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This is Where the Revolution Starts

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Issue: 67 Section: Gender Geography: West Vancouver Topics: Indigenous, missing and murdered women

March 4, 2010

This is Where the Revolution Starts

19th annual Memorial March honours 3,000 missing and murdered women

by Moira Peters

Photo: Christopher Bevacqua

VANCOUVER—"This is where the injustice starts."

On Valentine's Day in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (DTES), and in memory of Canada's 3,000 missing and murdered women, Dalannah Bowen addressed 5,000 people from the steps of the Vancouver Police Department.

"This is where it starts for missing and murdered women," said the African-Canadian/Cherokee director of the Interurban Gallery in Vancouver.

Women with stories of friends and relatives gone missing or found dead—and of police inaction and disrespect—followed Bowen to the microphone. February 14 marked the 19th time Vancouver marched for missing and murdered women, and the first time they would march for women in the DTES while the city was otherwise preoccupied with the Olympics. It was day three of the Games.

"Each and every single person is part of this human family. We deserve to be treated like human beings," Bowen said.

Earlier in the morning at the Carnegie Centre, the DTES' "living room" on Main Street, every person gathered for the march witnessed a painful aspect of family: loss.

At 11:30am, 400 people were gathered on the steps of the Carnegie, around the corner, and along the sidewalk on both sides of the building. Most were women. By 12:20, the crowd had quadrupled and extended to all four corners. Buses made it through the intersection with difficulty. By 1pm, the entire intersection was blocked off, and "Carnegie hosts" in yellow vests linked hands, creating a corridor for the families of missing and murdered women to pass into the centre of the crowd. Most were women. Most were Native.

Drummers were invited into the centre, where they created an open space. A cry rose. Hands pointed skyward. Pigeons flapped around the rooftops and seagulls circled. Higher, with unmistakeable white heads and majestic wingspans, two eagles soared.

A woman with black hair in a loose pink shirt stood on the steps of the Carnegie, an eagle feather in her hand and a square of paper pressed to her breast. She raised the feather into the air and began a low wail: a song, a heartbreak. She concentrated on the sky, pleaded with the sky, and cried, her feather trembling.

The drums began and the crowd sang, for half-an-hour, while families filed out of the Carnegie patio and toward the centre of the intersection, holding banners. Some were dressed in Native regalia. Most were women.

The people marched.

photo by insurgent photo

"A nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground. Then it's lost; it's down. No matter what. No matter how strong its warriors; no matter how powerful its weapons," said Mabel Nipshank, a Metis woman of Cree and French descent. She exposed the original intent in the violence directed against Native women as she spoke from the steps of the police station. The priority for Europeans at first contact with Aboriginals, she said, was the disenfranchisement of women.

"They were afraid of the power of the First Nations women because when First Nations women spoke it echoed like thunder," she said.

Nipshank challenged two groups to collaborate in the demand for justice for killed and disappeared Indigenous women: First Nations leaders and non-Native feminists.

"I don't have a whole lot of trust in our Aboriginal leaders. They are pushing women off our territories and this"—she pointed to a placard with photos of hundreds of young women lost—"is what is happening to us. We need our leaders to challenge the colonial structures that have put us in poverty."

Nipshank called on feminists to quit talking the talk when they cannot walk the walk.

"Sometimes we don't fall into the white feminist ideology. [They] can't comprehend our oppression because [they] don't live it the way we do."

She asked the crowd to consider that the next case of a murdered or disappeared woman could be anyone's daughter, sister, or aunt. "That is why we need to address this collectively. This is our problem as a whole people."

Sirens wailed.

Author Maggie de Vries told marchers about her sister Sarah who had been murdered in Port Coquitlam at Robert Pickton's pig farm.

"The investigation [into Sarah's disappearance and murder] did not have the full support of the province of British Columbia, of the Vancouver Police or of the RCMP. There was a resistance to admit there was anything wrong," she said.

"My sister was picked up, driven along a direct route: down Hastings Street to Boundary Road to the Lougheed Highway and onto Dominion Road. She was driven through a gate, and she never came out."

De Vries said that in order to keep women safe the public needs an independent inquiry into the investigation of Vancouver's missing women. Currently, 38 cases of women missing from the Downtown Eastside remain unsolved.

