UN investigator finds ‘sense of loss, alienation and indignity’ in US Native population

From Alaska Dispatch

Numerous sources report that James Anaya, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, has concluded his official visit investigating the status of Native Americans in the United States.

Anaya’s formal report will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in September, but for now, he’s discussing what he learned over two weeks in travels to urban and rural Native American communities, including a visit to Alaska.

Anaya’s initial conclusions will likely surprise no one who is aware of the multi-generational effort in the United States to eradicate indigenous cultures and marginalize their communities.

“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 wrote in his end-of mission statement.

“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.

Anaya reports that he learned of widespread discrimination on racial grounds, both against individuals and in the interaction between state and federal government entities and tribes. Such discrimination even affects economic development and local issues.

“For example, with the treatment of children in schools both by their peers and by teachers as well as the educational system itself; the way native Americans and indigenous peoples are reflected in the school curriculum and teaching,” he said.

From Alaska Dispatch

Numerous sources report that James Anaya, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, has concluded his official visit investigating the status of Native Americans in the United States.

Anaya’s formal report will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in September, but for now, he’s discussing what he learned over two weeks in travels to urban and rural Native American communities, including a visit to Alaska.

Anaya’s initial conclusions will likely surprise no one who is aware of the multi-generational effort in the United States to eradicate indigenous cultures and marginalize their communities.

“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 wrote in his end-of mission statement.

“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.

Anaya reports that he learned of widespread discrimination on racial grounds, both against individuals and in the interaction between state and federal government entities and tribes. Such discrimination even affects economic development and local issues.

“For example, with the treatment of children in schools both by their peers and by teachers as well as the educational system itself; the way native Americans and indigenous peoples are reflected in the school curriculum and teaching,” he said.

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About Vince

I am a Tlingit, born and raised in Tlingit Country, and a proud member of the Tlingit Nation.
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