TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA — The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council passed a resolution Monday, March 10, 2014, to encourage the United Nations to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, commonly referred to as UNDRIP.
UNDRIP was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007 as a way for indigenous governments across the globe to protect their people, lands and resources. Currently, the United Nations does not have a system to enforce it or track which countries have begun to implement it.
Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor Victoria Vazquez
“The significance of the United Nations implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is of the utmost importance to the Cherokee people and other indigenous peoples,” said Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor Victoria Vazquez. “The declaration is a needed tool for indigenous governments to protect their sovereignty and promote the interests of their people.”
The resolution asks the United Nations to establish a tracking system to monitor and encourage countries to implement the UNDRIP. It also asks that they promote measures to address violence against Native women and children and to create a new status for indigenous governments, such as the Cherokee Nation, that adequately recognize them as unique nations. Currently, if the Cherokee Nation, or other American Indian tribes, want to attend a United Nations hearing, even as an observer, they cannot unless they attend under a non-governmental organization (NGO) that has observer status.
Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin, Jr.
“It’s important that Cherokee Nation stay engaged on matters affecting Native people on the national and international stage,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. “This resolution is our way of both applauding the progress the international community is making on the rights of indigenous people, but also to push for a stronger role for tribes in the process.”