6/13/2012 Navajo Hopi Observer: 2 More Hopi Villages, Bacavi and Shungopavi join Hotevilla in opposing water rights settlement
5/4/2012 Washington Post: UN fact finder on indigenous rights to recommend land restoration for some Native Americans
5/4/2012 Washington Post: UN fact finder on indigenous rights to recommend land restoration for some Native Americans by Associated Press: WASHINGTON — A United Nations fact finder surveying the lives of Native Americans and Alaska Natives said Friday he’ll recommend in an upcoming report that some of the tribes’ lands be restored, including the Black Hills of South Dakota. James Anaya, a U.N. special rapporteur, has been meeting with tribal leaders, the administration and Senate members over 12 days to assess U.S. implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He plans several suggestions in his report, which he said he likely will deliver to the U.N.’s Human Rights Council in September.
Anaya said land restoration would help bring about reconciliation. He named the Black Hills as an example. He said restoring to indigenous people what they have a legitimate claim to can be done in a way that is not divisive “so that the Black Hills, for example, isn’t just a reminder of the subordination and domination of indigenous peoples in that country.”
The Black Hills, home to Mount Rushmore, are public land but are considered sacred by the Sioux tribes. The Sioux have refused to accept money awarded in a 1980 U.S. Supreme Court decision and have sought return of the land. The Black Hills and other lands were set aside for the Sioux in an 1868 treaty. But Congress passed a law in 1877 taking the land.
President Barack Obama endorsed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2010, reversing a previous U.S. vote against it. It is intended to protect the rights of 370 million native peoples worldwide. Anaya is the first U.N. special rapporteur on rights of the indigenous to visit the U.S.
He met with several members of the executive branch and had the chance to brief members of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. He lamented he was unable to get individual meetings with members of Congress, noting that he usually meets with members of legislative bodies of countries he is visiting.
Anaya said he heard universal cries from the Native Americans and Alaska Natives for the federal government to protect their tribal sovereignty and for more ability to control their own affairs.
He added provisions in the Violence Against Women Act, recently approved in the Senate, give tribes the ability to prosecute people who commit violent crimes against Native American or Alaska Native women, even if they are not native peoples. That provision has been opposed by some Republicans in Congress. The House is expected to move on the act as soon as next week, with Republicans possibly drafting and pushing their own version.
Anaya said he met with tribes in Arizona, Alaska, Oregon, Washington State, South Dakota and Oklahoma both on reservations and in urban areas.
“In all my consultations with indigenous peoples in the places I visited it was impressed upon me that the sense of loss, alienation and indignity is pervasive throughout Indian Country,” Anaya said.
“It is evident that there have still not been adequate measures of reconciliation to overcome the persistent legacies of the history of oppression and that there is still much healing that needs to be done,” he said.
Online: USNR James Anaya: http://www.unsr.jamesanaya.org
Naabik’iyati’ Committee of the Navajo Nation Council passes legislation requesting President Obama to suspend the U.S. Forest Service Permit for Snowbowl
10/5/2011 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Naabik’iyati’ Committee of the Navajo Nation Council passes legislation requesting President Obama to suspend the U.S. Forest Service Permit for Snowbowl: Gorman, on behalf of Navajo human rights, presents the legislation with Hon. Jonathan Nez: ST. MICHAELS, Ariz.—On the day Navajo Nation human rights officials were en route to host a public hearing in Flagstaff about the San Francisco Peaks, one Navajo human rights official remained at the Navajo Nation’s capital to present a United Nations report about “The Peaks” to the Naabik’iyati’ Committee at the Navajo Nation Council Chambers.
On September 23, 2011, Leonard Gorman for the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission was the agent for legislation NABIS-58-11, “Relating to Naabik’iyati’; Acknowledging the Report by the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples [A/HRC/18/35/Add. 1]; Requesting the President of the United States Suspend the U.S. Forest Service Permit to Develop Reclaimed Water System for Making Artificial Snow on the San Francisco Peaks, Authorizing Navajo Nation Officials to Attend the 18th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council At Geneva, Switzerland; and, Authorizing Navajo Nation Officials to Protect and Advocate for the Human Rights of the Navajo People as they Pertain to the San Francisco Peaks.”
Legislation NABIS-58-11 passed in favor 14 -0 at the Naabik’iyati’ Committee, NNHRCs legislative oversight committee for the 22nd Navajo Nation Council, sponsored by Hon. Jonathan Nez, motioned by Hon. Joshua Lavar Butler and seconded by Hon. Elmer P. Begay.
NNHRC began the formal communiqué 16 months ago with the Special Rapporteur urging an allegation letter, “the usual first step [for a Special Rapporteur] in taking action on a case,” as stated Anaya in his report about the communications procedure.
Anaya’s report is a direct result of the NNHRC formal communiqué urging an allegation letter against the United States by the U.N. official. When the NNHRC received the Anaya’s report on August 22, 2011, NNHRC later requested sending a Navajo Nation delegation to Geneva when Anaya was scheduled to share his report and recommendations to the U.N. Human Rights Council, but only the Navajo Nation President Hon. Ben Shelly was able to attend.
To read the legislation, visit www.nnhrc.navajo-nsn.gov.
Rachelle Todea, Public Information Officer
Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission
P.O. Box 1689
Window Rock, Navajo Nation (AZ) 86515
Phone: (928) 871-7436
Fax: (928) 871-7437
“Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development,” according to the Article 3 of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, G.A. Res. 61/295, U.N. Doc A/RES/295 (Sept. 13, 2007), 46 I.L.M 1013 (2007).
8/10/2011 Navajo Human Rights Commission: Dr. Jennifer Nez Denetdale joins the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission: “Denetdale will join Commissioner Chairperson Duane H. Yazzie, Commissioner Vice-Chairperson Clarence Chee, Commissioner Steve Darden, and Commissioner Irving Gleason; and direct seven staff members for the Commission. Denetdale will serve the remainder of the term of the vacated position from the time of appointment to July 2012.” FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (August 9, 2011): ST. MICHAELS, Ariz.—Jennifer Nez Denetdale, Ph.D, will fill the position on the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission, which requires “an extensive background in education.” Her appointment to the Commission was confirmed on August 1, 2011 at the Naabik’iyati’ Committee of the Navajo Nation Council with a vote of 18 in favor and 0 opposed.
Denetdale was recommended by the Navajo Nation Council Speaker Johnny Naize to the Naabik’iyati’ Committee. Denetdale will join Commissioner Chairperson Duane H. Yazzie, Commissioner Vice-Chairperson Clarence Chee, Commissioner Steve Darden, and Commissioner Irving Gleason; and direct seven staff members for the Commission. Denetdale will serve the remainder of the term of the vacated position from the time of appointment to July 2012.
During her term, Denetdale will guide staff at the Commission involving areas of civil and human rights, including but not limited to, employment, housing, cultural and intellectual property, sacred sites, race discrimination, advising accordingly as the educational representative to the Commission.
The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission is an authorized entity of the Navajo Nation legislative branch to advocate for Navajo human rights and to address discriminatory acts against Navajo citizens.
The Commission’s office is located in St. Michaels, where Commissioners meet regularly every first Friday of each month. Commissioner meetings are open to the public.
Staff members address complaints filed by Navajo citizens. Complaint forms are available to download at www.nnhrc.navajo-nsn.gov.