Celebrating the UN Declaration
Today, September 13, we celebrate the 5th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. As incredible as it may seem, the adoption of the Declaration by the UN General Assembly in 2007 marked the first time in history that indigenous peoples’ permanent right to exist as peoples, nations, cultures, and societies was legally recognized. It was a critical moment in human rights history; a day that deserves to be commemorated.
We hope you celebrate today by reading the Declaration (attached) then sharing with others the promises in the Declaration that are so critical to the future of indigenous peoples. Forward this email to your elected officials, your colleagues, your teachers and classmates, your community leaders, and your children.
Only through their continued use will the provisions in the Declaration become a reality. The more we use it, the more the Declaration moves from an aspirational document to actually becoming enshrined in the laws of countries worldwide.
Indigenous peoples can and should use the Declaration as a powerful affirmation of our rights.
The Center’s website has much more information about the Declaration — what tribes are doing to implement the Declaration, the Declaration and the right of self-determination, how the Declaration can be used to uphold treaty rights, protect sacred sites, and address violence against Native women, and much more.
As these linked articles show, across the country, tribal governments are seizing the Declaration and using it creatively to protect their lands and resources, their rights to cultural and sacred sites, and to reform federal laws and regulations. In recent months, tribes and tribal organizations have asked for the Center’s assistance to work on aspects of law reform they deem critical. We need your help to both provide this assistance and continue implementing the Declaration in the United States and throughout the Americas.
Together we can achieve greater justice for indigenous peoples. Thank you for your support!
Commemorate the anniversary of the Declaration with a donation today and we’ll send you a print copy of the pocket-sized version Declaration.