Cee Jai Julian described the last time she saw her big sister. It was December 14, 1998, and her sister, who was on her way to work, asked Cee Jai to get off the streets.

"Go home, baby girl."

Ann-Marie Monks read a poem, which she wrote for her best friend who disappeared.

"My sister, my friend. Where are you? What happened to you?"

The drums beat, the people marched. The sun shone. It was Valentine's Day.

Moira Peters is an editor at The Dominion. This article was originally published by the Vancouver Media Co-op.

Own your media. Support the Dominion. Join the Media Co-op today.

Comments

The rights of Aboriginal people in Canada must be recognized

The Canadian's government lack of action with regards to the disappearance of our Aboriginal sisters show just how little they respect our human rights. These women must never be forgotten, and now is the time for action.

We are urging the Canadian government to sign on to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and to honor the human rights our people deserve. Please join our petition to get the declaration signed, and to hopefully bring about enough change that no more mothers, daughters and sisters are ripped from their families.

http://firstnationstaskforce.wordpress.com

Unbaptized stuff and the ;Right' of Christian discovery

Some thinkers in Western Christendom regarded pagan or unbaptized peoples as existing in a non-legal state, or as having what he referred to as, "an existence sine juribus." Essentially, this means "an existence without rights," or with very few inferior rights, in western law and political thought.

Categorizing indigenous peoples as essentially inhuman "unbaptized stuff," resulted in an automatic inference: Christians are paramount over all non-Christians. It was this idea that led to the pope's claim of "sovereignty over the whole earth," a claim that led Pope Alexander VI to purport to divide the globe by the famous line of demarcation, whereby the Vatican granted Portugal the right of conquest over one half of the globe, and the Spanish monarchs the right of conquest over the other half, so long as the "discovered" lands were "not possessed by any Christian prince." This is the famous papal bull Inter Cetera (four such bulls were issued in 1493) that called for the "subjugation" of all "barbarous" non-Christian nations. The 1794 Treaty of Tordesilla between the two monarchies formalized the demarcation line.

The cognitive system of Christendom did not disappear as the generations passed. It merely morphed into a more secularized expression of the same religious mentality. Thus, Lieber wrote: "The English and Americans have not wholly discarded the idea that the white man, at least, if not the Christian, is entitled to this earth, if not cultivated by the colonizer. So our Supreme Court decided by an opinion of the Chief Justice of the United States [John Marshall]." Here Lieber was referring to the 1823 Supreme Court ruling Johnson v. McIntosh, which he considered the "jus divinum" (divine law) of the United States.

In the Johnson decision, Chief Justice Marshall wrote that whenever "Christian people" "discovered" lands inhabited by "natives, who were heathens," this achievement gave the Christian "discoverers" the right to assert "ultimate dominion" over the "discovered" lands. The Christian assertion of "ultimate dominion" may also be phrased as the assertion of an ultimate sovereign power, or what is most often referred to today as federal plenary power over Indians.

http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/28213504.html

Professor Robert J. Miller's ''Native America, Discovered and Conquered: Thomas Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and Manifest Destiny,'' is a powerful book that clearly illustrates
The legal tradition - known today as the ''doctrine of discovery'' - established rules for the acquisition and occupation of ''discovered'' land. Miller traces the development of this legal tradition, how it became international law and how it was used on this continent.

The doctrine of discovery also established rules affecting how indigenous people were viewed and treated. Miller clearly shows how the doctrine of discovery influences the daily lives of America's first peoples today.

Miller's book is arguably the most thorough book on the subject today. He takes a complicated topic and makes it comprehendible and easy to read. ISBN# 978-0-8032-1598-6

Miller is working with co-authors in Australia, Canada and New Zealand on an expanded version of his book, which will look at how the doctrine of discovery was applied in those countries. He thinks it's no coincidence that those countries and the United States were the only four countries to vote against the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

The declaration constituted a formal recognition in international law that indigenous nations and peoples have fully protected and collective fundamental human rights. Such a declaration would, in the words of Indian Country Today columnist Steven Newcomb, "make it more difficult for their respective governments - and the corporations with which they work hand-in-glove - to exploit indigenous lands and resources."

http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/living/reviews/28297784.html

Bio:http://lawlib.lclark.edu/blog/native_america/?page_id=3

Unbaptized stuff and the ;Right' of Christian discovery

Some thinkers in Western Christendom regarded pagan or unbaptized peoples as existing in a non-legal state, or as having what he referred to as, "an existence sine juribus." Essentially, this means "an existence without rights," or with very few inferior rights, in western law and political thought.

