President Obama endorses the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples!

Kicking off the second annual White House Tribal Nations Conference this morning, President Obama announced that the U.S. would finally endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)!

The UNDRIP is a non-legally binding human rights instrument which affirms universal standards for the survival, dignity, and well-being of all Indigenous Peoples. It provides a framework for addressing indigenous issues and was adopted by the United Nations in 2007, with the United States as one of only four countries, along with Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, that voted against the Declaration. Australia and New Zealand reversed their initial positions, and on November 12, Canada announced its endorsement of the Declaration as well.

In April 2010, the United States announced it would formally review its position on UNDRIP. Led by the State Department, the Administration held a series of tribal and NGO consultations to review what endorsement of the international human rights declaration would mean for Indigenous populations in the U.S. We are grateful to the Administration for their commitment to ensuring the ongoing engagement and consultation of tribal leaders, federally recognized tribes, and other interested stakeholders throughout this process.

This is a tremendous and long-overdue victory for American Indians in the U.S. – by endorsing the UNDRIP, the U.S. government is affirming its commitment to protecting the rights of Indigenous peoples, both at home and abroad. 

A huge congratulation to all of our Native American and Alaska Native partners and friends for this long-awaited and well-deserved victory!

And a deep and heartfelt thank you to ALL of our activists and supporters who took action to let President Obama know that you support indigenous rights – without your action, support and commitment, this would not have been possible.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

30 thoughts on “President Obama endorses the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples!

  1. with politicans talk is cheep. i jusr hope the president lives up to his words. he endorsed the decleration but the goveremnt did not adopt it . i pray he will honnor it.
    if he indeed dose it will be good. and for once someone in washington will do the right thing. so president obama will set a historcial land mark.

  2. Dear hummingbird,

    He endorsed it … didn't adopt it.

    You said it.

    Still hope in washington's "promises" ?

    Even as he escalates the war on the native nations of Afghanistan & Pakistan ?

    Even as your own Peoples from across the whiteman – imposed "border" are shot & hunted as "immigrants", while the White Eyes strut around as "native" "arizonans" & "new mexicans" ?

    Even as Leonard sits in prison deprived of real medical care & attention ( & Amnesty does nothing, either, to bring attention to this ) ?

    Amnesty works within the Spider's system, so it calls this endorsement "a tremendous … victory".

    But remember Little Wolf : "With the whites you have only what you hold in the palm of your hand."

    This declaration will only be as good as the use native Peoples put it to in their struggle.

    Apart from that it's sand against the wind.

  3. with politicans talk is cheep. i jusr hope the president lives up to his words. he endorsed the decleration but the goveremnt did not adopt it . i pray he will honnor it.
    if he indeed dose it will be good. and for once someone in washington will do the right thing. so president obama will set a historcial land mark.

  4. Endorsing it means a lot and so Pres. Obama, well done! Here, you've proven the importance of constitutional law which you studies. Honoring and implementation will come. This has of course, been going on slowly but steadily with the UN's machinery aimed at enhancing dialogue (for indigenous rights) between a sitting government or governments and indigenous peoples of the world. Congrats for the boldness, which your own struggles from bottom to the world's top job have engendered. Thanks, Mr. President!

  5. Dear hummingbird,

    He endorsed it … didn’t adopt it.

    You said it.

    Still hope in washington’s “promises” ?

    Even as he escalates the war on the native nations of Afghanistan & Pakistan ?

    Even as your own Peoples from across the whiteman – imposed “border” are shot & hunted as “immigrants”, while the White Eyes strut around as “native” “arizonans” & “new mexicans” ?

    Even as Leonard sits in prison deprived of real medical care & attention ( & Amnesty does nothing, either, to bring attention to this ) ?

    Amnesty works within the Spider’s system, so it calls this endorsement “a tremendous … victory”.

    But remember Little Wolf : “With the whites you have only what you hold in the palm of your hand.”

    This declaration will only be as good as the use native Peoples put it to in their struggle.

    Apart from that it’s sand against the wind.

