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Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Video Bill Means at AIM West Part 3 of 4


Indigenous Peoples brought gifts of climate change knowledge and power of matriarchal societies to United Nations

Bill Means, Lakota, speaks at AIM West in San Francisco in Nov. 2013. Part 3

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

SAN FRANCISCO -- Bill Means, founder of the International Indian Treaty Council, describes the 30 year effort at the United Nations which culminated in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Means was speaking during the AIM West gathering here in November of 2013.

Means compared the pace of the progress with the passage of the Declaration with that of the turtle, slowed by translations into world languages, and compromises. But today, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is the foremost document.

Still, he adds, "It is a stepping stone."

Self-determination means Indigenous Peoples decide for themselves what they want, what is right for them. Means points out that Indigenous Peoples don't have missionaries.

“We never tried to make an eagle out of an crow.”

“The socialists are not much different than the capitalists. They all want land and resources,” he said, and for many there’s a third element. “They want cheap labor.”

Means points out that Indigenous societies are matriarchal societies. It was the patriarchal society, both the socialists and capitalists, who attempted to subjugate women.

"We provide a vision for the United Nations. We brought a gift to them."

Means said Indigenous Peoples brought the gift of the knowledge of climate change to the United Nations, and the importance of matriarchal societies. Indigenous People also brought the reality that people should get along and halt the constant wars.

Means said decisions require a respect for Mother Earth and future generations.

Means also points out the role of Eleanor Roosevelt in the establishment of the standard of global human rights. Roosevelt's husband, President Roosevelt, did not support her effort. "Her husband was against her," Means said.

Meanwhile, during the vote at the United Nations for passage of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, four of the countries with the largest number of Indigenous Peoples -- the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand -- voted against the Declaration initially.

Watch Part I

Part II

Part IV Concluding Comments

Video series will conclude with Part IV. Video recorded by Brenda Norrell, Censored News.

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