Jenni Monet at Indian Country Today recently interviewed James Anaya, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, who remarked, “There needs to be a real reckoning of the history that indigenous people suffered and an understanding that the social conditions [of today] are a direct consequence of this inter-generational trauma.” And though this remark on its face seems encouraging, in that it acknowledges a reality any thinking and caring person can embrace, Anaya then goes on to characterize the relationship of Indigenous nations and modern states as one where the former are subsumed in the latter. It’s almost as though Anaya sets up his audience with an emotional appeal, then subtly attacks their intelligence.
While this colonial characterization might easily slide past careless readers, or small minds captured by the platitudes of corporate compliance, it nonetheless seamlessly undermines the Indigenous resurgence to reclaim their legitimacy as self-governing political entities.
Indigenous Peoples are putting their bodies on the line and it's our responsibility to make sure you know why. That takes time, expertise and resources - and we're up against a constant tide of misinformation and distorted coverage. By supporting IC you're empowering the kind of journalism we need, at the moment we need it most.