Filipino Indigenous Activist Victoria Tauli-Corpuz to be new UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The United Nations Human Rights Council has appointed Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, an indigenous Filipina activist, as its new Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, according to a report by Tebtebba, the NGO she founded.

Tebtebba, the Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education, said the selection of Tauli-Corpuz, which the UN has not released, has been confirmed by UN Human Rights Council President Boudelaire Ndong Ella and will be formally announced on March 28.

Article here.

Press release from the Maori Party congratulating Victoria Tauli-Corpuz on this appointment here.

James Anaya at Colorado Law on Indigenous Peoples in the United States

From ICT.

An excerpt:

James Anaya, a United Nations fact-finder, has learned that vibrant Indian cultures are often invisible in the United States mainstream and that problems of Indians today seem trivial to U.S. citizens who tend to believe Natives and Native issues exist only in the distant past.

Another excerpt:

On a personal note that illustrated the here-and-now of Native concerns, Anaya said he’d received a letter from a 15-year-old student attending high school near the Rosebud Sioux (Sicangu Lakota) Reservation in South Dakota.

“Life here is very hand-to-mouth,” the student wrote. “I’m going to be honest with you—sometimes I don’t eat. I’ve never told anyone this before, not even my mom, but I don’t eat sometimes because I feel bad about making my mom buy food that I know is expensive.

“And you know what? Life is hard enough for my mom, so I will probably never tell her.”

Anaya gave the Thomson Visitor Lecture as part of the 2012-2013 Speaker Series of the American Indian Law Program.


Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Release on UN Special Rapporteur Recommendations re: Eagle Rock

Here is the release:

Media Release_KBIC 9-26-12

Above is the media release from the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community in regards to a recent report released by the United Nations.The full report is available at here. A UN news release is available here.

IPR on KBIC/Bad River Letter to UN Special Rapporteur re: Mining


An excerpt:

A tribe in the Upper Peninsula is appealing to the United Nations in an effort to restrain sulfide mining. The tribe hopes to strengthen its position through an international agreement signed by the Obama Administration.

The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community says mines that produce sulfuric acid can pollute the water and threaten places sacred to tribes in the Great Lakes. The Keweenaw tribe fought the Eagle Mine, a new copper and nickel mine under construction in Marquette County.

The owner, Kennecott Eagle Minerals says it is leading a resurgence of mining in the Upper Peninsula.

One of the issues raised was the mine’s proximity to Eagle Rock, a rock outcropping that has been used for sacred ceremonies. Eagle Rock is prominently cited in a document sent to the United Nations. It says tribes are overwhelmed by the development of new mines and the State of Michigan does not consider their cultures when issuing permits.

Many American Indian tribes are raising issues like these with the U.N. now because the U.S. endorsed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People in 2010. A U.N. official is visiting this week to gather information about implementing the declaration.

An attorney for the Keweenaw tribe says the declaration is not law, it’s a political document that sets out principles. But she says it could lead to new laws that would help tribes in the Great Lakes region oppose sulfide mining.

Keweenaw Bay and Bad River Chippewa Media Release on Report on Mining to UN Special Rapporteur

Here (Media release. Bad River 5.2.2012):

Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa recently collaborated on a Statement of Information submitted to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples documenting concerns about the activities of multinational mining corporations in Anishinabe territories.  The Statement of Information is available here

Today, members of the Bad River Band Council are attending a consultation with the UN Special Rapporteur in Mission, South Dakota.  Representatives from Keweenaw Bay Indian Community plan to attend another consultation with the UN Special Rapporteur later this month.