The Vision of Elder William Commanda to Create
“A CIRCLE OF ALL NATIONS: A CULTURE OF PEACE”
This vision occurred during an illness in the mid-nineteen-sixties. In May 2005, he met with Prime Minister Paul Martin at a Canada/Aboriginal round table and reiterated the principles he fought for in “of forty years of commitment” inspired by this vision.
This difficult age we live in was foreseen by spiritual visionaries across the world. My ancestors warned us about the years of struggle that would lead us to a crossroad and to the choices we would be called upon to make at the turn of the century. This vision was inscribed in the sacred Seven Fires Prophecy Wampum Shell Belt in the late 1400s.
The Seven Fires Prophecy holds a vision for a future where we:
HONOUR OUR RELATIONSHIP AND RESPONSIBILITY TO MOTHER EARTH AND ALL CREATION,
CELEBRATE OUR INDIVIDUAL GIFTS AND DIVERSITY, AND STILL
RECOGNIZE AND RESPECT OUR PLACE WITHIN A CIRCLE OF ALL NATIONS
The steps to this future are few:
FIRST WE LOOK WITHIN, SO WE KNOW OURSELVES BEST. WE RECOGNIZE, ACKNOWLEDGE AND FORGIVE OURSELVES OUR SHORTCOMINGS AND ANY FAILIURE TO ACHIEVE OUR BEST POTENTIAL
WE FORGIVE OTHERS FOR ANY HARDSHIP AND PAIN THEY MAY HAVE CAUSED US AND OUR COMMUNITIES; WE TRUST THAT THIS ENERGY WILL TRANSFORM THEM SPIRITUALLY
WE RECOGNIZE THAT OUR THOUGHTS, WORDS AND ACTIONS AFFECT OURSELVES, MOTHER EARTH AND ALL CREATION, AND WE EMBRACE PEACE MINDFULLY
WE LISTEN TO OUR MINDS BUT WE TRUST OUR HEARTS ABOVE ALL
This path will lead us to love, sharing, respect, responsibility, compassion, healing, justice and reconciliation.
It is of crucial importance that the people of the world:
RESPOND IMMEDIATELY TO THE PLIGHT OF THE MANY OPPRESSED BY EXPLOITATION, SOCIAL INJUSTICE, RACISM AND WAR;
ANIMATE THE HUMAN CAPACITY FOR FORGIVENESS, COMPASSION, LOVE AND RECONCILIATION; AND
CREATE A GLOBAL SYNERGY TO ENSURE THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE LIVES OF ALL
We shall then light the Eighth Fire together and we will become:
“A CIRCLE OF ALL NATIONS: A CULTURE OF PEACE”
“The National Capital Commission was established about a hundred years ago and given responsibility to create a sense of nationhood within this capital city on what remains unsurrendered Algonquin Territory and the spiritual heartland of my peoples. For well over thirty-five years, Victoria Island has been identified as the site for an Aboriginal Center. Yet nothing materialized during the terms of previous prime ministers. With the commencement of the United Nations Decade for a Culture of Peace, I began to pursue the work of developing a vision for a fully inclusive indigenous peace-building center on Victoria Island actively.” (May 2005)
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples-Full Preamble and a Summary of Points
Adopted by General Assembly Resolution 61/295 on 13 September 2007
Harper Signed November12th, 2010
The General Assembly,
Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and good faith in the fulfilment of the obligations assumed by States in accordance with the Charter,
Affirming that indigenous peoples are equal to all other peoples, while recognizing the right of all peoples to be different, to consider themselves different, and to be respected as such,
Affirming also that all peoples contribute to the diversity and richness of civilizations and cultures, which constitute the common heritage of humankind,
Affirming further that all doctrines, policies and practices based on or advocating superiority of peoples or individuals on the basis of national origin or racial, religious, ethnic or cultural differences are racist, scientifically false, legally invalid, morally condemnable and socially unjust,
Reaffirming that indigenous peoples, in the exercise of their rights, should be free from discrimination of any kind,
Concerned that indigenous peoples have suffered from historic injustices as a result of, inter alia, their colonization and dispossession of their lands, territories and resources, thus preventing them from exercising, in particular, their right to development in accordance with their own needs and interests,
Recognizing the urgent need to respect and promote the inherent rights of indigenous peoples which derive from their political, economic and social structures and from their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies, especially their rights to their lands, territories and resources,
Recognizing also the urgent need to respect and promote the rights of indigenous peoples affirmed in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements with States,
Welcoming the fact that indigenous peoples are organizing themselves for political, economic, social and cultural enhancement and in order to bring to an end all forms of discrimination and oppression wherever they occur,
Convinced that control by indigenous peoples over developments affecting them and their lands, territories and resources will enable them to maintain and strengthen their institutions, cultures and traditions, and to promote their development in accordance with their aspirations and needs,
Recognizing that respect for indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditional practices contributes to sustainable and equitable development and proper management of the environment,
