by Native News Network Staff in Native Challenges. Discussion »
NEW YORK - The tenth session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is underway. The two-week forum will attract over 1,300 delegates from various countries from around the globe.
“There are still gaps between what we recommended and what has been implemented on the ground,”
said Forum Chair Mirna Cunningham at a press conference held on Monday. She is an indigenous Miskita and former member of the National Assembly in Nicaragua. She also served as Minister of Health and Governor of the North Atlantic Coast.
Kimberly Teehee (Cherokee), Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs to President Barack Obama was in attendance representing the White House at the opening session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
“We believe that a very important role the Permanent Forum can play is to help indigenous peoples and States - including the United States - to identify what works to combat problems that many of us share in common - like unemployment in Native lands or youth suicide - and then to replicate those successful practices at home,” Teehee said in remarks to delegates.
One major issue to be discussed during the Forum will be how indigenous languages are endangered. United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki moon stated one indigenous language dies every two weeks, in his remarks during the opening session.
“That is staggering,” said Grand Chief Edward John, a hereditary chief of Tl’azt’en Nation from Canada.
“But who says anything about an endangered language? I don’t know whether to cry in my heart or be mad about it when a language dies, a civilization dies.”
The Canadian Government allocated $6 million a year for languages, yet there were more than 600 indigenous communities speaking more than 50 languages. They needed the government support that other important languages enjoyed, Chief John reported.
There are over 370 million indigenous peoples worldwide. The Forum concludes on May 27, 2011.
posted May 18 6:37 am et
Do you have a comment about this? Share it!
Thank you for visiting. We are loading the new Native News Network website. Visitors always come first, so if you click on a link only to find the corresponding page is unavailable, please use this link to contact us here ».
Then, tell us how we can help you.
I will contact you personally.