Introduction I Inclusion I Standard Setting I International Actors


Left to Right:
Stuart Patterson - Tuscarora Nation, Haudenosaunee, Armand MacKenzie - Innu, Tonya Gonnella Frichner - Onondaga Nation, Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Kenneth Deer - Mohawk, Noeli Pocaterra - Wayuu, Roy Laifungbam - Meitei, Les Malezer, Andrea Carmen - Yaqui Indian Nation, Lucy Mulenkei - Maasai, Darwin Hill - Seneca Nation, Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Mililani Trask - Kanaka Maoli, Ronald Barnes - Yupiaq, Art Manuel - Neskonlith Band, Secwepemc Nation, Vicky Tauli Corpuz - Igorot, Clem Chartier - Métis, Marcial Arias - Kuna



We invite you to meet some very special people and to celebrate their lifetime commitment towards advancing the rights of Indigenous Peoples. After getting to know them, first time visitors are invited to begin the journey through this unique global communications website, Dialogue Between Nations.

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, formerly Inuit Tapirisat of Canada

"…a number of state governments still refuse to recognize our collective and individual rights  as peoples. Our rights are inseparable from our cultures, way of life and our relationship to our lands and territories. We are peoples with the same rights as all peoples. To deny this is to deny who we are. We are no longer merely objects of international law, we are subjects of international law."



December 10, 1992


Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) Ottawa, 29 November 2006

President of the national Inuit organization, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), Mary Simon stated, "This vote proves, once again, that the rights of indigenous peoples around the world cannot rest entirely on the goodwill of state governments. I can only hope that the calls and commitments for greater transparency over the next eight months are serious and meant in good faith." Ms. Simon, who has been intimately involved in the drafting of the text since 1983, says that Canada will have a tough road ahead to convince people that it is simply not playing the politics of those that have traditionally opposed indigenous peoples' rights - the USA, Australia, and New Zealand.


to change its position on the September 2007
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.
May 20, 2009





Stuart Patterson
Tuscarora Nation, Haudenosaunee

But our essential message to the world is a basic call to consciousness. The destruction of the Native cultures and people is the same process which has destroyed and is destroying life on this planet. The technologies and social systems which have destroyed the animal and plant life are also destroying the Native people. And that process is Western Civilization.

We know that there are many people in the world who can quickly grasp the intent of our message. But experience has taught us that there are few who are willing to seek out a method for moving toward any real change. But, if there is to be a future for all beings on this planet, we must begin to seek the avenues of change.

The processes of colonialism and imperialism which have affected the Hau de no sau nee are but a microcosm of the processes affecting the world. The system of reservations employed against our people is a microcosm of the system of exploitation used against the whole world. Since the time of Marco Polo, the West has been refining a process that mystified the peoples of the Earth.
Break Line

Armand MacKenzie
Innu Council of Nitassinan

"... speaking on behalf of Congress of Aboriginal People, said that it was unfortunate that the United Nations had not yet achieved a consensus to adopt a declaration on the fundamental human rights of indigenous peoples..."[2]

Armand MacKenzie's BLOG (French)

Audio Armand MacKenzie Interview
Break Line
Tonya Gonnella Frichner
Snipe Clan, Onondaga Nation, Haudenosaunee, Iroquois Confederacy
President and Founder, American Indian Law Alliance

Q: Do you prefer to be called American Indian or Native American?
A: I prefer to be called Onondaga.

"...governments sidestep the issue that indigenous peoples are people who are subject to human rights just like everybody else in the world. When you are not a "people", then you are referred to as a group. It's a legal issue... pressure governments to move this Declaration along and not to change the very essence of it, which is our right to self-determination."

UN Observer
Tonya Gonella Frichner named as the North American Representative to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
Break Line
Kenneth Deer
Editor, The Eastern Door

"...Basically what these countries are saying is "we stole this land from you and we want to keep it"." [4]

"Indigenous representatives are deeply concerned that opening the text would allow governments like the United States, Australia and others to weaken the Declaration even more".