Categorizing indigenous peoples as essentially inhuman "unbaptized stuff," resulted in an automatic inference: Christians are paramount over all non-Christians. It was this idea that led to the pope's claim of "sovereignty over the whole earth," a claim that led Pope Alexander VI to purport to divide the globe by the famous line of demarcation, whereby the Vatican granted Portugal the right of conquest over one half of the globe, and the Spanish monarchs the right of conquest over the other half, so long as the "discovered" lands were "not possessed by any Christian prince." This is the famous papal bull Inter Cetera (four such bulls were issued in 1493) that called for the "subjugation" of all "barbarous" non-Christian nations. The 1794 Treaty of Tordesilla between the two monarchies formalized the demarcation line.

The cognitive system of Christendom did not disappear as the generations passed. It merely morphed into a more secularized expression of the same religious mentality. Thus, Lieber wrote: "The English and Americans have not wholly discarded the idea that the white man, at least, if not the Christian, is entitled to this earth, if not cultivated by the colonizer. So our Supreme Court decided by an opinion of the Chief Justice of the United States [John Marshall]." Here Lieber was referring to the 1823 Supreme Court ruling Johnson v. McIntosh, which he considered the "jus divinum" (divine law) of the United States.

In the Johnson decision, Chief Justice Marshall wrote that whenever "Christian people" "discovered" lands inhabited by "natives, who were heathens," this achievement gave the Christian "discoverers" the right to assert "ultimate dominion" over the "discovered" lands. The Christian assertion of "ultimate dominion" may also be phrased as the assertion of an ultimate sovereign power, or what is most often referred to today as federal plenary power over Indians.

http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/28213504.html

Professor Robert J. Miller's ''Native America, Discovered and Conquered: Thomas Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and Manifest Destiny,'' is a powerful book that clearly illustrates
The legal tradition - known today as the ''doctrine of discovery'' - established rules for the acquisition and occupation of ''discovered'' land. Miller traces the development of this legal tradition, how it became international law and how it was used on this continent.

The doctrine of discovery also established rules affecting how indigenous people were viewed and treated. Miller clearly shows how the doctrine of discovery influences the daily lives of America's first peoples today.

Miller's book is arguably the most thorough book on the subject today. He takes a complicated topic and makes it comprehendible and easy to read. ISBN# 978-0-8032-1598-6

Miller is working with co-authors in Australia, Canada and New Zealand on an expanded version of his book, which will look at how the doctrine of discovery was applied in those countries. He thinks it's no coincidence that those countries and the United States were the only four countries to vote against the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

The declaration constituted a formal recognition in international law that indigenous nations and peoples have fully protected and collective fundamental human rights. Such a declaration would, in the words of Indian Country Today columnist Steven Newcomb, "make it more difficult for their respective governments - and the corporations with which they work hand-in-glove - to exploit indigenous lands and resources."

http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/living/reviews/28297784.html

Bio:http://lawlib.lclark.edu/blog/native_america/?page_id=3

Shades of "April Raintree & Betty Osborne

The stories of murdered and missing indigenous women haunt reservations across Canada.

"Every week we are hearing about a new case somewhere in the country," says Maya Khamala Rolbin-Ghanie, who's helped spearhead a new grassroots campaign called Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. "There have been five or six cases of missing women in the last year alone in Quebec."

Activists involved in the campaign point to systemic negligence by the state and police authorities in dealing with crimes against First Nations women, a tragic reality that Rolbin-Ghanie says has come to haunt Canada's human rights reputation globally.

Discussions should include policing and government inaction, issues of poverty and dispossession and the legacy of systemic oppressions that contributes to indigenous women's vulnerability.

For more information, visit www.missingjustice.ca.

Two of our girls are still missing for over 2 yrs.... mind you they disappeared from a rural area with no cameras... & no great effort by both KZ cops or SQ, they were gone nearly a week before "official" interest was taken & then both forces started separate investigations cause one girl was on-reserve & one was off-reserve. Media notification on a Friday late pm & no AMBER ALERT, due to parameters ...

