International Advocacy

NCAI recognizes that the realization of tribal sovereignty requires the full representation and engagement of Indigenous peoples as equals at all levels of the decision making process—including the international level. The adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in 2007, not only marked a significant acknowledgment of Indigenous peoples and their rights worldwide, but it also created opportunities for more action by Tribal Nations in the international sphere. Partially in response to the UNDRIP, in recent years, NCAI has prioritized negotiations at the United Nations (UN) and the Organization of American States (OAS), engaging in a number of substantive policy discussions of particular concern to Indigenous Peoples, including climate change, the protection of Indigenous traditional knowledge and genetic resources, and enhanced participation within international decision making forums. NCAI remains firm in its commitment to enabling “the participation of Indigenous governments and peoples on a regular and permanent basis in the UN” and remains steadfast in its responsibility to uphold the right of Indigenous peoples to exercise their inherent right to self-determination.