Truth Be Told

Signed copies of the book I co-authored with Soong-Chan Rah, "Unsettling Truths - The Ongoing Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery" are available from my website:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Excerpts from UNSR report on "The Situation of indigenous peoples in the United States of America"

James Anaya, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, published his report on "The Situation of indigenous peoples in the United States of America".  In his report he made 5 references to the Apology to Native Peoples that is buried in the 2010 Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 3326), including calling on President Obama and Congress to publicize and act on this apology.

On a funny side note, I was mentioned in the appendix (page 45) as the "Wooden Shoe People representative".  LOL

Pg 17

74. The Special Rapporteur notes that the Government took a step that could be one on a path toward reconciliation, when in 2010 Congress adopted a resolution of apology to the indigenous peoples of the country, following in the spirit of the apology previously issued to Native Hawaiians (para. 65 above). Acknowledging widespread wrongdoing, the Apology states: “The United States, acting through Congress … apologizes on behalf of the people of the United States for the many instances of violence, maltreatment and neglect inflicted on Native Peoples by citizens of the United States [and] expresses its regret”. The apology also “urges the President to acknowledge the wrongs of the United States against Indian tribes in the history of the United States in order to bring healing to this land. The full text of the apology bears reading. However, strangely, the apology was buried deep in a defense appropriations act, and apparently few indigenous people, much less the public in general, were made aware of it.

Pg 18
75. Such an apology should not go unnoticed. Rather, it should be a point of public awakening and mark a path toward reconciliation, a path for concrete steps to address issues whose resolution is essential to defeating disharmony, and a path toward more enlightened framing of relations between indigenous peoples and the United States.

Pg 21
97.  In following up to the apology resolution adopted by Congress in 2010, which directs the President to pursue reconciliation with the country’s indigenous peoples, the President should develop, in consultation with them, a set of relevant initiatives in accordance with paragraphs 87-92 above. As an initial measure, the President should make the apology resolution widely known among indigenous peoples and the public at large, in a way that is appropriate to the sensitivities and aspirations of indigenous peoples, and within a broader programme that contributes to public education about indigenous peoples and the issues they face.

Pg 22
100. Congress should, in consultation with indigenous peoples, enact legislative reforms or altogether new legislation as required to achieve the reconciliation called for in its apology resolution of 2010.

Pg 45
116. Wooden Shoe People representative: Working to bring attention to the non-binding apology to Native Americans on behalf of the citizens of the United States that was included in the 2010 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill.

Mark Charles

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