Opinion: America should not ignore Native people
"The United Nations has made an announcement that should be embarrassing to the American people.

As reported in a column by Nick Coleman in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a U.N. inspector will be "traveling to a South Dakota Indian reservation to examine dismal housing conditions among the poorest of our poor."

Raquel Rolnik, the inspector, will visit the Pine Ridge reservation in the Black Hills area and will make a report on what he finds to the international agency.

According to Coleman, "... in 2000 the U.N. declared that the right to adequate housing is a human right. Then, in 2007, after 20 years of debate, it approved a Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples." It stated that treaties between a nation and its indigenous peoples may be considered matters of international concern.

The Pine Ridge reservation is said to be like most hard-core pockets of poverty with shabby, overcrowded, pest-ridden, dilapidated homes, many of which lack plumbing and other modern conveniences. Unemployment is estimated as high as 75 or 80 percent and 60 percent of the housing stock is substandard. "

Get the Story:
Bill Boyne: It's time for us to stop ignoring Native Americans (The Rochester Post-Bulletin 11/4)

Also Today:
Nick Coleman: U.N. visits America's Third World (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 11/1)

Related Stories:
NAIHC to host briefing with UN special rapporteur (11/4)

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