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US should return stolen land to Indian tribes, says United Nations

UN's correspondent on indigenous peoples urges government to act to combat 'racial discrimination' felt by Native Americans


Chris McGreal in Washington
Friday 4 May 2012 23.46 BST

A Native American at his home on Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota, which has some of the US's poorest living conditions. A United Nations investigator probing discrimination against Native Americans has called on the US government to return some of the land stolen from Indian tribes as a step toward combating continuing and systemic racial discrimination.

James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, said no member of the US Congress would meet him as he investigated the part played by the government in the considerable difficulties faced by Indian tribes.

Anaya said that in nearly two weeks of visiting Indian reservations, indigenous communities in Alaska and Hawaii, and Native Americans now living in cities, he encountered people who suffered a history of dispossession of their lands and resources, the breakdown of their societies and "numerous instances of outright brutality, all grounded on racial discrimination".

"It's a racial discrimination that they feel is both systemic and also specific instances of ongoing discrimination that is felt at the individual level," he said.
Anaya said racism extended from the broad relationship between federal or state governments and tribes down to local issues such as education.

"For example, with the treatment of children in schools both by their peers and by teachers as well as the educational system itself; the way native Americans and indigenous peoples are reflected in the school curriculum and teaching," he said.

"And discrimination in the sense of the invisibility of Native Americans in the country overall that often is reflected in the popular media. The idea that is often projected through the mainstream media and among public figures that indigenous peoples are either gone or as a group are insignificant or that they're out to get benefits in terms of handouts, or their communities and cultures are reduced to casinos, which are just flatly wrong."

Close to a million people live on the US's 310 Native American reservations. Some tribes have done well from a boom in casinos on reservations but most have not.

Anaya visited an Oglala Sioux reservation where the per capita income is around $7,000 a year, less than one-sixth of the national average, and life expectancy is about 50 years.

The two Sioux reservations in South Dakota – Rosebud and Pine Ridge – have some of the country's poorest living conditions, including mass unemployment and the highest suicide rate in the western hemisphere with an epidemic of teenagers killing themselves.

"You can see they're in a somewhat precarious situation in terms of their basic existence and the stability of their communities given that precarious land tenure situation. It's not like they have large fisheries as a resource base to sustain them. In basic economic terms it's a very difficult situation. You have upwards of 70% unemployment on the reservation and all kinds of social ills accompanying that. Very tough conditions," he said.

Anaya said Rosebud is an example where returning land taken by the US government could improve a tribe's fortunes as well as contribute to a "process of reconciliation".

"At Rosebud, that's a situation where indigenous people have seen over time encroachment on to their land and they've lost vast territories and there have been clear instances of broken treaty promises. It's undisputed that the Black Hills was guaranteed them by treaty and that treaty was just outright violated by the United States in the 1900s. That has been recognized by the United States supreme court," he said.
[url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/04/us-stolen-land-indian-tribes-un][/url]

Anaya said he would reserve detailed recommendations on a plan for land restoration until he presents his final report to the UN human rights council in September.

"I'm talking about restoring to indigenous peoples what obviously they're entitled to and they have a legitimate claim to in a way that is not devisive but restorative. That's the idea behind reconciliation," he said.

But any such proposal is likely to meet stiff resistance in Congress similar to that which has previously greeted calls for the US government to pay reparations for slavery to African-American communities.

Anaya said he had received "exemplary cooperation" from the Obama administration but he declined to speculate on why no members of Congress would meet him.

"I typically meet with members of the national legislature on my country visits and I don't know the reason," he said.

Last month, the US justice and interior departments announced a $1 billion settlement over nearly 56 million acres of Indian land held in trust by Washington but exploited by commercial interests for timber, farming, mining and other uses with little benefit to the tribes.

The attorney general, Eric Holder, said the settlement "fairly and honourably resolves historical grievances over the accounting and management of tribal trust funds, trust lands and other non-monetary trust resources that, for far too long, have been a source of conflict between Indian tribes and the United States."

But Anaya said that was only a step in the right direction.

"These are important steps but we're talking about mismanagement by the government of assets that were left to indigenous peoples," he said. "This money for the insults on top of the injury. It's not money for the initial problem itself, which is the taking of vast territories. This is very important and I think the administration should be commended for moving forward to settle these claims but there are these deeper issues that need to be addressed."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/04/us-stolen-land-indian-tribes-un


Added: May-5-2012 Occurred On: May-5-2012
By: watercarrier
In:
World News
Tags: Native, Indians, America, Land, UN
Location: United States (load item map)
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  • Who gives a shit what the U.N. says.

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • STOLEN from WHOM?

