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On November 12th the government of Canada finally formally endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The government's official statement falls far short of actual endorsement, however, emphasizing that the declaration "does not reflect customary international law nor change Canadian laws" and further emphasizing Canada's objection to most of the major rights spelled out in the declaration.

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One year ago, on December 15, 2011, President Barack Obama announced that the United States would “lend its support” to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. “The aspiration it affirms,” he said, “including the respect for the institutions and rich cultures of Native peoples, are one we must always seek to fulfill.” 

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On September 28, Cultural Survival submitted a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, to appeal the decision of Guatemala's Constitutional Court which violates Indigenous Peoples' rights through the country's telecommunications law that excludes Indigenous Peoples from operating community radio stations.

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A new bill proposed by the right-wing political party in Guatemala would criminalize the use of the radio spectrum for any actors not authorized to do so. The bill aims to take community radio stations that are fighting for legal recognition off the air.

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On April 23, 2013 in recognition of her work with Adivasi (Indigenous) communities in India, Dayamani Barla was chosen by Cultural Survival, an Indigenous Peoples rights organization, as the winner of the 2013 Ellen L. Lutz Indigenous Rights Award.

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Our Indigenous Identities Shaping the Future

In my travels, I am always reminded of the presence of Indigenous Peoples; I know when I am on Indigenous land. I feel and honor the presence of ancestors and pay respect to them along with those I am visiting. Sometimes I can gaze upon sacred landscapes and homelands and understand; other times I gaze upon steel and concrete skyscrapers or other places where Indigenous People live and I feel more conflicted.

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In the shadow of the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001, many people failed to recognize another significant event. Four years ago, on September 13, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly signed into existence the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). 

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In 1979, Maybury-Lewis and James Howe submitted a report The Indian Peoples of Paraguay: Their Plight and their Prospects to USAID based on an investigation of the condition of the Aché and Guaraní people and the reports of genocide in eastern Paraguay. In 1980, Cultural Survival published the report. According to Maybury-Lewis and Howe, “The greatest proven faults of the Paraguayan government relative to the Aché were sins of omission rather that commission – its failure to protect the Aché from their persecutors, on and off the reservation, its failure to prosecute Pereira and known Ache̕-hunters, and its failure to liberate those Aché being held in servitude…. It can be argued that failure to protect a people against repeated murderous attacks, whether or not they are genocidal in intent, constitutes complicity in de facto genocide (see Smith and Meli̕a’s discussion, 1978). Under any name, tolerance of such attacks is inexcusable. The charge that the Paraguayan government has had an official policy of genocide against the Indians seems to us unlikely as well as unproven.”

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In April 2014, Cultural Survival reported that there was a "mobilization of national military and police forces in the Gambella region of Ethiopia, accompanied by increasing levels of violence there." Recent reports now suggest that ethnic tensions have become particularly acute in the Godere district, home to the Indigenous Majengir community.

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The Ecuadorian government is investigating Marlon Santi (president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, or CONIAE) for alleged sabotage and terrorism in connection with his participation in a protest against government exclusion of Indigenous representatives from a high-level, international meeting about Indigenous issues.

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Informal consultations on the Outcome Document for the high level plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly or the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples commenced June 3, 2014 at the UN Headquarters in New York.

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On May 8, 2012, at 10:30 AM, Uqul Tinamit community radio station, a Cultural Survival Community Radio Program Partner, that serves the Achi Maya village of San Miguel Chicaj, Baja Verapaz was raided by the Guatemalan police and the Ministerio Publico. Bryan Cristofer Espinoza Ixtapa, the radio station volunteer who was on the air at the time on the raid, was detained by the police. In addition, the radio station’s transmitter, computer, and sound mixer were seized.

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On October 28 - 30, 2013 in Lima, Peru over 200 Indigenous women from all over the globe will gather in preparation for the UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in September 2014. The conference is a strategic opportunity that will enable Indigenous youth and women from the seven regions of the world to be informed, reach consensus and establish a common, political statement as a world-level Indigenous women's  movement.