Emphasizing the contribution of the demilitarization of the lands and territories of indigenous peoples to peace, economic and social progress and development, understanding and friendly relations among nations and peoples of the world,
Recognizing in particular the right of indigenous families and communities to retain shared responsibility for the upbringing, training, education and well-being of their children, consistent with the rights of the child,
Considering that the rights affirmed in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements between States and indigenous peoples are, in some situations, matters of international concern, interest, responsibility and character,
Considering also that treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements, and the relationship they represent, are the basis for a strengthened partnership between indigenous peoples and States,
Acknowledging that the Charter of the United Nations, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,2 as well as the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action,(3) affirm the fundamental importance of the right to self-determination of all peoples, by virtue of which they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development,
Bearing in mind that nothing in this Declaration may be used to deny any peoples their right to self-determination, exercised in conformity with international law,
Convinced that the recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples in this Declaration will enhance harmonious and cooperative relations between the State and indigenous peoples, based on principles of justice, democracy, respect for human rights, non-discrimination and good faith,
Encouraging States to comply with and effectively implement all their obligations as they apply to indigenous peoples under international instruments, in particular those related to human rights, in consultation and cooperation with the peoples concerned,
Emphasizing that the United Nations has an important and continuing role to play in promoting and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples,
Believing that this Declaration is a further important step forward for the recognition, promotion and protection of the rights and freedoms of indigenous peoples and in the development of relevant activities of the United Nations system in this field,
Recognizing and reaffirming that indigenous individuals are entitled without discrimination to all human rights recognized in international law, and that indigenous peoples possess collective rights which are indispensable for their existence, well-being and integral development as peoples,
Recognizing that the situation of indigenous peoples varies from region to region and from country to country and that the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical and cultural backgrounds should be taken into consideration,
Solemnly proclaims the following United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a standard of achievement to be pursued in a spirit of partnership and mutual respect:
Article 1 Indigenous peoples (IP) have the right to…all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights(4) and international human rights law.
Article 2 IP …equal to all other peoples and individuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights.
Article 3 IP have the right to self-determination [and to] freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
Article 4 IP … have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions.
Article 5 IP have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, while retaining their right to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State.
Article 6 Every indigenous individual has the right to a nationality. SEE APPENDIX FOR THE REST
November 15th 2011—
“The Sixteen Principles of Solidarity,” or as some call it, “The Sixteen Commitments” of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, drafted by a group of over a hundred people, and signed onto at the conclusion of the occupation of Zuccotti Park., November 15th, 2011.
- 1. PRINCIPLES
RESPECT AND CARE FOR THE COMMUNITY OF LIFE
1. Respect Earth and life in all its diversity.
a. Recognize that all beings are interdependent and every form of life has value regard-less of its worth to human beings.
b. Affirm faith in the inherent dignity of all human beings and in the intellectual, artistic, ethical, and spiritual potential of humanity.
2. Care for the community of life with understanding, compassion, and love.
a. Accept that with the right to own, manage, and use natural resources comes the duty to prevent environmental harm and to protect the rights of people.
b. Affirm that with increased freedom, knowledge, and power comes increased responsibility to promote the common good.
3. Build democratic societies that are just, participatory, sustainable, and
a. Ensure that communities at all levels guarantee human rights and fundamental freedoms and provide everyone an opportunity to realize his or her full potential.
b. Promote social and economic justice, enabling all to achieve a secure and meaningful livelihood that is ecologically responsible.
