The situation of indigenous peoples in the United States of America: United Nations Gereral Assembley Report 08.30.2012


Human Rights Council 

Twenty-first session 

Agenda item 3 

Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil,  political, economic, social and cultural rights,  including the right to development 

  Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya 


  The situation of indigenous peoples in the United States of America*  ** 


 In this report the Special Rapporteur examines the human rights situation of 

indigenous peoples in the United States, on the basis of research and information gathered, 

including during a visit to the country from 23 April to 4 May 2012. During his mission, 

the Special Rapporteur held consultations with United States officials as well as with 

indigenous peoples, tribes, and nations in Washington, D.C., Arizona, Alaska, Oregon, 

Washington state; South Dakota and Oklahoma, both in Indian country and in urban areas. 

Appendices I and II to this report include, respectively, summaries of information provided 

by the Government and of information submitted by indigenous peoples, organizations and 

individuals in connection with the mission. 

 The Special Rapporteur concludes that indigenous peoples in the United States – 

including American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian peoples – constitute 

vibrant communities that have contributed greatly to the life of the country; yet they face 

significant challenges that are related to widespread historical wrongs, including broken 

treaties and acts of oppression, and misguided government policies, that today manifest 

themselves in various indicators of disadvantage and impediments to the exercise of their 

individual and collective rights. 


 * The summary of the present report is circulated in all official languages. The report itself, 

which is annexed to the summary, is circulated in the language of submission only. 


 Late submission. 


United Nations A/HRC/21/47/Add.1 


General Assembly Distr.: General 

30 August 2012 


Original: English 



 Significant federal legislation and programmes that have been developed over the 

last few decades, in contrast to early exercises of federal power based on misguided 

policies, constitute good practices that in significant measure respond to indigenous 

peoples’ concerns. Especially to be commended are the many new initiatives taken by the 

executive to advance the rights of indigenous peoples in the last few years.  

 The Special Rapporteur finds, however, that existing federal programmes need to be 

improved upon and their execution made more effective. Moreover, new measures are 

needed to advance toward reconciliation with indigenous peoples and address persistent 

deep-seated problems related to historical wrongs, failed policies of the past and continuing 

systemic barriers to the full realization of indigenous peoples’ rights.  

 The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is an important 

impetus and guide for improving upon existing measures to address the concerns of 

indigenous peoples in the United States, and for developing new measures to advance 

toward reconciliation. The Declaration, which is grounded in widespread consensus and 

fundamental human rights values,  should be a benchmark for all relevant decision-making 

by the federal executive, Congress, and the judiciary, as well as by the states of the United 

States. The Special Rapporteur makes a series of recommendations in this regard. 

The Special Rapporteur would like to thank the United States Government, 

especially the Department of State, for the cooperation it provided for the mission. He 

would also like to express his deep gratitude to representatives of indigenous peoples, 

nongovernmental organizations and academic institutions – named in appendix II– whose 

assistance in planning and carrying out of this visit was indispensible. The Special 

Rapporteur is grateful to the indigenous peoples that welcomed him into their communities 

and for the hospitality he received. Finally, the Special Rapporteur is grateful to the Office 

of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Support Project for the Special 

Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples at the University of Arizona for their assistance in 

carrying out the mission and preparing this report. 






[English only] 

  Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous 

peoples, James Anaya, on the situation of indigenous peoples 

in the United States of America 


 Paragraphs Page 

 I. The indigenous peoples of the United States ..........................................................  1–11 5 

  A. The diverse indigenous nations, tribes and communities ................................  2–8 5 

   B. The contributions of indigenous peoples to the broader society, despite  

   negative stereotypes ........................................................................................  9–11 6 

 II. United States law and policy regarding indigenous peoples ...................................  12–29 6 

  A. The basic framework ......................................................................................  13–17 6 

  B. The evolution of federal policy and legislation ..............................................  18–24 7 

   C. The contemporary federal legislative and policy regime ................................  25–29 8 

 III. The disadvantaged conditions of indigenous peoples:  The present day legacies  

  of historical wrongs .................................................................................................  30–66 9 

  A. Economic and social conditions......................................................................  31–35 9 

  B. Violence against women .................................................................................  36 10 

  C. Lands, resources and broken treaties ..............................................................  37–42 11 

  D. Sacred places ..................................................................................................  43–44 12 

  E. The removal of children from indigenous environments ................................  45–47 12 

  F. Open wounds of historical events ...................................................................  48–49 13 

  G. Self-government .............................................................................................  50–55 13 

  H. Recognition .....................................................................................................  56–57 14 

  I. Alaska .............................................................................................................  58–63 15 

  J. Hawaii .............................................................................................................  64–66 16 

 IV. More needs to be done ............................................................................................  67–78 16 

  A. Welcomed, but still not sufficient, government initiatives .............................  67–71 16 

  B. The need for determined action within a programme of reconciliation ..........  72–78 17 

 V. The significance of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ..............  79–84 19 

 VI. Conclusions and recommendations .........................................................................  85–108 20 




 I. Summary of information on federal programmes, policies, legislation and other initiatives  

  related to indigenous peoples submitted to the Special Rapporteur by Government  

  representatives, agencies and departments .......................................................................................  24 

 II. Summary of information and allegations presented by indigenous peoples, groups,  

  and organizations to the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples ...........................  36 



 I. The indigenous peoples of the United States 

1. The indigenous peoples of the United States include a vast array of distinct groups 

that fall under the generally accepted designation of Native Americans, which include 

American Indians and Alaska Natives; also included are the people indigenous to Hawaii, 

or Native Hawaiians. These indigenous peoples form tribes or nations – terms used 

interchangeably in this report – and other communities with distinctive cultural and 

political attributes.  

