Cherokee Nation urges the United Nations to implement UNDRIP

03/11/2014

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council passed a resolution Monday to encourage the United Nations to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

UNDRIP was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2007 as a way for indigenous governments across the globe to protect their people, lands and resources. Currently, the U.N. does not have a system to enforce it or track which countries have begun to implement it.

“The significance of the United Nations implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is of the utmost importance to the Cherokee people and other indigenous peoples,” said Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor Victoria Vazquez. “The declaration is a needed tool for indigenous governments to protect their sovereignty and promote the interests of their people.”

The resolution asks the United Nations to establish a tracking system to monitor and encourage countries to implement the UNDRIP. It also asks that they promote measures to address violence against Native women and children and to create a new status for indigenous governments, such as the Cherokee Nation, that adequately recognize them as unique nations. Currently, if the Cherokee Nation, or other American Indian tribes, want to attend a U.N. hearing, even as an observer, they cannot unless they attend under a non-governmental organization (NGO) that has observer status.

“It’s important that Cherokee Nation stay engaged on matters affecting Native people on the national and international stage,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. “This resolution is our way of both applauding the progress the international community is making on the rights of indigenous people, but also to push for a stronger role for tribes in the process.”

In other business, the Tribal Council passed a resolution authorizing the Cherokee Nation to submit a grant to the U.S. Department of Justice for Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation funds. Tribes use the funds to enhance law enforcement, bolster justice systems and serve sexual assault and elder victims.

The legislative body also approved the following:

Confirmed Dan Carter, of Tahlequah, as a Cherokee Nation Businesses board member. Carter spent nearly 30 years building, owning and operating numerous businesses. Carter received his bachelor’s degree at Northeastern State University.

Reappointed Tonya L. Rozell, of Tahlequah, as a Cherokee Nation Foundation board member. Rozell has devoted more than 30 years to public education. Rozell received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree at Northeastern State University.

Confirmed Jacquie Archambeau, of Aurora, Ill., as Cherokee Nation Community Association Corporation board member. Archambeau is a leading community member representing and serving the at large Cherokees in Northern California. In 2013, she received the Cherokee National Community Leadership Award.

The next Tribal Council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., April 14, at the W.W. Keeler Complex in Tahlequah.


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