From the Top Down – How the United Nations is Addressing Indigenous Peoples’ Rights With Them

From the Top Down – How the United Nations is Addressing Indigenous Peoples’ Rights With Them

  • Especially when dealing with Indigenous Peoples, it’s important to engage with them to determine what is needed, by whom, and involving them in the process.
  • that there has to be recognition that not every group will have the same needs due to their cultural practices and history.
  1. some groups are herders/pastoralists
  2. some are hunters/gatherers
  3. some are farmers
  • Because of the long history of mistreatment at the hands of their nation/states and colonialism, to the point of extinction, this had to be a global effort to protect their rights, cultures, languages and indeed their lives.
  1. the history of missionary schools
  2. paternalism by the nation – refusing the peoples’ opportunities to advocate for themselves, To include them in the voices of authority – police, social workers, nurses, doctors, govt)
  3. land and human rights’ defenders arrested and ‘disappeared’
  4. the quest for self determination
  5. survival during the climate change – islands and coastal regions – storms and deterioration of the land

Which makes it clear that no one solution would fit all of the peoples and nations. And advocacy was/is critical. It took some convincing. And the peoples have been approaching the United Nations since 1923.

Are they making progress?

  • They are finally recognized
  • heard
  • included

Considering the beginning and who the most important nations are on the United Nations (mostly colonizing nations), it’s a start. But they knew from the beginning they had an uphill battle ahead.

….. UN bodies that have been working with Indigenous Peoples

UN – Human Rights Council
UN – Department of Economic and Social Affairs

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