 A. The diverse indigenous nations, tribes and communities 

2. Broadly speaking, Native Americans living in the contiguous United States 

constitute tribes or nations with diverse cultural and ethnic characteristics that can be 

grouped geographically. Linguistic families and other cultural markers, however, cross 

rough geographic categories, and within these categories differences abound. For historical 

and other reasons, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians are considered distinct from 

Native Americans in the contiguous United States.  

3. The United States presently recognizes and maintains what it refers to as 

government-to-government relations with approximately 566 American Indian and Alaska 

Native tribes and villages, around 230 of these being Alaskan Native groups. For the most 

part each of these tribes and villages determines its own membership. While having some 

form of federal recognition, Native Hawaiians do not have a similar status under United 

States law as that of American Indians and Alaska Native groups. Many other groups in the 

United States that identify as indigenous peoples have not been federally recognized, 

although some of these have achieved recognition at the state level.  

4. It is estimated that prior to colonization, the indigenous population within the 

territory that now constitutes the United States numbered several million, and represented 

diverse cultures and societies speaking hundreds of languages and dialects. After the arrival 

of Europeans, the indigenous population suffered significant decline due to the effects of 

disease, war, enslavement and forced relocations.  

5. Today, according to United States census data people who identify as Native 

American represent approximately 1.7 per cent of the overall population of the United 

States, with 5.2 million persons identifying as American Indian or Alaska Native, either 

alone or in combination with one or more other races.1 It should be noted that this number 

significantly exceeds the number of those who are enrolled or registered members of 

federally recognized indigenous groups. In addition, there are roughly a half a million 

persons that identify entirely or partly as Native Hawaiians.    

6. Characteristically, the federally recognized tribes have reservations or other lands 

that have been left to or set aside for them, and over which they exercise powers of self- 

government. While the land holdings vary significantly among the tribes, in all cases they 

pale in comparison to the land areas once under their possession or control. Still, the 

diminished landholdings provide some physical space and material bases for the tribes to 

maintain their cultures and political institutions, and to develop economically.  

7. While many indigenous persons live on reservations or other Native-controlled land 

areas, many others live in urban areas beyond the boundaries of indigenous lands. It is quite 

common, however, for indigenous persons living in urban areas to maintain close ties to the 


 1 U.S. Census Bureau, the American Indian and Alaska Native Population: 2012, pages 1, 3 



land-based communities of the tribes with which they are affiliated, and to develop bonds 

of community with other indigenous persons in their urban settings. 

8. Several indigenous peoples live in border areas and face unique challenges, 

especially tribes living along the United States-Mexico border, where heightened border 

security measures implemented by the federal Government in recent years have 

increasingly made cross-border contact between members of the same tribes very difficult. 

 B. The contributions of indigenous peoples to the broader society, despite 

negative stereotypes 

9. Within the United States stereotypes persist that tend to render Native Americans 

relics of the past, perpetuated by the use of Indian names by professional and other high- 

profile sports teams, caricatures in the popular media and even mainstream education on 

history and social studies. Throughout his mission, the Special Rapporteur heard complaints 

from indigenous representatives about such stereotypes, and about how they obscure 

understanding of the reality of Native Americans today and instead help to keep alive 

racially discriminatory attitudes. 

10. Beyond the stereotypes, one readily sees vibrant indigenous communities, both in 

reservation and other areas, including urban areas, which have contributed to the building 

of the country and continue to contribute to the broader society. Of course their greatest 

contribution is in the vast expanses of land that they gave up, through treaty cessions and 

otherwise, without which the United States and its economic base would not exist. Native 

Americans have also added to the defence and security of the United States and are 

represented among the ranks of the United States military services at a rate higher than that 

of any other ethnic group. 

11. Today, indigenous peoples in the United States face multiple disadvantages, which 

are related to the long history of wrongs and misguided policies that have been inflicted 

upon them. Nonetheless, American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians have 

survived as peoples, striving to develop with their distinct identities intact, and to maintain 

and transmit to future generations their material and cultural heritage. While doing so, they 

add a cultural depth and grounding that, even while often going unnoticed by the majority 

society, is an important part of the country’s collective heritage. Further, the knowledge 

that they retain about the country’s landscapes and the natural resources on them, along 

with their ethic of stewardship of the land, are invaluable assets to the country, even if not 

fully appreciated.  