I think of & pray for them everyday..

info and pics at : http://www.findmaisyandshannon.com/

http://www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/2677

SNUFF FILMS & WORLDWIDE SEX TRADE

Subject: Memorandum on Eyewitness Evidence of the Organized Abduction, Torture, Exploitation and Murder of Women and Children on Canada's West Coast

From the Files of the Community Task Force on the Disappeared - Downtown Eastside of Vancouver

Memorandum on Eyewitness Evidence of the Organized Abduction, Torture, Exploitation and Murder of Women and Children on Canada's West Coast
Synopsis

1. An organized system of abduction, exploitation, torture and murder of large numbers of women and children appears to exist on Canada's west coast, and is operated and protected in part by sectors of the RCMP, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD), the judiciary, and members of the British Columbia government and federal government of Canada , including the Canadian military.

2. This system is highly funded and linked to criminal organizations including the Hell's Angels, the Hong Kong Triad, and unnamed individual freelance mobsters from Vancouver and the USA . It is funded in part by a massive drug trade, with which it is intimately connected.

3. This system is decades-old and has been supplied for many years with women and children from aboriginal reserves and residential schools, with the paid collusion of lawyers, clergy and officials of the Roman Catholic, Anglican and United Church of Canada, along with state-funded aboriginal leaders and officials of the Department of Indian Affairs.

4. This system is international in scope, Vancouver being one spoke in a wheel of pedophilia, sex slavery, human organ black markets, snufffilms and violent child pornography that has outlets throughout the Pacific Rim world, particularly in China and Thailand.

http://censored-news.blogspot.com/2010/01/kevin-annett-eye-witnesses-of-murder.html

While working in Indian

While working in Indian Government in Ottawa from 1986-94 -I remember when the World Council of Indigenous Peoples ( WCIP) organized conferences worldwide to gather concerns to present to United Nations some of which were:

1) melting icecaps & all that entails;

2) clearcutting of forests & the ensuing mining corporations = alcohol,disease, porn, prostitution to the surrounding Indigenous peoples before the development of hydro-electic dams & total destruction of the land & dispora of the people;

3) the capture & release of Indigenous peoples for blood samples;

4) the return of artifacts & bones in museums or at the very minimum the agreement to see "who " were in the drawers...

5) & the disappearance of Native women in the Americas.
(www.missingnativewomen.org)

Since I worked in Indian gov't I knew about the "Highway of Tears" in northern B.C. where Aboriginal women have disappeared so far with no real investigation by the RCMP. (www.highwayoftears.ca/missingbclist.htm)

Then again my dad informed me about Canada's "sextrade" in grade six as a precaution against hitchhiking let alone getting "caught" by gangs of Canadian guys "lookin' for some fun".
(http://www.ajic.mb.ca/volume.html...see Vol.2)

There are neighborhoods in every city where "Canadians" drive around looking for "sex with children." Twenty years ago, Jane Ash Poitas( Cree artist/activist) got "fed up" with the lack of police response dealing with Canadian "johns" trolling Aboriginal neighbourhoods so she started paintingthe johns' licence plate #'s on the street.

Some critical information on gender-egalitarian societies

Chain Her by One Foot isbn # 0415047587

In her social history of the Jesuit mission among the Huron and Montagnais she argues that it was the women who were the main focus of Jesuit missionary zeal, which sought to uproot native, matrilineal, customs in favour of French, patriarchal, ideology.

Book summary

In this highly original volume of social history, Karen Anderson makes a provocative claim: the subjugation of women in seventeenth-century New France was linked with the brutal colonization of native Indian populations. Before colonization, the Huron and Montagnais tribes lived in gender-egalitarian societies. The domination of women by men was only one effect of French ``civilization''--along with warfare, disease, famine and Jesuit proselytization--which combined to destroy Indian culture and sexual equality. Anderson's is an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, feminist case study of the historical and political construction of gender and racial inequality.
*******************************

Barriers and Incentives to the Expansion of Huron Horticulture, circa 1616-1648
by Karen L. Anderson
Softcover, Dept. of Sociology, University of Toronto, ISBN 077272850X (0-7727-2850-X)

&&&&&&&

Commodity Exchange and Subordination: A Comparison of Montagnais-Naskapi and Huron Women, circa 1600-1650
by Karen L. Anderson
Softcover, Dept. of Sociology, University of Toronto, ISBN 0772728526 (0-7727-2852-6)

&&&&&&&&&&&

Demography, Kinship, and Social Relations of Production: The Case of the 17th Century Huron
by Karen L. Anderson
Softcover, Dept. of Sociology, University of Toronto, ISBN 0772728623 (0-7727-2862-3)

& lastly:

Until the 10th century, priests married to gain property, claiming that without their wives they succumb to "hunger and nakedness." Church laws revised the system; then a series of papal decrees between 1031 and 1051 ordered priests to abandon their wives and sell their children into slavery. Naturally, the property and monies thus acquired by a priest revert to the church upon his death, since he no longer had legal heirs.