4. Secure Earth’s bounty and beauty for present and future generations.
a. Recognize that the freedom of action of each generation is qualified by the needs of future generations.
b. Transmit to future generations’ values, traditions, and institutions that support the long-term flourishing of Earth’s human and ecological communities. In order to fulfill these four broad commitments, it is necessary to:
5. Protect and restore the integrity of Earth’s ecological systems, with special concern for biological diversity and the natural processes that sustain life.
a. Adopt at all levels sustainable development plans and regulations that make envi-ronmental conservation and rehabilitation integral to all development initiatives.
b. Establish and safeguard viable nature and biosphere reserves, including wild lands and marine areas, to protect Earth’s life support systems, maintain biodiversity, and preserve our natural heritage.
c. Promote the recovery of endangered species and ecosystems.
d. Control and eradicate non-native or genetically modified organisms harmful to native species and the environment, and prevent introduction of such harmful organisms.
e. Manage the use of renewable resources such as water, soil, forest products, and ma-rine life in ways that do not exceed rates of regeneration and that protect the health of ecosystems.
f. Manage the extraction and use of non-renewable resources such as minerals and fossil fuels in ways that minimize depletion and cause no serious environmental damage.
6. Prevent harm as the best method of environmental protection and, when knowledge is limited, apply a precautionary approach.
a. Take action to avoid the possibility of serious or irreversible environmental harm even when scientific knowledge is incomplete or inconclusive.
b. Place the burden of proof on those who argue that a proposed activity will not cause significant harm, and make the responsible parties liable for environmental harm.
c. Ensure that decision making addresses the cumulative, long-term, indirect, long dis-tance, and global consequences of human activities.
d. Prevent pollution of any part of the environment and allow no build-up of radioac-tive, toxic, or other hazardous substances.
e. Avoid military activities damaging to the environment.
7. Adopt patterns of production, consumption, & reproduction that safeguards Earth’s regenerative capacities, human rights, and community well-being.
a. Reduce, reuse, and recycle the materials used in production and consumption systems, and ensure that residual waste can be assimilated by ecological systems.
b. Act with restraint and efficiency when using energy, and rely increasingly on renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.
c. Promote the development, adoption, and equitable transfer of environmentally sound technologies.
d. Internalize the full environmental and social costs of goods and services in the selling price, and enable consumers to identify products that meet the highest social and environmental standards.
e. Ensure universal access to health care that fosters reproductive health and responsible reproduction.
f. Adopt lifestyles that emphasize the quality of life and material sufficiency in a finite world.
8. Advance the study of ecological sustainability and promote the open exchange and wide application of the knowledge acquired.
a. Support international scientific and technical cooperation on sustainability, with special attention to the needs of developing nations.
b. Recognize and preserve the traditional knowledge and spiritual wisdom in all cul- tures that contribute to environmental protection and human well-being.
c. Ensure that information of vital importance to human health and environmental pro- tection, including genetic information, remains available in the public domain.
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE
9. Eradicate poverty as an ethical, social, and environmental imperative.
a. Guarantee the right to potable water, clean air, food security, uncontaminated soil,
shelter, and safe sanitation, allocating the national and international resources re-quired.
b. Empower every human being with the education and resources to secure a sustainable
livelihood, and provide social security and safety nets for those who are unable to support themselves.
c. Recognize the ignored, protect the vulnerable, serve those who suffer, and enable them to develop their capacities and to pursue their aspirations.
10. Ensure that economic activities and institutions at all levels promote human development in an equitable and sustainable manner.
a. Promote the equitable distribution of wealth within nations and among nations.
b. Enhance the intellectual, financial, technical, and social resources of developing na- tions, and relieve them of onerous international debt.
c. Ensure that all trade supports sustainable resource use, environmental protection, and progressive labor standards.
d. Require multinational corporations and international financial organizations to act transparently in the public good, and hold them accountable for the consequences of their activities.
11. Affirm gender equality & equity as prerequisites to sustainable development and ensure universal access to education, health care, & economic opportunity.
a. Secure the human rights of women and girls and end all violence against them.
b. Promote the active participation of women in all aspects of economic, political, civil, social, and cultural life as full and equal partners, decision makers, leaders, and bene-
c. Strengthen families and ensure the safety and loving nurture of all family members.