  6. Endorsing it means a lot and so Pres. Obama, well done! Here, you’ve proven the importance of constitutional law which you studies. Honoring and implementation will come. This has of course, been going on slowly but steadily with the UN’s machinery aimed at enhancing dialogue (for indigenous rights) between a sitting government or governments and indigenous peoples of the world. Congrats for the boldness, which your own struggles from bottom to the world’s top job have engendered. Thanks, Mr. President!

  7. Parabéns! A vossa misão é necessária e entra-nos no coraçãoportão importante e solidária. Dou-vos um enorme abraço e sendo um pequeno grão da seara,junto-me a uma tão grande acção universal

  8. Parabéns! A vossa misão é necessária e entra-nos no coraçãoportão importante e solidária. Dou-vos um enorme abraço e sendo um pequeno grão da seara,junto-me a uma tão grande acção universal

  9. President Obama endorses the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples!

    Meanwhile he trashes Julian Assange's Human Rights! What a hero! What a champion for the Human Rights cause!

    Time to give him another Nobel Peace Prize!

    Meantime, AI ignores comments on "Q&A: Wikileaks and Freedom of Expression". Freedom of Expression, the topic Amnesty forgot.

    Julian Assange the prisoner Amnesty forgot!

  10. President Obama endorses the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples!

    Meanwhile he trashes Julian Assange’s Human Rights! What a hero! What a champion for the Human Rights cause!

    Time to give him another Nobel Peace Prize!

    Meantime, AI ignores comments on “Q&A: Wikileaks and Freedom of Expression”. Freedom of Expression, the topic Amnesty forgot.

    Julian Assange the prisoner Amnesty forgot!

  11. The facts of Invasion of this continent are there and used as assimilation on us , yet the Spanish Invasion or the invasion by the European Continent of the American Continent is not noted when constructing anti-immigration legislation. Mexica or other indigenous people of the southern part of the Continent are criminalized for migrating north seeking economic livelihood. Our ancestors used to migrate north to south or east to west. The invaders that set colonial governments and partitioned indigenous lands amongst themselves now criminalize the descendants of the original people. Also practice cultural genocide through displacement and denial of indigenous identity to us.Hopefully once the U.S. accepts the Declaration on Indigenous Rights we will get an opportunity to correct those wrongs done to our people.

  12. The facts of Invasion of this continent are there and used as assimilation on us , yet the Spanish Invasion or the invasion by the European Continent of the American Continent is not noted when constructing anti-immigration legislation. Mexica or other indigenous people of the southern part of the Continent are criminalized for migrating north seeking economic livelihood. Our ancestors used to migrate north to south or east to west. The invaders that set colonial governments and partitioned indigenous lands amongst themselves now criminalize the descendants of the original people. Also practice cultural genocide through displacement and denial of indigenous identity to us.Hopefully once the U.S. accepts the Declaration on Indigenous Rights we will get an opportunity to correct those wrongs done to our people.

  13. While AI is falling over itself to praise Barack Obama, whose international popularity has fallen, from a very great height, towards the levels enjoyed by his predecessor, why don't they spare a thought for his predecessor?

    Sure, you must admit George W Bush has been treated most inequitably? That is, as Barack was given a Nobel Peace Prize before he even had the chance to do anything, and since being given that chance has not done anything, yet George is a man of solid accomplishments.

    Poor George has brought "Freedom" and "Dumocracy" to the poor abused people of Iraq. So complete has the liberation been that at least half a million have been 'liberated" from their mortal coil, and some four million have been "liberated" (or at least liberated themselves) into surrounding countries, as refugees. Despite these heroic efforts and responsibility for the loss of more American lives in these conflicts than lost in 9/11, poor George remains Nobel-less. Maybe AI should at least belatedly praise George for these past efforts?

  14. While AI is falling over itself to praise Barack Obama, whose international popularity has fallen, from a very great height, towards the levels enjoyed by his predecessor, why don’t they spare a thought for his predecessor?

    Sure, you must admit George W Bush has been treated most inequitably? That is, as Barack was given a Nobel Peace Prize before he even had the chance to do anything, and since being given that chance has not done anything, yet George is a man of solid accomplishments.