The legal/ecclesiastical war on female property ownership went on century after century, until women were so hamstrung by the laws of patriarchal God and man that they had almost nothing left that they could call their own.
By the end of the 19th century, English wives could not administer their own property even if they had any, nor make a will disposing of it, without their husbands' consent.
As late as 1930 in France and 1950 in Germany a woman was forbidden to do any business with a bank, not make small deposits, without her husband's permission.

Up to the present time, lack of control over money and property is still the greatest obstacle for women who wish to bring up their children respectably or take them and leave abusive or violent husbands. In this respect the centuries of patriarchal effort achieved their goal.

The matrilocal marriage tradition,and matrilineal ownership of the home place were customary among the Algonquin, Sioux, Seneca, Pawnee, Seminole, Kiowa, and Cree tribes.

http://matriarchy.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9&Itemid=30

www.ripplefx.ca ( Under cultural education)

1605: Champlain establishes Port Royal ( now called Quebec City) & spends 2 winters in trade with the Micmaq of Acadia.

1609: Champlain & the French clash with the Iroquois for the first time.

1610: Henry Hudson enters Hudson Strait & explores Hudson & James Bays stimulating further trade with Indigenous peoples.

1611: Membertou baptized into Catholicism

1612: First Eurpoean settlement in Hudson Bay

1615: First RC missionaries reach the Huron in southern Ontario

1621: Samoset greets the Mayflower with the words "Welcome Englishmen"

1636-37: Influenzia epidemic kills many Huron

1638-40: Small Pox epidemic kills several thousand Huron

1641: The Dutch begin paying bounties for Indigenous scalps

1649: The British supple the Iroquois League with guns & they swiftly defeat the Huron in war over the fur trade.

1653: French "Coureue de Bois" & Metis fill in as fur transporters in place of the decimated Huron

1663: Quebec City outlaws the sale of liquor to Indians

1665: Governor Courcelles recieves royal instruction from France that "officers, soldiers & all his magesty's adult subjects treat the Indians with kindness, justice, equity without ever causing them any hurt or violence.

1666: French forces set fire to the Mohawk villages & burn all the crops

1670: King Charles 11 grants a chater for the establishment of the HBC The king also grants ownership/jurisdiction & sole authority to Rupert's Land

1678: Business people who want to "improve" dealings with Indigenous peoples are successful in lifting the liquor ban

1689: The # of Indigenous SLAVES increases to resolve labour shortages in New France.

Historically why we don't have Human Rights

Unbaptized stuff and the ;Right' of Christian discovery

Some thinkers in Western Christendom regarded pagan or unbaptized peoples as existing in a non-legal state, or as having what he referred to as, "an existence sine juribus." Essentially, this means "an existence without rights," or with very few inferior rights, in western law and political thought.

Categorizing indigenous peoples as essentially inhuman "unbaptized stuff," resulted in an automatic inference: Christians are paramount over all non-Christians. It was this idea that led to the pope's claim of "sovereignty over the whole earth," a claim that led Pope Alexander VI to purport to divide the globe by the famous line of demarcation, whereby the Vatican granted Portugal the right of conquest over one half of the globe, and the Spanish monarchs the right of conquest over the other half, so long as the "discovered" lands were "not possessed by any Christian prince." This is the famous papal bull Inter Cetera (four such bulls were issued in 1493) that called for the "subjugation" of all "barbarous" non-Christian nations. The 1794 Treaty of Tordesilla between the two monarchies formalized the demarcation line.