12. Uphold the right of all, without discrimination, to a natural and social environment supportive of human dignity, bodily health, and spiritual well-being, with special attention to the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities.
a. Eliminate discrimination in all its forms, such as that based on race, color, sex, sexual
orientation, religion, language, and national, ethnic or social origin.
b. Affirm the right of indigenous peoples to their spirituality, knowledge, lands and re-
sources and to their related practice of sustainable livelihoods.
c. Honor and support the young people of our communities, enabling them to fulfill
their essential role in creating sustainable societies.
d. Protect and restore outstanding places of cultural and spiritual significance.
DEMOCRACY, NONVIOLENCE, AND PEACE
13. Strengthen democratic institutions at all levels, and provide transparency and accountability in governance, inclusive participation in decision making, and access to justice.
a. Uphold the right of everyone to receive clear and timely information on environmen-tal matters and all development plans and activities which are likely to affect them or in which they have an interest.
b. Support local, regional and global civil society, and promote the meaningful partici-pation of all interested individuals and organizations in decision making.
c. Protect the rights to freedom of opinion, expression, peaceful assembly, association, and dissent.
d. Institute effective and efficient access to administrative and independent judicial procedures, including remedies and redress for environmental harm and the threat of such harm.
e. Eliminate corruption in all public and private institutions.
f. Strengthen local communities, enabling them to care for their environments, and as-sign environmental responsibilities to the levels of government where they can be carried out most effectively.
14. Integrate into formal education and life-long learning the knowledge, values, and skills needed for a sustainable way of life.
a. Provide all, especially children and youth, with educational opportunities that em-
power them to contribute actively to sustainable development.
b. Promote the contribution of the arts and humanities as well as the sciences in sus-tainability education.
c. Enhance the role of the mass media in raising awareness of ecological and social challenges.
d. Recognize the importance of moral and spiritual education for sustainable living.
15. Treat all living beings with respect and consideration.
a. Prevent cruelty to animals kept in human societies and protect them from suffering.
b. Protect wild animals from methods of hunting, trapping, and fishing that cause ex- treme, prolonged, or avoidable suffering.
c. Avoid or eliminate to the full extent possible the taking or destruction of non-target- ed species.
16. Promote a culture of tolerance, nonviolence, and peace.
a. Encourage and support mutual understanding, solidarity, and cooperation among all
peoples and within all nations.
b. Implement comprehensive strategies to prevent violent conflict and use collaborative
problem solving to manage and resolve environmental conflicts and other disputes.
c. Demilitarize national security systems to the level of a non-provocative defense pos-
ture, and convert military resources to peaceful purposes, including ecological restora-
d. Eliminate nuclear, biological, and toxic weapons and other weapons of mass destruc-
e. Ensure that the use of orbital and outer space supports environmental protection and
f. Recognize that peace is the wholeness created by right relationships with oneself, oth-
er persons, other cultures, other life, Earth, and the larger whole of which all are a
THE WAY FORWARD
As never before in history, common destiny beckons us to seek a new beginning. Such renewal is the promise of these Earth Charter principles. To fulfill this promise, we must commit ourselves to adopt and promote the values and objectives of the Charter.
This requires a change of mind and heart. It requires a new sense of global interdependence and universal responsibility. We must imaginatively develop and apply the vision of a sustainable way of life locally, nationally, regionally, and globally. Our cultural diversity is a precious heritage and different cultures will find their own distinctive ways to realize the vision. We must deepen and expand the global dialogue that generated the Earth Charter, for we have much to learn from the ongoing collaborative search for truth and wisdom.
Life often involves tensions between important values. This can mean difficult choices. How-ever, we must find ways to harmonize diversity with unity, the exercise of freedom with the common good, short-term objectives with long-term goals. Every individual, family, organization, and community has a vital role to play. The arts, sciences, religions, educational institutions, media, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and governments are all called to offer creative leadership. The partnership of government, civil society, and business is essential for effective governance.
In order to build a sustainable global community, the nations of the world must renew their commitment to the United Nations, fulfill their obligations under existing international agreements, and support the implementation of Earth Charter principles with an international legally binding instrument on environment and development.
Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life.\
“Chief Spence’s Thirteen Points of Commitment”
This is the document Chief Theresa Spence released as she ended her fast on January 23rd, 2013 at Victoria Island. It was later acknowledged by Canada’s Liberal Party.
