions support their Indigenous Youth to attend and participate in their regional delegations, as well as gather as the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus (GIYC) at the Alta meeting.  We emphasize having Indigenous youth present at the Alta meeting in order to ensure that the Indigenous youth perspectives and issues are represented throughout the preparatory process and the final outcome document.

2.     We recommend that states and other entities follow the example of already committed funders whom have allocated resources for Indigenous Peoples’ preparatory process, which is led by the Global Coordinating Group with the desire of emphasizing Indigenous youth participation.

3.     The GIYC holds the position that any resulting documents in relation to the HLPM and its processes, shall protect and advance the inalienable and fundamental rights we have as Indigenous Nations and Peoples, including our right to self-determination. The GIYC is attending the Alta meeting to participate “fully and equally” as people and nations, to support the implementation of the key provisions of UNDRIP to advance the rights and protections of IP’s and nations.  The GIYC will “explore and assess” the possible positive and negative impacts of the HLPM and its processes and encourage other caucuses, actors and entities to do the same.

4.     We recommend states and various Indigenous actors use a collective rights framework in their analysis and proposal for the implementation of the UNDRIP in relation to the HLPM.

5.     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. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Global Indigenous Women's Caucus Meeting Sets Priorities for UNPFII

May 22, 2013

The Global Indigenous Women’s Caucus focused on the issues of health, education, and culture during a preparatory meeting prior to the 12th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), which is taking place in New York City May 20-31.

The Global Indigenous Women’s Caucus (GIWC) planning meeting on May 17 attracted an unexpectedly high number of women – more than 200 – who flocked to the Church Center of the U.N. for the all day session. “We were worried about having enough food but it was like the loaves and the fishes, we even had food left over,” joked Tonya Gonnella Frichner (Onondaga Nation), the president and founder of the American Indian Law Alliance and former North American Regional Representative to the UNPFII. (Related story: Tonya Gonnella Frichner Among Honory Degree Recipients at Colby College)

The UNPFII is an advisory body to the U.N.’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights. The UNPFII is mandated, among other things, to provide expert advice and recommendations on indigenous issues to the ECOSOC. The Permanent Forum’s first two-week annual meeting was held in May 2002 in New York. It is one of three U.N. bodies that is mandated to deal specifically with Indigenous Peoples' issues. The others are the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
While Indigenous women and girls have been active participants in organizing and leadership roles at the U.N. for years, the GIWC took shape as a functioning organization within the Permanent Forum framework in 2004. The group comes together each year before the Permanent Forum opens to prepare its positions and statements for the two-week meeting. (Related story: Global Indigenous Women’s Caucus Probes Doctrine of Discovery’s Impact on Women)

The GIWC had a full agenda this year as well as a full house of attendees. The first item after the welcoming and opening ceremonies was the appointment of chairs and rapporteurs for the 12th session of the UNPFII. The co-chairs are Aviaaja Egede Lynge, Greenland; Eleanor Dictaan-Bang-Ta, Philippines; Joyce Naini, Africa; Mayra Gomez, Aymara, Bolivia; Muriel Borst Tarrant, Kuna-Rapahanock, North America; Otilia Lux de Cotí, Maya Quiche, Guatemala; and Sandra Creamer, Australia. Rapporteurs are Erin Konsmo, Krysta Williams, Native Youth Sexual Health Network; Eve Reyes-Aguirre, Izkaloteka, Mexica, Aztec, Tonatierra Nahuacalli - Embassy of Indigenous Peoples; Guadalupe Martínez Pérez, Alianza de Mujeres Indígenas de Centroamérica y México; LobiRedHawk, Meherrin-Sapony (Creek-Cherokee), Longhouse Treaty Nations.

Within just a few days of the meeting, the GIWC had prepared statements that will be presented to the Permanent Forum on health, education and culture – three areas which will be reviewed at this year’s session in terms of recommendation made in previous years by the UNFPII.

The group’s statement on health, for example, was prepared by Aviaja Egede Lynge and begins with an affirmation of “the intercultural approach to health for all life forms on Mother Earth. In the context of this Forum, Health must encompass more than a biological concept or physical measures; it must also include our spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, traditional and spiritual livelihoods as Indigenous Peoples.”

