Valerie Taliman writes in Indian Country Today about the United States opposition to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
As she points out, Canada recently endorsed the Declaration and the USA remains the only country that voted against the DRIP in the UN in 2007 that remains opposed to it.
She states in part: “The Declaration is an international human rights mechanism that recognizes the individual and collective rights of the world’s 370 million indigenous peoples, including the right to self-determination, and the right to give or withhold our free, prior and informed consent when it comes to the exploitation of our lands, territories and resources.
After 30 years of negotiations, the Declaration was finally adopted in 2007 by a vote of 143 nations in favor, and four opposing. Australia, New Zealand and now Canada, have reversed their positions in the last three years and voted to endorse it.”
She correctly notes that “Canada’s endorsement includes the caveat that the Declaration will not be allowed to override Canada’s own legal framework”
If the United States ever endorses the DRIP it will probably also include a similar type caveat.
Taliman ends with the statement: “It’s time to change the long history of discrimination and oppression in the United States, and to acknowledge that indigenous peoples worldwide deserve the same rights as other citizens of the world.
President Obama, be the change you want to see. We urge you to quickly adopt the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”