    Poor George has brought “Freedom” and “Dumocracy” to the poor abused people of Iraq. So complete has the liberation been that at least half a million have been ‘liberated” from their mortal coil, and some four million have been “liberated” (or at least liberated themselves) into surrounding countries, as refugees. Despite these heroic efforts and responsibility for the loss of more American lives in these conflicts than lost in 9/11, poor George remains Nobel-less. Maybe AI should at least belatedly praise George for these past efforts?

  15. Dear Antonio Diaz,

    Bravo ! Bravo ! Bravo ! for your voice !

    As you make clear, the invasion of the americas by europe set up FAKE nationstates who drew FALSE boundaries across the face of the Land, breaking the free movements of the REAL PEOPLES of the americas.

    Today, the REAL PEOPLES are called "IMMIGRANTS", while the INVADERS call themselves the "NATIVES" !!!!

    Use Obama's endorsement as YOUR instrument, my Brother ! Don't look to HIM to use it for you, for he NEVER will !

    Never trust the white man !

  16. Bravo and Quite Right1 Both you a.savage and Antonio Diaz!

    And when the West was invaded from the East and annexed into the USA, most of the then inhabitants were driven South out of their lands by the invading white racists.

    Calling those who are now returning from the South, 'illegal immigrants' is simply a cynical revision of history.

    These "illegal immigrants" are simply reclaiming their land.

    There is still plenty of work on Human Right to be done close to home.

  17. Dear Antonio Diaz,

    Bravo ! Bravo ! Bravo ! for your voice !

    As you make clear, the invasion of the americas by europe set up FAKE nationstates who drew FALSE boundaries across the face of the Land, breaking the free movements of the REAL PEOPLES of the americas.

    Today, the REAL PEOPLES are called “IMMIGRANTS”, while the INVADERS call themselves the “NATIVES” !!!!

    Use Obama’s endorsement as YOUR instrument, my Brother ! Don’t look to HIM to use it for you, for he NEVER will !

    Never trust the white man !

  18. Bravo and Quite Right1 Both you a.savage and Antonio Diaz!

    And when the West was invaded from the East and annexed into the USA, most of the then inhabitants were driven South out of their lands by the invading white racists.

    Calling those who are now returning from the South, ‘illegal immigrants’ is simply a cynical revision of history.

    These “illegal immigrants” are simply reclaiming their land.

    There is still plenty of work on Human Right to be done close to home.

  19. Right on, Peter C !

    Yours is a fresh new voice i'm listening to when you speak.

    With a history like ours, we can have no illusions about the System we live under …….. & serve all our lives.

    If Obama's "endorsement" is a victory, it reminds me of those medals the US Commissioners used to give out to the chiefs after every Treaty …. to commemorate the fresh promises to be broken.

    What's victory without its fruits … for the People to savor ?

    Ever since he came Obama's been promising such victories … their fruits dangle beyond the Peoples' reach, for them to run after in the desert.

    They've lived so long without fruit ………. even a promise of them seems a victory !

    We cannot believe in the promises of those who rob the Peoples of their fruit .

    It will be victory only when they can taste it on their tongues.

    & for that we've to get down to hard thinking … hard work…. so the People may live.

  20. Right on, Peter C !

    Yours is a fresh new voice i’m listening to when you speak.

    With a history like ours, we can have no illusions about the System we live under …….. & serve all our lives.

    If Obama’s “endorsement” is a victory, it reminds me of those medals the US Commissioners used to give out to the chiefs after every Treaty …. to commemorate the fresh promises to be broken.

    What’s victory without its fruits … for the People to savor ?

    Ever since he came Obama’s been promising such victories … their fruits dangle beyond the Peoples’ reach, for them to run after in the desert.

    They’ve lived so long without fruit ………. even a promise of them seems a victory !

    We cannot believe in the promises of those who rob the Peoples of their fruit .

    It will be victory only when they can taste it on their tongues.

    & for that we’ve to get down to hard thinking … hard work…. so the People may live.

