Some people see ominous signs in the Obama administration decision to become the last country in the United Nations to support the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
They think the Declaration could relinquish some U.S. sovereignty and open a path for returning ancient tribal lands to American Indians, including even parts of Manhattan.
The press reports that the issue is causing alarm among legal experts.
Theodore Frank, a fellow with the Center for Legal Policy at the Manhattan Institute, said: “U.N. resolutions like this claiming amorphous rights can be a stalking horse for future attempts to have international courts enforce broad interpretations of those rights at the expense of American sovereignty.”
The article claims some academic legal experts drew up plans in the 1970s to reacquire 650 million acres of federally owned land in the U.S.
The Bush White House refused to support the U.N. resolution. But last year, the Democrat-majority House and Senate passed a resolution that, in Obama’s words, acknowledges “the sad and painful chapters in our shared history – a history too often marred by broken promises and grave injustices against the First Americans.”
The president said, “No statement can undo the damage that was done. But it is only by heeding the lessons of our history that we can move forward.”
The provisions of the Declaration that scare some, include: Article 26 which states that nations “shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands, territories and resources” which were once owned by indigenous people.
Article 21 indicates that nation “states shall take effective measures and, where appropriate, special measures to ensure continuing improvement of their (indigenous people’s) economic and social conditions. Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of indigenous elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities.”
Article 16 compels nations to “take effective measures to ensure that state-owned media duly reflect indigenous cultural diversity. States … should encourage privately owned media to adequately reflect indigenous cultural diversity.”
There are 47 articles in the U.N. resolution.
The international agreement is very serious business, one legal expert tells WND, and could cause problems for the U.S. long after Obama is gone from the White House, if made part of U.S. law.
Obama said it is his aim to ensure that American Indians “had a voice in the White House … so long as I held this office, never again would Native Americans be forgotten or ignored.”