The statement includes a number of recommendations adopted at the GIWC’s planning session, among them is a call on states to ensure that the “free, prior and informed consent” requirement of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is observed before allowing any extractive activities on indigenous lands and territories. It urges U.N. organizations and states to pay special attention to the specific needs of elderly indigenous women and recommends research be conducted on how migration impact the health of Indigenous Peoples. It notes that Indigenous Peoples experience tuberculosis rates that are 20 to 30 times higher than non-Indigenous Peoples and asks for an update from the expert group studying the disease globally.

The caucus also puts forward recommendation on “the grave impacts of environmental toxics on women’s reproductive and intergenerational health around the world” and recommends that the roles of “traditional midwives be re-evaluated and expanded so that they may assist indigenous women during their reproductive health processes and act as cultural brokers between health systems and indigenous communities’ values and world views. Examples of culturally safe care would be offering health services in indigenous languages, respecting traditional knowledge and indigenous medicines. The caucus statement talks of water as a human right that is intricately tied to “health and spiritual well-being” and supports “a world expert study on the influence of transnational corporations on states’ decisions and policies regarding Indigenous Peoples’ right to access to and the protection of water from exploitation, commodification or diversion.”

Reflecting the democratic and inclusive protocols the GIWC uses, an e-mail request for comment that was sent to Rapporteur Eve Reyes-Aguirre, was forwarded to the appointed co-chairs for a response. Asked why so many women turned up this year for the preparatory meeting, the co-chairs wrote, “Women realize more and more, the importance of voicing important issues of their concern and responsibilities. Through their active participation they deflect historical marginalization.’

Asked what the GIWC hopes to achieve during this year’s Permanent Forum session, the co-chairs sent the following statement:

“At every session women come together to listen to one another and to understand our shared experiences in the struggle to maintain and flourish in our identities, languages, cultures intrinsically linked to our land and territories. Often we learn of the violence and desperate and dangerous circumstances of other Indigenous Peoples. We empathize and in solidarity resolve to unite in our common struggles.

“As the twelfth session of the Permanent Forum is a review year, we will be following up and advocating for action on the implementation of UNPFII's past recommendations on issues of paramount importance such: Health, Education, and Culture. Human rights and the Implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and lastly, time is also being allotted for a ‘Discussion on the High Level Plenary Meeting to be called World Conference on Indigenous Peoples’ [a meeting of the General Assembly in September 2014 at the U.N. in New York].

“The post-2015 agenda will reflect new development challenges for which the respect of the principle of free, prior and informed consent for the development and use of indigenous lands is crucial. Indigenous women can play a role in addressing the economic, cultural and spiritual development as defined by Indigenous Peoples for the sustainability of life and future generations of all life forms on Mother Earth.”

Friday, May 24, 2013

Nosotros, Los Pueblos Indigenas

Hay expertos en convertir pueblos en masas, el mundo se ha encogido, mundializado, globalizado. Este anglicismo vicio del lenguaje al extenderse, muestra la amplitud del agringamiento colonial.

Nadie determina el camino de nuestra vida, esa es nuestra responsabilidad indelegable. No podemos culpar a nadie de nuestra esclavitud, excepto a nosotros mismos por permitirla.

En las luchas sociales, comunistas, fascistas, trotskystas, nacionalistas, todos occidentales  colonialistas, ponen las ideas,  los indios ponemos los muertos. Ha corrido mucha sangre india en el peligroso barrio de la política.  Ver al enemigo del indio tal cual es, es darle un verdadero sentido a nuestra lucha.

La “doctrina” sobre la teoría del descubrimiento demuestra  que en Abya Yala se cometió una de las peores masacres humanas perpetrada en la historia de la humanidad, que ha servido de fundamento para la violación de derechos humanos individuales y colectivos de los pueblos indígenas. Este debe ser el pilar de nuestras reivindicaciones.

Esta doctrina y una estructura holística denominada “marco de dominación” han tenido como consecuencia siglos de extracción de recursos virtualmente ilimitada de los territorios tradicionales, lo que ha llevado al despojo y al empobrecimiento de los pueblos indígenas.

La denominada “doctrina del descubrimiento de América” que sirvió para justificar el exterminio de los pueblos indígenas durante la conquista, sigue vigente en los países de la región.  Algunos Estados modernos reconocen el derecho de los indígenas a sus tierras ancestrales, pero se arrogan para sí el control soberano de las mismos. El Consejo Indio Exterior no reconoce a los estados colonialistas como sus estados, puesto que la base jurídica de los mismos, están sustentadas por una jurisprudencia que es copia de Europa y sabemos que “ninguna copia libera”.

