President Obama Announces US Support For The UN Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples

The President has announced a change to the United States’ status as the sole holdout in supporting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, stating:

“And as you know, in April we announced that we were reviewing our position on the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. And today I can announce that the United States is lending its support to this Declaration.”

The President’s remarks came during the close of the second Tribal Nations Conference held by the White House. His full statement on the Declaration and other Tribal issues can be viewed HERE.

While the statement declares a change in US policy, there will be much practical work required to implement the provisions of the Declaration and assess its impact on relations between the federal government and Tribal communities.

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 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.