FIRST NATIONS: WORKING TOWARDS FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE
In the true spirit of commitment to initiate dialogue to discuss both Treaty and non-Treaty Indigenous issues on behalf of our First Nations Peoples of Canada, Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat First Nation and Mr. Raymond Robinson of Cross Lake, Manitoba will continue their Hunger Strike, pending outcome of this written Declaration. We also like to acknowledge Mr. Jean Sock of Elsipogtog, New Brunswick and all other Fasters who have shown their deep dedication and courage in support of protecting and honouring both Treaty and non-Treaty obligations as written, entered into or understood by all Peoples, with the Federal Government of Canada including each Provincial/Territorial signatory.
Further, we agree the self-sacrifice and the spiritual courage of Chief Theresa Spence, along with Elder Raymond Robinson and all other fasters have made clear the need for fundamental change in the relationship of First Nations and the Crown. We fully commit to carry forward the urgent and coordinated action required until concrete and tangible results are achieved in order to allow First Nations to forge their own destiny.
Therefore, we solemnly commit to undertake political, spiritual and all other advocacy efforts to implement a renewed First Nations – Crown relationship where inherent Treaty and non-Treaty Rights are recognized, honoured and fully implemented as they should be, within the next five years.
This Declaration includes, but is not limited to, ensuring commitments made by the Prime Minister of Canada on January 11th, 2013 are followed through and implemented as quickly as possible as led by First Nation on a high-level priority with open transparency and trust. Furthermore, immediate steps are taken working together to achieve the below priorities:
1. An immediate meeting to be arranged between the Crown, Federal Governments, Provincial Governments and all First Nations to discuss outstanding issues regarding the Treaty Relationship, as well as for non-Treaty area relationships.
2. Clear work-plans that shall include deliverables and timelines that outline how commitments will be achieved, including immediate action for short, medium and long-term goals. Addressing the housing crisis within our First Nation communities shall be considered as a short-term immediate action.
3. Frameworks and mandates for the implementation and enforcement of Treaties between Treaty parties on a Nation-to-Nation basis.
4. Reforming and modifying the comprehensive claims policy based on inherent rights of First Nations.
5. A commitment towards resource revenue sharing, requiring the participation and involvement of provinces and territories currently benefiting from resource development from traditional lands.
6. Commitment towards ensuring a greater collective oversight and action towards ensuring the sustainability of the land through a sustained environmental oversight.
7. A comprehensive review and meaningful consultation in regards to Bill C-38 and C-45 to ensure it is consistent with Section 35 of the Constitution Act (1982).
8. Ensure that all federal legislation has the free, prior and informed consent of First Nations where inherent and Treaty rights are affected or impacted.
9. A revised fiscal relationship between First Nations and Canada that is equitable, sustainable and includes indexing and the removal of arbitrary funding caps.
10. A National Public Commission of Inquiry on Violence Against Indigenous Women of all ages.
11. Equity in capital construction of First Nation schools, including funding parity with Provincial funding formulas with additional funding support for First Nation languages.
12. A change in how government operates that would include direct oversight, a dedicated Cabinet Committee and Secretariat within the Privy Council Office with specific responsibility for the First Nation-Crown relationship to ensure implementation.
13. The full implementation of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – UNDRIP.
As expressed from time to time by Chief Theresa Spence, “Our Treaty Rights continue to be violated and ignored”. Elder Raymond Robinson says, “Treaties were entered into on a Nation to Nation basis and we need to do our best to re-bridge that balance to walk and work together as was the original intent of the treaties”. Far too long, we have been denied an equitable stature within Canadian Society. The time is ours and no longer will we be silenced and idle. We will continue to call upon the insistence of truth, justice, fairness for all our First Nation Peoples.
As fully endorsed and supported by:
Assembly of First Nations National Executive Committee
Native Women’s Association of Canada
Liberal Party of Canada Parliamentary Caucus
New Democratic Party National Caucus
APPENDIX: A Summary of the Remaining Articles of the UN Declaration:
Article 7 IP have the rights to life, physical and mental integrity, liberty and security of person [and] the collective right to live in freedom, peace and security as distinct peoples and shall not be subjected to any act of genocide or any other act of violence, including forcibly removing children of the group to another group.
Article 8 1. Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture. 2. States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for:
(a) Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities; (b) Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources; (c) Any form of forced population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights; (d) Any form of forced assimilation or integration; (e) Any form of propaganda designed to promote or incite racial or ethnic discrimination directed against them.
Article 9 IP .. have the right to belong to an indigenous community or nation, in accordance with the traditions and customs of the community or nation concerned. No discrimination …may arise from the exercise of such a right.
