State Department Consultations on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

July 7, 2010: Tribal Leaders Consultation – Washington DC

July 8, 2010: Meeting with Non-Governmental Organizations – Washington DC

The State Department is currently reviewing the United States' failure to endorse the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. As part of this formal review, the State Department is holding consultations with Indian and Alaska Native nations and NGOs to discuss the upcoming review process and receive comments. The State Department wants to receive comments from Indian and Alaska Native nations, NGOs and individuals.

If you are unable to attend the consultations, you may submit written comments to the State Department by email to declaration@state.gov or by mail to S/SR Global Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW., Suite 1317, Washington, DC 20520. Please send written comments by July 15, 2010 to ensure they are given due consideration in the review.

More information on the consultations can be found on the State Department website.
More information on the UN Declaration.
Read the full text of the UN Declaration.
 

US Senate Proposes Resolution Apologizing To Native Americans

Casualties of Wounded Knee (Eaglesnestcenter.org)

Tucked within the voluminous pages of a military spending bill, the Senate has approved a resolution apologizing to Native Americans for years of “ill-conceived policies” and acts of violence by United States citizens. Lawmakers have called the resolution “a symbolic gesture meant to promote a renewed commitment to Tribal communities”. It was introduced by Senators Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas, and Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota. The Senate approved a similar resolution in 2008, but the House of Representatives took no action to endorse it or enact it into law.

Senator Brownback’s website offers his views on the resolution:

“I am pleased that my colleagues have decided to move forward with a formal apology from the federal government to Native Americans. This is a resolution of apology and reconciliation, and is a step toward healing divisive wounds. With this resolution we have the potential to start a new era of positive relations between tribal governments and the federal government. For too much of our history, federal-tribal relations have been marked by broken treaties, mistreatment and dishonorable dealings. With this resolution, we can acknowledge past failures, express sincere regrets and establish a brighter future for all Americans.”

However, the website goes on to state:

The Native American Apology Resolution will not authorize or serve as a settlement of any claim against the United States. The resolution does not denigrate the bravery and self-sacrifice of Americans who have honorably served the nation in the military throughout our history. Rather, this resolution is intended to be the beginning of a much-needed reconciliation.