"As north winds whip across the prairies and mountains, we should expect to hear more conversational gusts about Native people as we reach the midway peak of American Indian Heritage Month.
Or will we?
It reminds me of the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People that ended in 2004, a 10-year time frame to recognize the rights of the world's 370 million indigenous people.
Few people knew the decade existed.
In order to give it the attention it deserved, the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples adopted a second decade for indigenous peoples in 2005. Before the second decade ended, forum members set a goal of having the U.N. General Assembly adopt the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
For more than 25 years, indigenous peoples lobbied for the declaration. In September 2007, 143 member nations of the General Assembly finally adopted it. While the day marked a significant victory for indigenous groups worldwide, four countries voted against the declaration, including the United States.
As we reach mid-November, it's not a big surprise that American Indian Heritage Month seems to have as much relevance on the national public agenda as a firefly has to a herd of buffalo."
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Jodi Rave: American Indian Heritage Month seems to have been put out of mind
(The Missoulian 11/14)