    As all the oh so pc lefties can't wait to point out, ALL human life originated in Africa. (This has been scientifically proven, as has the fact that those who emigrated away from Africa soonest, thus are farthest removed from those roots, have developed far more civilized customs).

    That means the Indian Tribes are NOT the original people here, they came, conquered and colonized before we arrived. When we came, we beat them, they lost. Boo fucking hoo. We didn't steal shit fro More..

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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    • Comment of user 'MB-UK' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • What a good Idea. Let's take it to it's logical conclusion:

    In chronological order? land rights for the Neanderthals? Then Confiscate all of the territory conquered by Attila the Hun Genghis Khan And end up with giving Alsace Back to Germany??

    Or what other logical and universal rule should be used?

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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    • @k-way What a facetious, retarded thing to say from someone who knows nothing of recent history... I suppose after WW2, the Germans should have just kept all the land they confiscated from the jews...

      Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • Every Nation on Earth would have to do the same thing and then the daunting task of deciding how far back does each Country go in determining "Who" to "Give" it back to.

    Fuck the UN(useless nonsense), fuck whining ass entitlement fags, fuck liberal drones, and especially fuck every one of you assholes who dont realize that this Nation was established no differently than ANY other Nation in History. Putting ignorant douchebags down for good will be the salvation of this Plane More..

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • Comment of user 'MB-UK' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Comment of user 'AngryWhiteMan' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • And return all africuns to africa ...

    That's 2 x things that will never happen

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • FUCK THE UN!

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • As a Native American from Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, (even though I was born in San Antonio), I've seen the demise of my people. Very sad, I am glad that my mother was able to break free of the bonds of poverty and succeed outside the Reservation.

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

    (4) | Report

  • FUCK the UN!
    Period!
    Yesterday, today AND tomorrow.....FUCK'EM!!

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • Wow! Does this apply to every other country as well or is it just reserved for the indigenous of North America. Sure going to be a mess to sort out, all around the world, if you ask me.

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • I feel bad for these people, but the UN has no place to complain about stolen land.

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • The U.N. says a lot of things and without U.S. backing it is just as potent at the forums here on LL. The Indians have plenty of land and sovereignty. Take a look at a U.S. map that shows the Indian Territories they are quite large and numerous. Sometimes the U.N. is just as ridiculous as the U.S. House of Representatives.

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • What the hell is with that disgusting looking, trash filled yard. I thought Native Americans were in touch with nature.

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

    (4) | Report

  • Yeah, like that's going to happen.

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • Comment of user '17plus1JHP' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Umm no, I've seen what they've been doing in grounds such as La Push in Washington state. They take deer, skin them for their pelt and leave the rest to rot in the dirt where they killed it. Same with salmon in their area, you will see their lawns covered with fish as they gut them for the eggs and toss the rest into the yard. Houses are run into the ground, their school system is a joke or doesn't exist (two quadrant homes stuck together), half the time you can see them wandering the streets tw More..

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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    • @PointBlank So you want them to eat a McDonalds, buy guns and get ass cancer like real Americans?

      Posted May-5-2012 By 

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    • @kingofthebox

      No, rather I'd like them to take pride in their culture. Use their assets to benefit their own community since they are losing their roots.

      Also, there is no McDonalds there it's tribal land but maybe further down if you take the highway, they've had guns and so did their ancestors, and I'm pretty sure ass cancer is isn't something they would ever be worried about.

      Posted May-5-2012 By 

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    • @PointBlank "Losing their roots" that laughable... their roots are that they used to roam the north american continent unmolested until they got tricked, forced and bought into reservations by the American government.

      Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • No matter how much you give to the Indians, it will never be enough. Do you see how they live? They are not even remotely like the proud, majestic people of the story books. They are primitive, savage, and astoundingly thick. In tend of thousands of years on this continent, they invented not a goddamn thing. They fought in endless bloody tribal wars and smoked some peyote. Nice culture you've got there.

    No, the Indians can fuck right off.

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • The UN can go to hell!! We should cut their funding, as we give Billions to them, and make them pay rent. That property in NYS is prime realestate

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • it was a sad thing what they did with native-americans,BUT then give back half of europe for Rome... australia for aboriginals... etc... BS,this was only some stupid idiot,not the UN

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • They are doing fine in here in Cali with the casinos

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • If you gave them any more land you would HAVE to cut them off from all government dependence.

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • "James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, said no member of the US Congress would meet him"

    Finally, the lack of Congressional action actually served a useful purpose.

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • Comment of user 'PimeTaradox' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • The whole usa is stolen land so give the monkey/native/indian/eskimo fucks it back and say sorry.

    Posted May-6-2012 By 

    (1) | Report