The cognitive system of Christendom did not disappear as the generations passed. It merely morphed into a more secularized expression of the same religious mentality. Thus, Lieber wrote: "The English and Americans have not wholly discarded the idea that the white man, at least, if not the Christian, is entitled to this earth, if not cultivated by the colonizer. So our Supreme Court decided by an opinion of the Chief Justice of the United States [John Marshall]." Here Lieber was referring to the 1823 Supreme Court ruling Johnson v. McIntosh, which he considered the "jus divinum" (divine law) of the United States.

In the Johnson decision, Chief Justice Marshall wrote that whenever "Christian people" "discovered" lands inhabited by "natives, who were heathens," this achievement gave the Christian "discoverers" the right to assert "ultimate dominion" over the "discovered" lands. The Christian assertion of "ultimate dominion" may also be phrased as the assertion of an ultimate sovereign power, or what is most often referred to today as federal plenary power over Indians.

http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/28213504.html

Professor Robert J. Miller's ''Native America, Discovered and Conquered: Thomas Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and Manifest Destiny,'' is a powerful book that clearly illustrates
The legal tradition - known today as the ''doctrine of discovery'' - established rules for the acquisition and occupation of ''discovered'' land. Miller traces the development of this legal tradition, how it became international law and how it was used on this continent.

The doctrine of discovery also established rules affecting how indigenous people were viewed and treated. Miller clearly shows how the doctrine of discovery influences the daily lives of America's first peoples today.

Miller's book is arguably the most thorough book on the subject today. He takes a complicated topic and makes it comprehendible and easy to read. ISBN# 978-0-8032-1598-6

Miller is working with co-authors in Australia, Canada and New Zealand on an expanded version of his book, which will look at how the doctrine of discovery was applied in those countries. He thinks it's no coincidence that those countries and the United States were the only four countries to vote against the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

The declaration constituted a formal recognition in international law that indigenous nations and peoples have fully protected and collective fundamental human rights. Such a declaration would, in the words of Indian Country Today columnist Steven Newcomb, "make it more difficult for their respective governments - and the corporations with which they work hand-in-glove - to exploit indigenous lands and resources."

http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/living/reviews/28297784.html

Bio:http://lawlib.lclark.edu/blog/native_america/?page_id=3

Indigenous Women's Caucus to the United Nations

North America Indigenous Women’s Caucus Intervention
Fifth Session of the Permanent Forum
May 16, 2006

The Native Women's Association of Canada took part in the Indigenous Women’s Caucus in New York. President Beverley Jacobs as well as Celeste McKay, and youth participant Carmella Alexis took part in the caucus representing the Native Women’s Association of Canada. The Caucus began deliberations May 11th, 2006. The final document was presented to the Indigenous Caucus May 14, 2006 by Linda Kayseas and the resolution was passed in support of the document by the Indigenous Caucus.

The following is a statement that was presented at the Permanent Forum May 17, 2006.

Thank you, Madame Chair and all members of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, for providing the North America Regional Indigenous Women’s Caucus the opportunity to make this intervention to you today.

We, the Indigenous Women of North America, who represent Indigenous Nations and organizations from throughout the region, acknowledge the First Peoples of this land and thank them for welcoming us onto their territories.

And, we join all of our Indigenous sisters and brothers of the world in solidarity for our common struggles for peace, justice and sovereignty for our respective peoples.

We thank our ancestors for the prayers and offerings they have given, of their blood, of their lives, which have assured our survival to share our words with you today, and we ask that these recommendations be accepted and put into immediate action as their impacts will echo forward to assure that our future generations not only survive, but that they flourish.

We know that we are all related and that what impacts one Indigenous person impacts all Indigenous peoples.

We currently live in a world that has been drastically impacted by decisions made centuries ago such as the papal bulls issued by Vatican and the doctrine of discovery. We are continuing to reel from the theft of our lands, resources, identities, bodies and spirits. Despite the pain and suffering we also continue to express our prayers to live with one another in peace and in a good way, with respect for all life, especially for the life givers, the Indigenous women.

Recommendations:

1. We urge the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues advocate all UN Agencies and States to acknowledge and recognize the historical co-existence of Indigenous peoples on all social, political and economic levels throughout the Americas and the sovereignty of our distinct Nations.

2. We recommend that the Permanent Forum advocate to the Holy See to immediately rescind the Inter Caetera Papal bull of May 4, 1493 and the 1455 bull of Romanus pontifex and March 1493 royal charters of England, which have formed the basis of the rape of our Earth Mother and the continuing destruction of our cultures and traditional lifeways.