Video YouTube Interview With Kenneth Deer
Indigenous Portal, 22 May 2009
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues: Human Rights

Dialogue Between Nations:
Roll Call of Nations – Kenneth Deer
Break Line
Noeli Pocaterra Uliana
Wayuu Nation
Vice-President of the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Chair of the National Commission on Indigenous Issues

"... We demand to be heard and to be taken into account, that our rights be included in the constitutions of countries, therefore we call to the General Assembly of the United Nations to reflect on the present consideration, that this will not be left as mere expectations. We need, rather, to take action. These are the wishes and feelings of Indigenous Peoples ..." [6]

La Diputada Noeli Pocaterra - Flickr

Asemblea Nacional
Noelí Pocaterra: Gobierno nacional mejora calidad de vida de los pueblos indígenas

Audio Dialogue Between Nations: Noeli Pocaterra (Spanish/Wayuu)
Break Line
D. Roy Laifungbam
Centre for Organisation Research & Education (CORE)
Manipur Loisanglen, India

The Kimberley Declaration: Sacred Sites

1. We urge States, governments and civil society to work in conjunction with Indigenous Peoples to ensure that Indigenous Peoples' sacred, ceremonial and culturally significant sites and areas are preserved, respected and protected from destructive or exploitative development. We will ensure our peoples' access to our sacred, burial, archeological and historical sites, including the unqualified right to restrict access to those sites.
Break Line

Native Australian of the Gabi Gabi Community
President of the "Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action"
Representative at the United Nations of Australia's Aboriginal Communities.

Despite the negative votes, the Declaration represents a significant achievement for both Indigenous peoples and nation-states. Les Malezer, Chair of the Global Indigenous Peoples' Caucus, recognized the unique nature of this human rights document:

Video Les Malezer
Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action

[English] 2 minutes (slide counter bar to 2:27:26 to view)

Human Rights Council
Third session
29 November to 8 December 2006
Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland

"The Declaration does not represent solely the viewpoint of the United Nations, nor does it represent solely the viewpoint of the Indigenous Peoples. It is a Declaration which combines our views and interests and which sets the framework for the future. It is a tool for peace and justice, based upon mutual recognition and mutual respect."

13 September 2007
Press Release
International Forum on Globalization

"Despite the extensive work over an extensive period, many states still do not know who the Indigenous peoples are, do not know that self-determination is not a right to secession, do not know that free, prior, and informed consent is not a right of veto over parliaments, and have constitutions, legal systems and laws, which they admit do not address the equality of human rights of Indigenous peoples." [

"…I believe that we cannot negotiate beyond a certain level with governments. Governments do not want to discuss topics of self-determination with Indigenous Peoples and they are not ready to return to the Natives the right to their lands and to their resources.

So, it's important to turn to an international audience where we can face these topics. International dialogue is important because it is objective and because it can give voice to the various opinions of different nations."

Break Line

Andrea Carmen
Yaqui Indian Nation
Executive Director, International Indian Treaty Council (IITC)

A historical reminder of importance for Indigenous peoples to continue the fight are the dreams that brought Indigenous peoples together at the International NGO Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas, held September 20-23, 1977 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The result of the conference was the Declaration of Principles for the Defense of the Indigenous Nations and Peoples of the Western Hemisphere, one of the precursors of what eventually became the Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It is still our political agenda today. [10]

Video Stories of Indigenous Peoples – Andrea Carmen

Andrea Carmen: Flickr

Break Line

Lucy Mulenkei
Maasai (Kenya)
Indigenous Information Network (IIN)
African Indigenous Women's Organization (AIWO)

"Today the voice of Indigenous Women in the Sudan is loud in the search for peace. Women have seen too much human suffering and this has made them address their issues as equal partners from different political, cultural and religious backgrounds. They have been victims for a long time. The leaders of different groups have a knowledge of human rights and women's rights and they have gone a step ahead in creating this awareness in different Indigenous Women's groups at the community level. It should be noted that despite the success of such efforts in the Eastern African Region, there is still a lot of work to be done in most of the other countries of Southern Africa and West Africa where Indigenous Peoples live. Peace building in a region or country where different kinds of conflict occur is crucial and this has been a key focus for most of the Indigenous Women." [11]

Break Line

Darwin Hill
Seneca Nation, Haudenosaunee Confederacy
Indian Law Resource Centre

"...the important and historic standard-setting process that started in the period following the first session of the Commission was still continuing, and it remained an unfinished task for the indigenous peoples of the world and for the United Nations, as they still did not have the legal instruments needed to protect their basic rights and freedoms. A strong declaration was urgently needed to protect the health and well-being of the world's indigenous peoples. Correcting the wrongs of the past and securing justice for indigenous peoples could be achieved if a strong declaration was achieved soon." [12]

Break Line

Ms. Mililani Trask, Former Member, United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Pacific Basin Region

"My comments and proposals are to the Chairwoman of the Commission on the Status of Women. It's sad that Indigenous women have been marginalized to date by the work of the Commission. But in reality, we are all victimized because what we have to deal with are the very few provisions that we were able to get into the final documents that issued out of Beijing.