Article 10 IP shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories. No relocation shall take place without the ….consent of the IP concerned and after agreement on compensation and, where possible, with the option of return.
Article 11 1. IP have the right to practice and revitalize their cultural traditions and customs. This includes the right to maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological and historical sites, artifacts, designs, ceremonies, technologies and visual and performing arts and literature. 2. States shall provide redress through effective mechanisms, which may include restitution, developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples, with respect to their cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual property taken without their free, prior and informed consent or in violation of their laws, traditions and customs.
Article 12 1. IP have the right to manifest, practise, develop and teach their spiritual and religious traditions, customs and ceremonies; the right to …have access in privacy to their religious and cultural sites; the right to the use and control of their ceremonial objects; and the right to the repatriation of their human remains. States shall seek to enable the access [through]….mechanisms developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples concerned.
Article 13 1. IP have the right to …transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate…their own names for communities, places and persons. States shall take effective measures to ensure that this right is protected and also to ensure that indigenous peoples can understand and be understood in political, legal and administrative proceedings, where necessary…
Article 14 IP have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning. IP particularly children, have the right to all levels and forms of education of the State without discrimination. States shall, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, take effective measures,[so that] IP … have access, when possible, to an education in their own culture and provided in their own language.
Article 15 IP have the right to the dignity and diversity of their cultures, traditions, histories and aspirations which shall be appropriately reflected in education and public information. States shall take effective measures, to combat prejudice and eliminate discrimination and to promote tolerance, understanding and good relations among indigenous peoples and all other segments of society.
Article 16 IP have the right to establish their own media in their own languages and to have access to all forms of non-indigenous media without discrimination. States shall take effective measures to ensure that State-owned media duly reflect indigenous cultural diversity. States, without prejudice to ensuring full freedom of expression, should encourage privately owned media to adequately reflect indigenous cultural diversity.
Article 17 IP have the right to enjoy fully all rights established under applicable international and domestic labour law. 2. States shall in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples take specific measures to protect indigenous children from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development, 3. IP have the right not to be subjected to any discriminatory conditions of labour and, inter alia, employment or salary.
Article 18 IP have the right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights, through representatives chosen by themselves in accordance with their own procedures, as well as to maintain and develop their own indigenous decision-making institutions.
Article 19 States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with IP concerned in order to obtain their consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.
Article 20 1. IP have the right to maintain and develop their political, economic and social systems or institutions, to be secure in the enjoyment of their own means of subsistence and development, and to engage freely in all their traditional and other economic activities. 2. Indigenous peoples deprived of their means of subsistence and development are entitled to just and fair redress.
Article 21 IP have the right, without discrimination, to the improvement of their economic and social conditions, including, education, employment, vocational training and retraining, housing, sanitation, health and social security.
States shall take effective measures and, where appropriate, special measures to ensure continuing improvement of their economic and social conditions. Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of indigenous elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities.
Article 22. Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of indigenous elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities in the implementation of this Declaration.
2. States shall take measures, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, to ensure that indigenous women and children enjoy the full protection and guarantees against all forms of violence and discrimination.
Article 23 IP have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for exercising their right to development and have the right to be actively involved in developing and determining health, housing and other economic and social programmes affecting them and, to administer such programmes through their own institutions.
Article 24 IP have the right to their traditional medicines and to maintain their health practices, including the conservation of their vital medicinal plants, animals and minerals. Indigenous individuals also have the right to access, without any discrimination, to all social and health services. Indigenous individuals have an equal right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. States shall take the necessary steps with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of this right.
Article 25 IP have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources and to uphold their responsibilities to future generations in this regard.
Article 26IP have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired. IP have the right to own, use, develop and control the(se) that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use, as well as those which they have otherwise acquired.
States shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands, territories and resources, conducted with due respect to the customs, traditions and land tenure systems of the indigenous peoples concerned.
Article 27 States shall establish and implement, in conjunction with IP concerned, a fair, independent, impartial, open and transparent process, giving due recognition to indigenous peoples’ laws, traditions, customs and land tenure systems, to recognize and adjudicate the rights of indigenous peoples pertaining to their lands, territories and resources, including those which were traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used.