3. We ask that the Permanent Forum assess the human rights situation of all Indigenous Peoples, including those considered to be living in “developed countries” from all regions in its report, on the re-defining of the Millennium Development Goals, and provide a report to the 6th Session of the Forum.

4. We request that the Permanent Forum recommend to all relevant United Nations Agencies that provisions be made to ensure the inclusion of all voices of Indigenous women throughout the Americas in international forums relevant to our human rights, particularly in light of the traditional role of Indigenous women as leaders, decision makers, care takers and life givers. In this regard, we strongly request that a travel fund for the participation of Indigenous women from North America needs to be created for this purpose and Nation States and the United Nations agencies must be encouraged to meaningfully contribute to this Fund to make it a viable and continuing resource, to assure the full and effective participation of Indigenous women of North America.

5. We request the Permanent Forum to encourage States to establish multinational standards that respect, protect and fulfill Indigenous Peoples’ collective human rights in light of the impact of Canadian and United States based corporations in Central, South and North America and in the Caribbean that negatively impact, displace and usurp Indigenous Peoples, our Nations and lifeways.

6. We urge that the Permanent Forum call upon States to ensure the full and effective integration of Indigenous Peoples perspectives, including those of Indigenous women, in all international trade policies and development, such as NAFTA. Any development must be based on full consultation and free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous peoples.

7. We recommend that the Permanent Forum review, monitor and report back on the violations of the right to health of Indigenous women and girls, particularly regarding the continued sterilization of Indigenous women without their full, free, prior and informed consent including those who are being used as medical test cases for contraceptive studies. In this regard, we urgently ask that the Forum assert and support Indigenous women’s right to self-determination over our own reproductive rights, including to advocate for full access to all sexual health education and health care services.

8. We strongly recommend that the Permanent Forum support the creation of a Commission of Indigenous leaders to serve as observers to situations of human rights violations, particularly regarding human rights abuses of Indigenous women and girls by Canada and the United States.

9. We firmly request that the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ---- Rudolfo Stavenhagen --- visit the Six Nations of the Grand River, under his authority as Special Rapporteur, and report his findings to the 6th Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. We urgently recommend that the Permanent Forum assure that Indigenous Peoples must be at the table and fully recognized as sovereign Nations. In this regard, we ask that the Permanent Forum member whose portfolio contains human rights join in this effort.

10. We request that the Permanent Forum advocate to the appropriate UN agencies, including UNIFEM and UNICEF, and States to apply the CEDAW principles and take immediate action to review, monitor and provide a comprehensive report on violence against all Indigenous women and girls in North America, particularly sexual violence, and violence in the context of armed conflict. Indigenous women must be full participants in this process.

11. We recommend that the Permanent Forum advocate that the Convention Against All Forms of Genocide be applied to ensure that its principles are applied throughout North America as well as throughout the world.

12. We recommend that the Permanent Forum advocate for the full recognition and enforcement of all treaties entered into between States and Indigenous peoples.

We must be mindful of our thoughts and prayers.

We must be mindful of our actions and behaviors to be aware that we live with what we create.

We ask the members of the Permanent Forum to join us in creating a world where we can live together in peace, harmony and balance; a world where Indigenous women are respected and honored, a world where our human rights are not violated, a world where we are no longer being violated.

Thank you.

http://globalization.mcmaster.ca/6%20nations%20women%20UN.htm

maybe this article will be published? & what about the other 3?

Story Updated: Nov 13, 2008
WASHINGTON – The National Congress of American Indians has passed a resolution supporting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and urging its endorsement by state governments and Congress.

The resolution was adopted unanimously by NCAI’s Subcommittee of Human, Religious and Cultural Concerns, presented to the Litigation and Governance Committee, and finally adopted unanimously by the general assembly without discussion during NCAI’s 65th annual conference in Phoenix Oct. 19 – 24.

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the UN General Assembly on Sept. 13, 2007, in a historic vote by an overwhelming majority – 143 member states voted in favor, 11 abstained and four – Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States – voted against the declaration. Each of the four countries that opposed the declaration have large indigenous populations who own or have claims to huge land masses.

While it is not binding in law, the declaration represents the highest moral standard for the treatment of the world’s estimated 370 million indigenous peoples, written as it is in a human rights framework that will guide government policies for indigenous communities and promote the participation of indigenous peoples in the political processes and decisions that affect them.

