August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Monday, October 18, 2010

Southern Border Indigenous Peoples Roundtable Symposium

Southern Border Indigenous Peoples Roundtable Symposium
Earthcycles and Censored News will broadcast live!
Thursday, November 18, 10 am to 2 pm
YWCA Frances McClelland Leadership Center
525 N. Bonita Ave Tucson, Arizona
Photo: San Xavier, remembering the migrants/Photo by Brenda Norrell
By Alianza Indigena sin Fronteras/Indigenous Alliance without Borders
For over a decade the Indigenous Alliance Without Borders has worked to be an international voice for traditional southern borderland indigenous peoples. The Indigenous Alliance promotes respect for indigenous rights, border rites of passage and recognition of our indigenous relative’s cultural affiliation with Southern Border Indigenous Nations from California, Arizona and Texas. To ease border crossings for all indigenous peoples residing in Mexico to attend ceremonies, social events and visit family.

Why a Roundtable Border Symposium?

For more than two centuries indigenous peoples have inhabited the southern border long before the establishment of the U.S. and Mexico Nations. Indigenous peoples have been impacted by policies set in the far off capitals of these two nations, but have continued to maintained their cultures and social networks despite these bad government policies indigenous peoples continue to maintain their way of life and address their every day needs; We have continued to maintain our ancient indigenous cultures and social networks within our traditional homelands now divided by the U.S. – Mexico international boundary.

Since 1990, our Indigenous brothers and sisters have been faced with legislation and restrictive border enforcement policies, militarization/border wall, heavy migrant and undocumented traffic, environmental destruction of indigenous borderlands, ceremonial grounds, and sacred sites. We need to educate and inform the general community on border indigenous concerns affecting the southern border indigenous peoples

Round Table Discussion:
•Recent Changes to U.S. Immigration & Border Policies could erode or affirm indigenous peoples rights to maintain their cultural connections across the U.S. – Mexico border;
•Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative does not apply to Indigenous Mexican nationals who are culturally affiliated by blood relative, language, ceremonies and traditions
•Affects of Racism and negative political climate in Arizona on indigenous communities
•Potential Regulatory Solutions and Strategies to promote Southern Indigenous Rights and Justice.

Navajo Water Rights: Free, Prior and Informed Consent

Immediate Release: Contact: Elouise Brown, 505-947-6159 or 928-401-1777

Update: Read, download or print the resolution:
The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission adopted Resolution No. NNHRCOCT-8-10 on October 1, 2010. It recommends that the Navajo Nation Council should refer the approval of the Northeastern Arizona Water Rights Settlement Agreement to the Navajo People in a referendum.

The resolution is based on consideration of several important factors, and among them is the “world standard” for decisions by indigenous peoples on their resources made by “free, prior, [and] informed consent” (Resolution at Preamble No. 6).

The right of free, prior and informed consent is a right that belongs to all indigenous peoples, including the Navajo People as a collective right to be exercised in the electoral process. The existence of the right as an international human right has been confirmed by the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in a report to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations that was accepted by the Council. Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Progress report on the study of indigenous peoples and the right to participate in decision making, ¶¶ 34-42, No. A/HRC/15/35 (23 August 2010); Human Rights Council, Human rights and indigenous peoples, No. A/HRC/RES/15/7 (5 October 2010).

The human rights principles are plain and clear:

• “Free” means done without undue influence or coercion and without regard to favoritism or promises and in an open and transparent way;

• “Prior” means done before the fact and without any binding obligation on the part of the Navajo People done by water negotiators, with side deals and promises that cannot be enforced or favors for approval by public officials;

• “Informed” means that those who make the decision, and it should be the Navajo People in a referendum vote, means that there is adequate, accurate information on the huge 400+ page document that Navajos or ordinary understanding, in their chapters and in the areas that will be affected by the agreement, know precisely what is being proposed and understand its implications and consequences as such impact their daily lives and futures; and

• “Consent” means a knowing act of freely making an informed decision about one’s own future and that of community and of Mother Earth in a meaningful way, namely a referendum vote.