  21. The facts of Invasion of this continent are there and used as assimilation on us , yet the Spanish Invasion or the invasion by the European Continent of the American Continent is not noted when constructing anti-immigration legislation. Mexica or other indigenous people of the southern part of the Continent are criminalized for migrating north seeking economic livelihood. Our ancestors used to migrate north to south or east to west. The invaders that set colonial governments and partitioned indigenous lands amongst themselves now criminalize the descendants of the original people. Also practice cultural genocide through displacement and denial of indigenous identity to us.Hopefully once the U.S. accepts the Declaration on Indigenous Rights we will get an opportunity to correct those wrongs done to our people.

  22. The facts of Invasion of this continent are there and used as assimilation on us , yet the Spanish Invasion or the invasion by the European Continent of the American Continent is not noted when constructing anti-immigration legislation. Mexica or other indigenous people of the southern part of the Continent are criminalized for migrating north seeking economic livelihood. Our ancestors used to migrate north to south or east to west. The invaders that set colonial governments and partitioned indigenous lands amongst themselves now criminalize the descendants of the original people. Also practice cultural genocide through displacement and denial of indigenous identity to us.Hopefully once the U.S. accepts the Declaration on Indigenous Rights we will get an opportunity to correct those wrongs done to our people.

  23. Given the inaction and absence of interest displayed in protecting and campaigning on behalf of Mr Assange’s Human Rights, is there any truth to the currently circulating rumour that Amnesty International is a wholly subsidiary of the CIA? Or is that simply mischievous misinformation because in truth ownership now resides in totality in the US State department?

    Julian Assange the prisoner Amnesty International forgot.

  24. Given the inaction and absence of interest displayed in protecting and campaigning on behalf of Mr Assange’s Human Rights, is there any truth to the currently circulating rumour that Amnesty International is a wholly subsidiary of the CIA? Or is that simply mischievous misinformation because in truth ownership now resides in totality in the US State department?

    Julian Assange the prisoner Amnesty International forgot.

  25. Yes We Can! Yes We Can!

    No I won't!

    Obama is half way through his term already, made several more fine speeches, and plenty of 'heartfelt' 'endorsements', though not done much that he said he would. Firm commitments, dates for action have come and gone. Gitmo and other abominations have stayed and stayed…

    Surely it must be time to nominate our 'dear leader' for another Peace Prize?

  26. Yes We Can! Yes We Can!

    No I won’t!

    Obama is half way through his term already, made several more fine speeches, and plenty of ‘heartfelt’ ‘endorsements’, though not done much that he said he would. Firm commitments, dates for action have come and gone. Gitmo and other abominations have stayed and stayed…

    Surely it must be time to nominate our ‘dear leader’ for another Peace Prize?

  27. The term indigenous has an air of earthly entitlement,but if the truth be told the concept of indigenousness is probably the most divisive and malign concept on the face of the earth today !

  28. The term indigenous has an air of earthly entitlement,but if the truth be told the concept of indigenousness is probably the most divisive and malign concept on the face of the earth today ! For the concept enforces the idea that one group of peoples has a birthright over another. It was this belief that propelled the indigenous Germans to expel or destroy non indigenous Germans. And its still happening today ! Go to any of the Balkan states and see what an indigenous society produces EXTREME NATIONALISM,SUPRANATIONALISM; it is the most horrendous apparition of the human Superiority complex.
    Instead of invading,try waiting and see if you get an invitation !
    Instead of defending your boarders, greet those that approach it and invite them in !
    Richard.E.Craig

  29. The term indigenous has an air of earthly entitlement,but if the truth be told the concept of indigenousness is probably the most divisive and malign concept on the face of the earth today !

  30. The term indigenous has an air of earthly entitlement,but if the truth be told the concept of indigenousness is probably the most divisive and malign concept on the face of the earth today ! For the concept enforces the idea that one group of peoples has a birthright over another. It was this belief that propelled the indigenous Germans to expel or destroy non indigenous Germans. And its still happening today ! Go to any of the Balkan states and see what an indigenous society produces EXTREME NATIONALISM,SUPRANATIONALISM; it is the most horrendous apparition of the human Superiority complex.
    Instead of invading,try waiting and see if you get an invitation !
    Instead of defending your boarders, greet those that approach it and invite them in !
    Richard.E.Craig