The NCAI resolution recognizes that the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples “reinforces the respect and protection of full self-determination rights by and on behalf of U.S. Tribal Nations as well as the protection of tribal lands and treaties as a matter of international law and policy and is therefore in the vital interests of all U.S. Tribal Nations.”

The resolution acknowledges that the declaration expresses both the individual and collective rights of indigenous peoples, as well as their rights regarding culture, identity, language, employment, health, educational and other issues.

The UN Declaration lays out the minimum human rights necessary for the “survival, dignity and well-being of the Indigenous peoples of the world.” These include the right of self-determination, protections from discrimination and genocide, and recognition of rights to lands, territories and resources that are essential to the identity, health and livelihood of indigenous peoples. The declaration also explicitly requires that these rights and protections are balanced with other rights and interpreted in accordance with the principles of democracy, justice, non-discrimination, good governance and respect for the human rights of everyone.

The NCAI resolution reiterates the declaration’s provisions that “discrimination against indigenous people should be abolished and that promotion of their full and effective participation in all matters that concern them should be encouraged.”

The resolution asserts that indigenous peoples’ “right to remain distinct and to pursue their own visions of economic and social development is vital according to this declaration.”

The NCAI document promises to send its resolution “to all state Governors and legislators for support through their legislature for memorial resolutions to the Congress of the United States; and. ... the NCAI calls upon the United States to sign the declaration.”

Robert Tim Coulter, one of the original authors of the declaration and executive director of the Indian Law Resource Center in Helena, Mont., and Washington, D.C., says the declaration is “the most significant development in international human rights in decades. Tribes must work harder than ever to pressure the U.S. to respect these rights.”

Coulter said the best way to gain support is to demand that the United States join in adopting a strong Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Organization of American States. The OAS is currently negotiating a powerful American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples much like the U.N. declaration.

The OAS is the principal forum for strengthening democracy and human rights in the Western Hemisphere and is made up of 35 member nations in North, Central and South America.

“We must publicly protest the continuing violation of our rights in the United States, and we must demand serious action in the OAS to finalize an effective declaration supported by all countries in the Americas,” he said.

Coulter urged tribes to get involved at upcoming OAS meetings in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 26 – 30 and March 23 – 27, and tribal leaders to make plans now to attend “to ensure our voices are heard.”

More information is available at the OAS Web site http://www.oas.org/.

“We have to continue fighting to change discriminatory and grossly unjust laws that are applied to Native peoples.” Coulter said.

While the U.S. government has made no move toward endorsing the declaration in the 14 months since its passage, both Canada and Australia have inched forward.

Canada’s House of Commons endorsed the declaration on April 8, and called on the Senate and Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s administration to “fully implement the standards contained therein.”

Harper declined to do so, claiming that the declaration is not applicable in Canada.

Ironically, two months later Harper tacitly admitted just how applicable the Declaration’s human rights protections are in Canada. On June 11, Harper issued the first formal apology from a Canadian prime minister for the brutal Indian residential schools that were federally financed from the 1870s until the last residential school was closed in 1998.

“The treatment of children in Indian residential schools is a sad chapter in our history,” Harper said. “Today, we recognize that this policy of assimilation was wrong, has caused great harm, and has no place in our country. The government now recognizes that the consequences of the Indian residential schools policy were profoundly negative and that this policy has had a lasting and damaging impact on aboriginal culture, heritage and language.”

Australia’s new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd who defeated former Prime Minister John Howard last December, has demonstrated his intention to improve relations with the country’s indigenous peoples. The government issued a “National Apology to the Stolen Generations” in February and a commitment to “Close the Gap” in indigenous health inequality in March.

According to Peter Seidel, a partner in Public Interest Law, in an article published in The Guardian (Australia) Oct. 15, the government is close to endorsing the Declaration.

“Australia’s long held opposition to the Declaration now looks set to change, with the Commonwealth expected shortly to formalize its support. When it’s taken, the step of formally, albeit belatedly, supporting the Declaration will be very powerful symbolism for Australia. And it will of course strengthen, not diminish, our reputation within the international community as a country at the vanguard of promoting and protecting the basic human rights of all, particularly the most disenfranchised,” Seidel wrote.

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