Listening to Art Manuel and Shawn Atleo discuss the current challenge to the indigenous peoples movement, what jumps out is that fighting intelligently is contingent on education. When one is consumed by anger, the pain of the past prevents that intelligence.
Confronting the status quo at the UN and in each of its member states can only succeed if the indigenous peoples movement strengthens indigenous nations by reforming indigenous institutions and supporting indigenous governance.
The same can be said for the human rights movement in general; when non-indigenous peoples ask what they can do to support the indigenous peoples movement, they should be told to democratize their own institutions and governments to prevent them from inhibiting the democratic development of indigenous ones.
We don’t deny the value of NGOs like the Center for World Indigenous Studies, Indian Law Resource Center and International Indian Treaty Council in making opportunities for indigenous nations possible at the UN. We are merely suggesting participants understand and respect the different roles involved in implementing UNDRIP. There is clearly confusion about that, and maybe we are helping to clarify them.
The indigenous peoples movement is stronger when everyone understands what NGOs can do, and what governing authorities can do. They can complement each other, but they are not equivalent.
We're fighting for our lives
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.