Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

April 24, 2023

Live Coverage United Nations Indigenous Permanent Forum

Winnemem Wintu Chief Caleen Sisk addressed UN Indigenous Forum this morning. Screenshot by Censored News

World governments are rushing to defend their human rights records again today -- as the second week of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues  begins in New York

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Monday, April 24, 2023

NEW YORK -- Winnemem Wintu Chief Caleen Sisk spoke on the extermination policies of California and false solutions for climate change, including genetically-modified organisms for climate change. Native people who are not federally recognized, like the Winnemem Wintu, currently have no rights and no way to ensure their survival in the United States, Chief Sisk told the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, as the second week began today.

This morning both the governments of Mexico and Guatemala spoke, portraying their governments' treatment of Indigenous Peoples in a positive way -- without discussing the ongoing assassinations and disappearances of Indigenous Peoples who are fighting land loss and the theft of water and forests by mining and development corporations. 

Arctic Athabaskan Chief Gary Harrison/Image by Censored News

Arctic Athabaskan Council Chief Gary Harrison spoke on the need for hunting and fishing rights in Alaska. The big trollers in the ocean need to be stopped, with their large fishing traps. 

"Two companies -- the United States and the state of Alaska -- are allowing all of these atrocities to happen with hunting and fishing," Chief Harrison told the United Nations Permanent Forum.

"We have to compete with commercial, personal, and sports fishing and so then we are not allowed to have our traditional foods," he said, adding that the people need to "get back our traditional foods, traditional speaking, and customary rights."

Achuar recommended to Ecuador ways to ensure the rights of nature, as guaranteed in Ecuador's constitution.
Image by Censored News.

Achuar Indigenous from Ecuador's rainforest near the border of Peru spoke as guardians and warriors who want to ensure the protection of their culture and Mother Earth.

Achuar, representing 13,000 Indigenous People, made recommendations to the state of Ecuador, which guarantees the rights of nature in its constitution.

Ecuador should recognize the autonomy of Achuar's territory in order to guarantee its protection, taking into account the vulnerability of the communities.

"We are in danger of dissolution of our communities."

Achuar encouraged community tourism as a form of income as opposed to logging, mining and oil extraction. In order to fight climate change, they asked for sustainable projects to encourage the bio-economy with local raw materials.

Ancestral medicines need to be patented to ensure their sovereignty and the vision of their ancestors. The promotion of bilingual education is needed to rehabilitate their language and ensure their knowledge is not forgotten. Existing schools do not have teachers trained in order to provide quality education.

In order to fight climate change, Achuar told the state of Ecuador that they do not want more roads.

"We do not want more roads -- we do want free, prior, and informed consent."

Otherwise, the ancestral culture will be extinguished.

"The future is in the waters, the forests, and the land."

"We are known as warriors, that is our heritage, and we want to use those skills now to protect our Mother Earth."

During the morning session, the government of Vietnam, for the second time, complained about statements being made at the Forum concerning the violation of rights in Vietnam. An Indigenous youth earlier described forced police confessions for those attending a gathering for Indigenous Women's Day. 

The government of India said that individuals are misusing this Forum, apparently, he is upset over human rights abuses that are being exposed, carried out by the government of India, during both the official session and side events.

China's government representative said the UN Forum should pay more attention to the abuses of Native children in residential schools. This comes as Mongolians tell the Forum that China is carrying out cultural genocide in Mongolia.

The government of Chile pointed out that mining and extractive activities are being carried out without Indigenous Peoples free, prior, and informed consent, as mandated in the U.N. Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The president of the Saami Parliament of Finland spoke on the need for Indigenous Peoples to be included in intergovernmental participation and consultation with the United Nations.

Bolivia's government now speaking, 11:30 am Monday New York time. She is pointing out the need for Indigenous observers in an official capacity at the United Nations.

The violence against and criminalization of Indigenous Peoples is being described. UN Indigenous Peoples Forum is in session in New York. She was followed by a Tanzania representative speaking on rights.

Next, a second representative from the Society for Threatened Peoples is exposing the cultural genocide being carried out in Mongolia by the government of China. China vehemently denied this last week and said it does not have Indigenous Peoples, and instead, it has ethnic autonomous groups. -- Censored News. Watch online

South Wales Aboriginal Lands Council/Image by Censored News

South Wales Aboriginal Lands Council was among the first speakers, speaking on the need for the return of their lands, as the second week of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples began.

During Monday morning's session, the government of Canada's Minister of Northern Affairs pointed out this morning that Indigenous Peoples should be given priority at the Forum. She pointed out the high cost for Indigenous who must stay for the second week to be heard.

This comes after the governments have been absorbing large amounts of time defending their human rights records, after being exposed by Indigenous Peoples during the first week.

Gam Shimray at UN Indigenous Forum/Image Censored News

No place to complain?

Gam Shimray told the UN Forum on Indigenous Peoples today, that Indigenous Peoples come to the United Nations to contribute and said it is not a place "to come and complain" about human rights violations. He said Indigenous Peoples are seeking peace. 
Gam Shimray is secretary general of the UN Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact.

Today, world governments rushed to silence Indigenous Peoples, and deny the human rights violations being exposed. Again today, China's cultural genocide in Mongolia was exposed. Meanwhile, the governments of Mexico and Guatemala sounded more like a travel guide than a serious response and failed to discuss the widespread assassinations, torture and disappearances of Indigenous Peoples fighting mining and development, and the loss of land, forests and lives.

The bureaucratic rhetoric continues, while traditional Indigenous wait for a turn to speak.

Statement The transition to Green
Statement by Indigenous Peoples Rights International (IPRI)
Speaker: Rukka Sombolinggi, April 20, 2023

The Indigenous Peoples Rights International expressed concern over how the transition to green energy is being carried out.

"IPRI has documented numerous cases of criminalization, violence, and impunity against Indigenous Peoples in the fortress conservation approach by States, big conservation organizations, and the private sector."

In support of Maasai sisters and brothers, it pointed out the "profoundly grave situation faced by approximately 100,000 Maasai pastoralists in the Loliondo area of Tanzania, who are being forcibly displaced by the State from their traditional lands for the creation of a 1500km2 game conservation area to be managed by a private business from the UAE."

Read more on Maasai being displaced at Human Rights Watch

UN Web TV:

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  UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues -- original series by Censored News
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  Live coverage: Winnemem Wintu, Alaska fishing, more
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  China denies cultural genocide in Mongolia
  What Interior Sec. Failed to Tell UN: Thacker Pass
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  World Governments Rattled as Atrocities Exposed by Indigenous at UN
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Copyright Censored News. Screen captures by Censored News.

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