When it became apparent that Indigenous women were not going to be included in the Beijing document we worked collectively to issue the Beijing Declaration of Indigenous Women." [

"The Final Agreement of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the establishment of the WTO has created new instruments for the appropriation and privatization of our community intellectual rights through the introduction of the trade-related intellectual property rights (TRIPS). This facilitates and legitimizes the piracy of our biological, cultural and intellectual resources, and heritage by transnational corporations. Our Indigenous values and practice of sharing knowledge among ourselves, and mutual exchange will become things of the past because we are being forced to play by the rules of the market."

Dialogue Between Nations: Roll Call of Nations
Mililani Trask

Video YouTube (9:15 min)
Mililani Trask, Indigenous Peoples' Caucus Pacific Basin Representative
, International Coalition of NGOs and the International Forum on Globalization denounces Canada, New Zealand and Australia for “Human Rights Hypocrisy” in leading the opposition to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous PeopleS.

Video (56:01 min) Jerry Mander talks about Paradigm Wars: Indigenous People's Resistance to Economic Globalization. Recorded November, 2006

International Forum on Globalization

Break Line

Ronald Barnes

Ambassador Ronald Barnes, Indigenous Peoples and Nations Coalition, Alaska.
Interview on Linguistic Rights: Human Rights Council, 10th session, United Nations, Geneva, 17 March 2009. Cesco Reale, Universala Esperanto-Asocio.

Interview on Linguistic Rights
Webcast View this interview on YouTube

Audio Ambassador Ronald Barnes
Symposium on Linguistic Rights

Language, Communication and Self-Determination
Linguistic Human Rights in the World
24 April, 2008, Geneva

Break Line
Arthur Manuel
Neskonlith Band, Secwepemc Nation

Arthur Manuel is spokesperson for the Indigenous Network
on Economies and Trade (INET), former Chief of the Neskonlith
Indian Band, Chairman of the Interior Alliance and the
Shuswap Nation Tribal Council.

Two provocative thoughts from the presentation below:

Indigenous Rights as Human Rights
Maturity is accepting the Declaration

Canada: A Pariah State
Host(s): Courtney Kirkby
Featured Speaker/Guest: Arthur Manuel

Dialogue Between Nations: Audio Audio: English
Interview with Chief Arthur Manuel
Break Line

Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Chairperson, United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

"I condemn in the strongest terms those who are responsible for the attempted assassination and killing of these esteemed colleagues who have dedicated their lives to the defense and promotion of indigenous Peoples' human rights. I call on your government to conduct a full investigation of these cases and bring the perpetrators to justice. The government is the body which should guarantee the basic right to life of its citizens and therefore it should exert all efforts to stop extrajudicial political killings. The fact that the government has not apprehended even just one of the perpetrators it appalling." [15]  [16]  [17]

Dialogue Between Nations: Roll Call of Nations
Vicky Tauli-Corpuz

Break Line
Clément Chartier
Métis Nation Cabinet President, Minister of Rights & Self-Government

"It is important that we continue to work with Indigenous peoples and the many states who are willing to champion the Declaration" said MNC President Clément Chartier. "It is crucial that we meet the concerns expressed so that Indigenous peoples will be welcomed into the fold of humanity as equally deserving of justice, dignity and human rights."

Canada had been a champion of the Declaration until the current minority government, in a stunning reversal of international human rights policy and diplomacy, voted with Russia against the Declaration in the Human Rights Council last June
. [18]

Fontaine, Simon and Chartier Congratulate Canadian Parliament for their support of the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Break Line

Marcial Arias
Policy Advisor
International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests

"We came here* seeking a solution for the problems that agrofuels are already costing our communities," said Marcial Arias from Kuna Yala (Panama), adding "now we are leaving frustrated seeing how the governments not only are not addressing our concerns they are promoting even more of these destructive agrofuels projects on our land." [19]

* Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) in Paris, July 2007




1 A Basic Call to Consciousness
The Hau de no sau nee Address to the Western World

Geneva, Switzerland, Autumn 1977
Akwesasne Notes, Mohawk Nation, Via Roseveltown, NY

