Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
NEW YORK James Anaya, the United Nations Special Rapporteur, spent twelve days the United States visiting Alaska, Arizona, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington State and Washington, DC, talking to indigenous peoples, tribes and nations investigating living conditions of Native people living in the United States.
James Anaya, United Nations Special Rapporteur
Unfortunately, he was not afforded the due respect by members of the United States Congress that he received in other countries he has investigated. In numerous other visits to countries, members of the legislative branch have always met with him.
“I regret that my efforts to meet with members of the US Congress were unsuccessful, especially given the prominent role of Congress in defining the status and rights of indigenous peoples within the United States,”
Anaya writes in the "Statement of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples" that was released on Friday.
Previously, as the UN Special Rapporteur, Anaya has visited Spain, Costa Rica, Peru, Brazil, Panama, Argentina, Botswana, Colombia, Ecuador and Nepal.
According the United Nations' website, the Special Rapporteur is to "examine ways and means of overcoming existing obstacles to the full and effective protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, in conformity with his/her mandate, and to identify, exchange and promote best practices."
Additionally, the Special Rapporteur is to "gather, request, receive and exchange information and communications from all relevant sources, including Governments, indigenous people and their communities and organizations, on alleged violations of their human rights and fundamental freedoms" and to â€œ"formulate recommendations and proposals on appropriate measures and activities to prevent and remedy violations."
In his statement issued Friday, Anaya indicates he will make a full report on his findings the United Nations Human Rights Council, most likely at its plenary session in September.
“I have heard countless accounts of the ongoing problems that indigenous peoples face as a result of historical injustices, problems of deeply troubling economic, health, education, and development disparities. In all my consultations with indigenous peoples in the places I visited it was impressed upon me that the sense of loss, alienation and indignity is pervasive throughout Indian country. It is evident that there have still not been adequate measures of reconciliation to overcome the persistent legacies of the history of oppression, and that there is still much healing that needs to be done,”
writes Anaya on his twelve-day visit to the United States.
posted May 7, 2012 6:59 am edt