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By Madeline McGillSeptember 22, 2014 marked an important day for Indigenous communities everywhere. It was the first of a two-day gathering of the General Assembly at the United Nations in NYC, the first-ever World Conference of Indigenous Peoples.Throughout the day, over 1,000 Indigenous delegates gathered with Government and UN officials, national human rights institutions, and various heads of state to discuss the best methods to approach and solve issues pressing Indigenous Peoples.

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Set amidst rolling prairies and the Badlands, Young Lakota shares with viewers the perspectives of three young Lakota as they find themselves in the middle of political controversy in the small town of Kyle on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation. The film centers on Sunny Clifford, who has recently returned to Pine Ridge after two years in college and aspires to improve the reservation she grew up on.

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"...you cannot creep the chasm; you must leap it..."

In 1897 Alfred Deakin urged decisiveness in the slow grind toward federation. Indigenous affairs have also become a slow grind. As in Deakin's day, people pass off "tinkering around the edges" as reform. Proposals creep along, yet are promoted as if representing a leap forward. Aboriginal spokesperson Noel Pearson has read the political climate and offered several elements of a plan.

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"All the news..."

For two years CS Quarterly has identified global themes important for an understanding of the current situation of tribal groups and ethnic minorities and has brought the urgent situations confronting specific groups to the attention of our readers. While our approach has been well received, many points of view are excluded from the thematic section of the Quarterly and many urgent stories go unreported.

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So began Calixta Gabriel, a 32-year old Kaqchikel woman from the northwest region of Guatemala. Her three brothers were assassinated in the 1980s, her family lands destroyed, and her parents forced into a military-designed "model village." She herself sought refugee in the United States in the 1980s.

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"Northern Epiros": The Greek Minority in Southern Albania

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"They took our milk and blood and left us here!" shouted Um Ali at the mention of the peace accord between Palestinians and Israel. She is the mother of six sons, five of whom along with her husband were lined up and shot by rightist Christian militiamen in 1982 at Chatila Camp, a Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of Bejrut. They allowed her to keep her youngest son but both were forced to witness the killings.

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On January 30, 2014, two days after President Obama’s State of the Union address, policy makers, elected officials, tribal leaders, and the press convened in a Washington DC studio for the annual State of Indian Nations address. Because stories from Indian country seldom reach national media, the address is a chance for Native leaders to articulate their vision and concerns for their land and people on a national platform.

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The 2014 United Nations Development Programme Human Development Report, Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience, was just released on July 24, 2014. By identifying vulnerable communities and bolstering their ability to react to negative forces through collective action, governments stands to improve many of the human rights violations affecting Indigenous Peoples and marginalized groups around the world.

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22nd Working Group on Indigenous Populations Tackles Conflict Resolution, Indigenous Participation Issues

Nearly 1,000 people came together in Geneva this summer to tackle the challenge of conflict resolution during the 22nd United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations.

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Much of the discrimination that Indigenous Peoples face is societal and economic, such as personal racism, discriminatory hiring practices, a misunderstanding of and disrespect for cultural practices, and lack of proper education opportunities, healthcare facilities, or legal oversight due to institutionalized bigotry.

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Today marks five years since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

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Today is International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination    

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Today marks five years since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

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500 Years in the Making<br> Centuries of Activism Were Preamble to International Decade’s Successes

The conclusion of the first International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People provides a moment to reflect on the history of the indigenous rights movement, which was spear-headed centuries ago by indigenous peoples and their allies in response to the moral exclusion, extinction, or assimilation policies prevalent during five centuries of conquest, colonization, and state sovereignty.

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Sixty five years ago, on December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declaring that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." Yet, Indigenous Peoples worldwide still struggle to protect their basic rights and suffer gross human rights abuses.     

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August 9 was first proclaimed International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples by the United Nations in 1994 to promote and protect the rights of the world's Indigenous population. This day also commemorates the achievements and contributions that Indigenous people make in the world.

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