Peter d’Errico: Equal footing for indigenous people at UN
"The Ninth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues opened in New York April 19 with remarks by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“Indigenous peoples often live in the most isolated places on earth – from the Arctic to the African savannah. But, the United Nations is working to make sure that indigenous people themselves are not isolated.” He added, “You have a unique place in the global community.”

The most significant element in the welcoming statement was the next short sentence, “You are full and equal members of the U.N. family.” Mr. Ban followed this by saying, “And we will continue to support and protect your human rights and fundamental freedoms, and your right to pursue social and economic development.”

To say that indigenous peoples are “full and equal members of the U.N. family” is to break with a line of thinking far older than the United Nations itself, going back to and before the foundation case of U.S. federal Indian law, Johnson v. M’Intosh."

Get the Story:
Peter d'Errico: ‘Full and equal members of the UN family’ (Indian Country Today 4/23)

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