2 Statements on Prevention of Discrimination - Sub-Commission Starts Debate on Prevention of Discrimination, Concludes Review of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Reports Presented on Social Forum, Working Group on Transnational Corporations, Small Arms and Discrimination Against Victims of Leprosy; 5 August 2005

3; Interview Archives; Interviewed July 14-15, 2003 via telephone from New York City

Interview, Human Rights Tribune, Geneva; 28 June 2006; "Canada does an About-Face"; Pamela Taylor - InfoSud

International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) Eyes of the world are in the new UN Human Rights Council: Canada blind to its purpose, By: Kenneth Deer; June 2006

Presentation on the Inauguration of the International Year of Indigenous Peoples December 10, 1992

The Kimberley Declaration
International Indigenous Peoples Summit on Sustainable Development

Khoi-San Territory
Kimberley, South Africa, 20-23 August 2002
Published by the Tebtebba Foundation

The Kimberley Declaration makes a commitment to continue constructive participation.

Additional Resource:
KANGLA PUNGMAYOL: LAIPHAM OF THE MEITEI - INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF MANIPUR -- Cultural Heritage and Sacred Sites: World Heritage from an Indigenous Perspective, Manhattan, New York City, 15 May 2002

8 Les Malezer, Oral Statement, Third Session of the Human Rights Council
December 7, 2006
Twelfth Plenary Meeting

View the archived web cast
Scroll down to Non-Governmental Organizations Foundation
for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action
[English] 2 minutes

Read the Unofficial Transcript
Issued on December 13, 2006: First Peoples Human Rights Coalition

Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action

by Rosalba Nattero
On the occasion of the Working Group
on Indigenous Peoples, held from the 18th - 22nd of July, 2005,
at the United Nations of Geneva.

U.N. Observer & International Report
2006-12-02 | A slight setback for the World's Indigenous Peoples on long walk toward liberation

Indigenous Women's Rights in Africa (pdf)
Lucy Mulenkei
Indigenous Information Network (IIN)
African Indigenous Women's Organization (AIWO), Kenya
Paper submitted at
Indigenous Rights in the Commonwealth Project
Africa Regional Expert Meeting
Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee (IPACC)
South Africa Cape Town, South Africa
16th - 18th October 2002

Additional Resource:
Dialogue Between Nations - Coverage from the UN Permanent Forum
Listen to a dialogue between Lucy Mulenkei, Maasai from Kenya, and Ida Nicolaisen, Independent Expert, Member of the United Nations Permanent Forum. They comment upon the issues of land, tradition and cultures, as well as their concerns confronting pastoralists within the confines of States who like people to be settled, as Ida reminds us. The problematic qualification of "who are Indigenous Peoples" also arises in this dialogue.

12 Commission Starts Debate on Specific Groups and Individuals after Concluding Discussion on Child Rights and Indigenous Issues 11 April 2005.
Secretary-General's Representative on Internally Displaced Persons Addresses Commission, Commission on Human Rights.

Dialogue Between Nations: Women Members of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Statement, Ms. Mililani Trask

Beijing Declaration of Indigenous Women
NGO Forum, UN Fourth World Conference on Women Huairou, Beijing, Peoples Republic of China

Letter of the United Nations Permanent Forum of Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) Chair to the Philippine President on the Political Killings of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines, 03 August 2006

Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for Policy Research and Education) is an indigenous peoples' organization born out of the need for heightened advocacy to have the rights of indigenous peoples recognized, respected and protected worldwide.    

Dialogue Between Nations: DIALOGUE
Rodolfo Stavenhagen - UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of Indigenous People, with guests: Mililani Trask - Former Member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, representing the Pacific Region Basin and Victoria Tauli Corpuz - Chairperson, United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; Executive Director, Tebtebba Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for Policy Research and Education

18 Ottawa, ON (November 29, 2006)
Métis National Council Statement on the decision of the General Assembly Third Committee on delaying adoption of the United Nations Declaration

Under PRESS RELEASES on Métis Nation Web site, click on the word "more" after: NEW Métis National Council Statement on the decision of the General Assembly Third Committee on delaying adoption of the United Nations Declaration to open pop up window with the Press Release.

19 Toward Freedom
A Progressive perspective on world events since 1952
Government Experts and Activists Express Strong Concerns About Biofuels 
Written by Global Justice Ecology Project
02 August 2007



Introduction I Inclusion I Standard Setting I International Actors

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