August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Navajo Human Rights Commission: US Sacred Sites Sessions 2012

San Francisco Peaks/Photo

US Interior issues short notice on Sacred Sites Listening Conferences

Update Aug. 2: See listing below, still no details for the Portland session

NNHRC learns of U.S. Department of Interior’s sacred sites listening sessions
By Rachelle Todea
Posted at Censored News

SAINT MICHAELS, Navajo Nation— Today, the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission requested a letter from the U.S. Department of Interior regarding the upcoming sacred sites listening session scheduled for the month of August.
According to U.S. Department of Interior Counselor to the Assistant Secretary Dion Killsback, a press release will be issued soon.
Soon, however, may not be soon enough.
Because the Interior’s listening sessions begin in approximately two weeks, NNHRC wants to ensure the public is aware of the listening sessions.
According to a letter from the U.S. Department of Interior Acting Assistant Secretary Donald E. Laverdure, the dates, times and locations are as follows:

·        August 13, 2012 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the BIA Southwest Regional Office, Pete V. Domenici Bldg., 1001 Indian School Road in Albuquerque, New Mex. Contact: (505) 563-3103.

·        August 16, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., at the Holiday Inn-Grand Montana Billings, 5500 Midland Road in Billings, Mont. Contact: (406) 248-7701.

·        August 23, 2012, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., in Prior Lake, Minn. Contact: (952) 445-9000.

·        August 24, 2012, from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., at the Mohegan Sun Casino, 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., in Uncasville, Conn. Contact: (860) 862-7311.

·        (Tentative) August 28, 2012, a time, location to be determined for the Portland, Ore., area.

The Interior’s sacred sites listening sessions should not be confused with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s sacred sites listening sessions, which took place last year.

 The Department, through the Office of the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs, intends to develop policy to strengthen the protection of sacred sites on Federal lands. For many years the Department has received input on sacred sites and to that end, the Department is seeking input specific, but not limited to, the following topics regarding sacred sitesShow citation box
  • Meanings of sacred sites and whether the Department should attempt to define the term “sacred site”;Show citation box
  • Personal views of existing Departmental practices or policies, if any, that should be revised to protect sacred sites and steps necessary to make appropriate revisions;Show citation box
  • Potential development of Departmental practices or policies to protect sacred sites;Show citation box
  • How the Department should facilitate tribal access to sacred sites;Show citation box
  • How the Department should control and grant access to tribally provided information regarding sacred sites;Show citation box
  • Whom the Department should include (recognized leaders of tribal government, tribal spiritual leaders, in determining whether a site is considered “sacred” by a tribe.Show citation box
Tribal listening sessions will be held at the following dates and locations:Show citation box
August 13, 20121 p.m.-4 p.mBIA Southwest Regional Office, Pete V. Domenici Building, 1001 Indian School Road, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104, (505) 563-3103.
August 16, 20129 a.m.-12 p.mHoliday Inn-Grand Montana-Billings, 5500 Midland Road, Billings, Montana 59101, (406) 248-7701.
August 23, 20121 p.m.-4 p.mMystic Lake Casino Hotel, 2400 Mystic Lake Boulevard, Prior Lake, MN 55372, (952) 445-9000.
August 24, 20129 a.m.-12 p.mMohegan Sun Casino, 1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard, Uncasville, Connecticut 06382,(860) 862-7311.
Dated: July 27, 2012.
Donald E. Laverdure,
Acting Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2012-18891 Filed 7-30-12; 4:15 pm]

Press statement at top of this post from:
Rachelle Todea, Public Information Officer
Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission
P.O. Box 1689
Window Rock, Navajo Nation (AZ)  86515
Phone: (928) 871-7436
Fax: (928) 871-7437

"Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development," according to Article 3 of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, G.A. Res. 61/295, U.N. Doc A/RES/295 (Sept. 13, 2007), 46 I.L.M 1013 (2007).

AIM West International Day for Indigenous Peoples 2012

By AIM West
Posted at Censored News                                                         

AIM-WEST celebrates 18th year of United Nations proclamation, August 9th as “International Day for the World’s Indigenous Peoples.”

The public is invited to attend the observance of the United Nations proclaimed “International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples” at The BRAVA Women’s Theater, 2781 24th Street, in San Francisco, on Thursday, August 9, 2012 from 11:30 am to 6 pm. 

The event, sponsored by American Indian Movement-WEST, a community based human rights advocacy organization promoting the rights of Indigenous peoples of the western hemisphere, seeks U.S. implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the General Assembly in September 2007, in an effort to educate communities and the youth about the achievements Indigenous peoples have gained in the international arena since 1977, and the challenges posed at the grassroots level.

Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message on International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, Observed 9 August:

“The world’s Indigenous peoples—370 million in 70 countries—are the custodians of some of the most biologicaloly diverse areas on earth.  They speak a majority of the world’s languages, and their traditional knowledge, cultural diversity and sustainable ways of life make an invaluable contribution to the world’s common heritage.

The adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the General Assembly in 2007 was a landmark in the struggle of Indigenous peoples for justice, equal rights and development.  There have also been recent welcome steps at the national level; some governments have apologized to Indigenous peoples for past injustices, and others have advanced legislative and constitutional reforms.

Still, Indigenous peoples remain some of the most marginalized populations, suffering disproportionately from poverty and inadequate access to education.  Many face discrimination and racism on a daily basis.  All to often, their languages face strictures or are threatened with extinction, while their territories are sacrificed for mining and deforestation.

Indigenous peoples also tend to suffer from the low standards of health associated with poverty, malnutrition, environmental contamination and inadequate health care.  With that in mind, this year’s observance of the International Day focuses on the threat of HIV/AIDS.  It is essential that Indigenous peoples have access to the information and infrastructure necessary for detection, treatment and protection.

Insufficient progress in health, in particular, points to a persistent and profound gap in many countries bwtween the formal recognition of Indigenous peoples’ rights and the actual situation on the ground.  On this International Day, I call on Governments and civil society to act with urgency and determination to close this implementation gap, in full partnership with Indigenous peoples.” (2009)

The day’s activities will include a press conference starting at 11:15 am, to include solidarity statements, special guest speakers, traditional dancers, drummers and singers, and performances from Indigenous nations in solidarity with the occasion, sharing their cultures and spiritual beliefs.

The program begins with traditional Mexica TeoKalli dance to the four winds/directions, and invocation from Ms. Betty Parent with reading from the Great Law of Peace.  We are joined by special keynote speaker Dr. Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz (professor-retired), followed by a *panel discussion on “Mayan Cosmo-vision for 2012 and beyond”, moderated by Dr. Jose Cuellar (aka DR. Loco), including Consejo de Ajq’ijab’s Don Pasquel Xayon, and *TBA.

The afternoon includes a recent documentary screening of “Mayan Words” (Palabras Mayas) in Spanish with English subtitles, and “Guatemala Vive!” followed by discussions after the panel and film.  The event will focus on sacred sites with references to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Media and Partnerships in Action, Climate Change, and political prisoners in the U.S. such as Leonard Peltier.

A donation of $5 is requested at the door, nobody turned away!  The press, families and youth are cordially welcomed.  Door proceeds go toward The Brava Theater! Raffle prizes, refreshments and snacks, vendors and information booths available!  Support your AIM chapters!

Informacion call 415-577-1492, y Consejo de Ajq’ijab de San Francisco, 415-377-1320  

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