Hay pueblos indios que no reivindican la libre determinación, como los Rapa Nuí de la Isla de Pascua, puesto que ellos ya determinaron ser libres de la tutela de Chile y exigen la retirada definitiva de su nación Rapa Nui.

La demanda de los pueblos indios, no está basada en pedir una migaja de pan ni una ayuda para sobrevivir, los pueblos indios exigimos  justicia. Esa teoría de dádivas, dejándolo  en manos de ONG, fundaciones o ministerios paternalistas,sólo ejercen de “colchón” de los gobiernos, y esto nos lleva a reflexionar sobre el papel que juegan en nuestra sociedad. Y un ejemplo de las mismas ,está fundamentada por el fallecido Alfonso Matínez, presidente del extinto Grupo de Trabajo de los Pueblos Indios en Ginebra quien manifiestó: 
Nadie que sea no indígena, puede aspirar a ser indígena, como frase coloquial, nadie puede ser un efectivo Wanabí, esa es una tribu que no se conoce entre los pueblos indigenas, la tribu de los Wanabi, los que pretenden ser, sin poder ser, no creo que sea la solución para entender los problemas de los pueblos indios.”

Tener cara de indio no es garantía de descolonización, ser indio es una actitud espiritual, un compromiso, no un hecho racial. Sabemos que algunas organizaciones basan su “desarrollo” en pedir migajas a gobiernos u ongs, para acallar sus conciencias y silenciar nuestro verdadero compromiso de liberación, ese camino de abrazar a quienes les benefician tienen a la larga graves consecuencias, por ejemplo la señora Bachelet, siendo presidenta de Chile jamás reconoció el derecho inalienable a la libre determinación del pueblo mapuche, sin embargo ostentaba un cargo en la ONU como una persona progresista y ahora nos regalan ese evento denominado Conferencia Mundial que no es una Conferencia Mundial. En ese sentido, los que tenemos una posición critica del evento creo que debiéramos abrir un debate a nivel internacional y consecuentemente una  divulgación para introducir el artículo 28 de la Declaración de los Pueblos Indígenas.

Una conferencia Mundial debe y tiene que ser sustentada por las bases indias y su consentimiento previo, libre e informado y no por reuniones de carácter internacional.

Los políticos  se encargan de disfrazar la realidad histórica, por ello es el humano más alejado del espíritu, por eso cuanto toca, arte, música, lenguaje, lo ensucia.
La monarquia española , con el rey a la cabeza debe empezar derogando la Bula Papal Intercaétera y pedir perdón por el genocidio cometido a nuestros pueblos, sólo así se ejecutará la ceremonia del perdón.

Ningún gobierno latinoamericano puso el dedo en la llaga en cuanto se refiere a los ciudadanos que están presos en Europa en el CIE “Centros de Internamiento” por no cumplir con la Ley de Extranjería, son ciudadanos presos y sometidos, privados de un derecho fundamental como es la libertad y sin embargo cualquier ciudadano europeo o norteamericano tiene todo el reconocimiento para no ser molestado en las regiones latinas.

Los gobiernos latinoamericanos viven en una intelectualidad atrasada, llena de prejuicios, basando su poder en los votos y la democracia simulada, sin pensar que la democracia es un medio, un mito, nunca un fin.

Sabemos que nuestra lucha es larga, y seguiremos luchando con fuerzas de viejos tigres y estamos seguros que nuestros campos serán libres, todo será libre, porque lucharemos hasta el fin.

La historia nos enseña que nuestros pueblos son maestros de la supervivencia. Nuestra lucha no es para sobrevivir, es para existir.

Gracias señor presidente.
  Naciones Unidas
Declaración sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas  

Artículo 28

1. Los pueblos indígenas tienen derecho a la reparación, por medios que pueden incluir la restitución o, cuando ello no sea posible, una indemnización justa y equitativa por las tierras, los territorios y los recursos que tradicionalmente hayan poseído u ocupado o utilizado y que hayan sido confiscados, tomados, ocupados, utilizados o dañados sin su consentimiento libre, previo e informado.

2. Salvo que los pueblos interesados hayan convenido libremente en otra cosa, la indemnización consistirá en tierras, territorios y recursos de igual calidad, extensión y condición jurídica o en una indemnización monetaria u otra reparación adecuada.

Mario Agreda, delegado del DPI en las Naciones Unidas, y de Capaj Internacional.  Este discurso va a ser remitido al DPI, Departamento de informacion Publica de las Naciones Unidas, para su difusion oficial en todas las instancias de la ONU y del mundo.