Robert Free: The UN Game of Charades
BOYCOTT the UN sham World Indigenous Conference!
|Robert Free (on left) with Sid Mills Wounded Knee
Robert Free points out that many grassroots frontline veterans have been demanding the UN Indian NGO World Indigenous Conference promoters boycott the sham and not give it the token semblance of credibility. Free, who was among those at the Occupation of Alcatraz and Wounded Knee 1973, said he is glad the move is now towards a united front to boycott the proposed World Indigenous Conference 2014.
The following letter was written by Free prior to the planning session of the World Conference in Norway, one year ago, and described the high purpose, and what is actually happening at the UN. Sid Mills, Suzette Bridges of the fishing rights wars in the northwest, together with Free, advocated for the boycott. They suggested Free reach out to the other delegates.
By Robert Free
Hopi Thomas Banyaca shared prophecy at UN
Banyaca was one of several chosen and directed by the elders to go forth and share a prophecy that foretold of a time when the earth would be under great stress from wrongful living on our mother earth. He was to go to the house of mica and to declare our need to care for our mother earth. His mission was also to declare the sovereignty of indigenous peoples to land and rights to live in harmonious ways with our mother earth, even if the others did not chose to also to live in harmony with our mother earth. His leadership along with others efforts, educated many and helped to create the many groups to go before the UN. The efforts produced, after 60 years, the Declaration of indigenous rights. The issue still is to recognize these rights with a way of accountability and implementation.
Lack of clear unified voice at UN
All other issues being addressed or brought forth before the UN and the world conference are issues of the symptoms of not having these rights. The core issues of de-colonization, returns of lands, return of wealth by churches, rescinding of the Doctrine of Discovery, control and consent of resource extractions,etc., are not being brought forth in clear strong united actions.
Crying around for better health, education, etc., from the oppressor colonizers, into the concentration camps of open air ghettos misses the core issue of empowerment and self determination. Self determination enables control of land and resources to provide these needs for ourselves.
The UN Game of Charades
I am not hearing the core issues being articulated strongly and adamantly, rather the crying for help for the symptoms of colonization. This is what, in the long run, allows the UN to dodge the core issues and say they are addressing concerns brought forth from indigenous peoples, namely health, housing, education etc.
The huge bureaucracy of the UN can then say, "Look at all the agencies doing studies and having meeting etc."
Or these NGOs are doing the studies themselves for us (as certain Indian NGOs are getting funded to do studies on our peoples.)
Strong advocates to these core issues are the needed delegates to the world conference and pre-planning meeting in Norway with our Sammi allies. The UNWCIP needs the delegates to re-present the original efforts to the global communities and nations.
We can boycott the world conference (after meeting in Norway with all the indigenous peoples) which would have a louder impact and more spotlight focused on the token gestures of the UN. It is insulting to see the hard work and hard struggles of so many to go before the UN with so little resources to do the job of representing our peoples aspirations. Expecting us to struggle over decades to submit to their endless bureaucracy to no avail.
We would have more media exposure, for what ever its worth, than to continue to participate in the UN game of charades.