September 13th marks the third anniversary of the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the UN General Assembly. The US State Department’s formal review of the declaration will end in October. The department has asked Native American tribal leaders to write letters and give feedback about what the declaration means to their people. Now is the time to take action and let the Obama administration know why this document is so important to Native peoples in the US.
In April 2010, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, announced that the United States would formally review its stance on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The United States was one of four countries to vote against the declaration when the UN General Assembly adopted it on September 13, 2007. Since the vote two of the other countries to vote no, Australia and New Zealand, have endorsed the document.
The declaration is an international standard against which the government must measure its polices and actions. The document can be used in lobbying and negotiations and will help inform judges, legislatures, and government officials about Native peoples’ rights.
Fifteen government agencies are participating in the review of the declaration. The State Department is in the process of holding consultations with Native communities and NGOs and is accepting comments from the general public until October.
Take Action Today
Please send a letter or email (A model email is already written for you and form available to easily send) urging Obama to endorse the Declaration.