Article 28 IP have the right to redress, by restitution or by just, fair and equitable compensation, for the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used, and which have been confiscated, taken, occupied, used or damaged without their consent. Unless otherwise freely agreed upon by the peoples concerned, compensation shall take the form of lands, territories and resources equal in quality, size and legal status or of monetary compensation or other appropriate redress.
Article 29 IP have the right to the conservation and protection of the environment and the productive capacity of their lands or territories and resources. States shall establish and implement assistance programmes for indigenous peoples for such conservation and protection, without discrimination. States shall take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent. . States shall also take effective measures to ensure, as needed, that programmes for monitoring, maintaining and restoring the health of indigenous peoples, as developed and implemented by the peoples affected by such materials, are duly implemented.
Article 30. Military activities shall not take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples, unless justified by a relevant public interest or otherwise freely agreed with or requested by the indigenous peoples concerned.
2. States shall undertake effective consultations with the indigenous peoples concerned, through appropriate procedures and in particular through their representative institutions, prior to using their lands or territories for military activities.
Article 31 Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, as well as the manifestations of their sciences, technologies and cultures, including human and genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora, oral traditions, literatures, designs, sports and traditional games and visual and performing arts. They also have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.
2. In conjunction with IP States shall take effective measures to recognize and protect the exercise of these rights.
Article 32 Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands or territories and other resources. States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources. States shall provide effective mechanisms for just and fair redress for any such activities, and appropriate measures shall be taken to mitigate adverse environmental, economic, social, cultural or spiritual impact.
Article 33 IP have the right to determine their own identity or membership in accordance with their customs and traditions. This does not impair the right of indigenous individuals to obtain citizenship of the States in which they live. IP have the right to determine the structures and to select the membership of their institutions in accordance with their own procedures.
Article 34 Indigenous peoples have the right to promote, develop and maintain their institutional structures and their distinctive customs, spirituality, traditions, procedures, practices and, in the cases where they exist, juridical systems or customs, in accordance with international human rights standards.
Article 35 IP have the right to determine the responsibilities of individuals to their communities.
Article 36 IP, in particular those divided by international borders, have the right to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation, including activities for spiritual, cultural, political, economic and social purposes, with their own members as well as other peoples across borders. States, in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples, shall take effective measures to facilitate the exercise and ensure the implementation of this right.
Article 37 IP have the right to the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements concluded with States or their successors and to have States honour and respect such treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as diminishing or eliminating the rights of indigenous peoples contained in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements.
Article 38 States in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples, shall take the appropriate measures, including legislative measures, to achieve the ends of this Declaration.
Article 39 IP have the right to have access to financial and technical assistance from States and through international cooperation, for the enjoyment of the rights contained in this Declaration.
Article 40 IP have the right to access to and prompt decision through just and fair procedures for the resolution of conflicts and disputes with States or other parties, as well as to effective remedies for all infringements of their individual and collective rights. Such a decision shall give due consideration to the customs, traditions, rules and legal systems of the indigenous peoples concerned and international human rights.
Article 41 The organs and specialized agencies of the United Nations system and other intergovernmental organizations shall contribute to the full realization of the provisions of this Declaration through the mobilization, inter alia, of financial cooperation and technical assistance. Ways and means of ensuring participation of IP on issues affecting them shall be established.
Article 42 The UN shall promote the full application of the provisions of this Declaration and follow up the effectiveness of this Declaration.
Article 43 The rights recognized herein constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the IP of the world.
Article 44 All the rights and freedoms recognized herein are equally guaranteed to male and female IP.
Article 45 Nothing in this Declaration may be construed as diminishing or extinguishing the rightsIP have now or may acquire in the future.
Article 46. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, people, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act contrary to the Charter of the United Nations or construed as authorizing or encouraging any action which would dismember or impair, totally or in part, the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent States. In the exercise of the rights enunciated in the present Declaration, human rights and fundamental freedoms of all shall be respected. The exercise of the rights set forth in this Declaration shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law and in accordance with international human rights obligations. Any such limitations shall be non-discriminatory and strictly necessary solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for meeting the just and most compelling requirements of a democratic society. The provisions set forth in this Declaration shall be interpreted in accordance with the principles of justice, democracy, respect for human rights, equality, non-discrimination, good governance and good faith.
(2) See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
(3) A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III. (4) Resolution 217 A (III)