TITLE: Status for Constitutional and Customary Indigenous Governments at the United Nations World Conference on Indigenous Peoples 2014, UNDRIP and Indigenous Peoples Priorities
WHEREAS, we, the members of the National Congress of American Indians of the United States, invoking the divine blessing of the Creator upon our efforts and purposes, in order to preserve for ourselves and our descendants the inherent sovereign rights of our Indian nations, rights secured under Indian treaties and agreements with the United States, and all other rights and benefits to which we are entitled under the laws and Constitution of the United States, to enlighten the public toward a better understanding of the Indian people, to preserve Indian cultural values, and otherwise promote the health, safety and welfare of the Indian people, do hereby establish and submit the following resolution; and
WHEREAS, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) was established in 1944 and is the oldest and largest national organization of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments; and
WHEREAS, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) has been actively involved in the drafting and implementing process of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) since at least 1999; and
WHEREAS, the United Nations adopted the UNDRIP in 2007; and
WHEREAS, the United States of America endorsed the UNDRIP in December of 2010; and
WHEREAS, the United Nations General Assembly, through its resolution A/RES/65/198, decided to organize a high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly in September 2014, to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, to discuss the implementation of the UNDRIP; and
WHEREAS, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) believes that implementation of the UNDRIP both by the United Nations as well as by the government of the United States is a critical next step in protecting and furthering the rights of indigenous peoples both domestically and internationally; and
WHEREAS, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) has worked to identify critical first steps to achieve full implementation and realization of the principles, rights, and protections provided for in the UNDRIP; and
WHEREAS, a unified statement of support from the tribal nation and individual members of NCAI will serve to underscore and emphasize the representation of those tribal nations and Indian people and support these fundamental first steps to implementation of the UNDRIP.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NCAI calls on the United Nations to establish a body to monitor implementation of the UNDRIP both within the United Nations itself, and by States.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NCAI calls on the United Nations World Conference on Indigenous Peoples provide indigenous peoples, especially indigenous constitutional and customary governments, a dignified and appropriate status for participating regularly in UN activities to achieve full and effective participation within the United Nations fora and processes that is appropriate for their status, and consistent with the right of self-determination held by indigenous peoples as recognized and affirmed by the UNDRIP; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United Nations should immediately take the following steps to address violence against indigenous women and girls: (1) convene a high-level expert conference to examine challenges to the safety and well-being of indigenous women and girls and share perspectives and best practices on the realization of the rights of indigenous women and girls; (2) establish a UN mechanism or body for monitoring and implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the global level and explicitly mandate that the mechanism or body pay particular attention, on at least an annual basis, “to the rights and special needs of indigenous . . . women, youth, and children . . . in the implementation of the Declaration.”; and (3) Create a Special Rapporteur to focus exclusively on human rights issues of indigenous women and girls, including but not limited to violence against indigenous women and girls and on changing state laws that discriminate against them; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NCAI affirms and recognizes the critical role held by indigenous constitutional and customary tribal governments, as the direct and accountable representatives to constituencies of indigenous peoples and tribes of the United States, in the implementation of the UNDRIP by the United Nations, as well as within the federal and state governments of the United States of America.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.