 II. United States law and policy regarding indigenous peoples 

12. Laws and policies related to indigenous peoples have developed over centuries since 

the colonial era, and today they comprise a complex array of decisions by the United States 

Congress, the executive branch of the federal Government and the federal courts, in 

particular the United States Supreme Court.  

 A. The basic framework  

13. The Constitution of the United States (1787) makes little reference to indigenous 

peoples, the principal mention being in its article I, section 8, which provides Congress the 

power to “regulate commerce with …with the Indian Tribes.” This provision signals that, 

within the federal structure of government of the United States, competency over matters 

relating to indigenous peoples rests at the federal, as opposed to state, level.  



14. Looking beyond the constitutional text to historical practice, the colonial era law of 

nations and reason, the United States Supreme Court established, in a series of early 19th 

century cases, foundational principles about the rights and status of Indian tribes that 

largely endure today. Supreme Court doctrine recognizes that Indian tribes are inherently 

sovereign with powers of self-government; indeed they are “nations” with original rights 

over their ancestral lands. Within this same body of doctrine, however, the sovereignty and 

original land rights of tribes are deemed necessarily diminished and subordinated to the 

power of United States, as a result of discovery or conquest by the European colonial 

powers or the successor United States.  

15. The federal power to regulate commerce with the Indian tribes is thereby enlarged to 

one that is deemed plenary in nature and that can be used to unilaterally modify or 

extinguish tribal sovereignty or land rights. This power is also related to and justified by a 

duty of protection the federal Government is deemed to have over Indian tribes, in a so- 

called trusteeship. In all, tribes are sovereign nations with certain inherent powers of self- 

government and original rights, but they are rendered, in words penned by the famous 

Supreme Court Justice John Marshall, “domestic dependent nations,” subject to the 

overriding power of the federal Government.  

16. While acknowledging positive characteristics of the rights-affirming strain of this 

judicial doctrine, the Special Rapporteur notes that the rights-limiting strain of this doctrine 

is out of step with contemporary human rights values. As demonstrated by a significant 

body of scholarly work, the use of notions of discovery and conquest to find Indians rights 

diminished and subordinated to plenary congressional power is linked to colonial era 

attitudes toward indigenous peoples that can only be described as racist. Early Supreme 

Court decisions themselves reveal perceptions of Indians as backward, conquered peoples, 

with descriptions of them as savages and an inferior race.   

17. At times, however, the Supreme Court and lower courts have been protective of 

indigenous peoples’ rights by affirming original Indian rights to the extent consistent with 

operative doctrine, or more often by enforcing treaty terms, legislation, or executive 

decisions that are themselves protective of indigenous rights.  

 B. The evolution of federal policy and legislation 

18.  Federal legislative and executive action, in the exercise of the broad authority over 

indigenous affairs affirmed by the Supreme Court, has evolved over time along with 

shifting policy objectives shaped by historical circumstances and prevailing attitudes of the 


19. After achieving its independence, the United States continued the practice that had 

been established by Great Britain and other colonial powers of treaty-making with Indian 

tribes. These treaties were means both by which the United States or its colonial precursors 

acquired land from Indian tribes, as well as means by which the tribes retained rights over 

lands and resources not ceded. The treaties, moreover, dealt with diverse issues and 

provided a foundation for the United States’ relations with tribes on the basis of their 

recognition as nations with inherent sovereignty.   

20. Although the United States ceased dealing with Indian tribes through treaties in 

1871, after having consolidated its control over the territory it had acquired across the 

continent, many of the historical treaties with tribes continue in force as part of federal law 

and to define United States-tribal relations. At the same time, numerous flagrant violations 

of historical treaties constitute some of the principal wrongdoings committed by the United 

States towards indigenous peoples, which was a recurring subject of concern raised to the 

Special Rapporteur during his visit. 



21. Subsequent to the end of the treaty-making era, United States law and policy was 

characterized by a series of steps aimed at acculturating indigenous peoples in the ways of 

the dominant society and diluting or eliminating their sovereignty and collective rights over 

lands and resources. In the late nineteenth century, a vast government bureaucracy emerged 

under a United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs to consolidate and manage the 

system of reservations, pueblos, rancherias and settlements that were home to the surviving 

indigenous peoples in the country.  

22. Under the Dawes General Allotment Act of 1887, tribal landholdings were broken 

up into individual plots that could become alienable, which eventually resulted in a 

substantial further loss of Indian land and a complex system of interspersed Indian and non- 

Indian titled land that now characterizes tenure within many reservations. The Dawes Act 

resulted in even greater impoverishment and social upheaval among the tribes, and thus, 

after conferring United States citizenship on all Indians in 1924, Congress passed the Indian 

Reorganization Act  of 1934 as a major reform measure.   

23. The Indian Reorganization Act included provisions to secure the Indian land base 

from further erosion and provided for establishing reservation-based governments akin to 

local municipalities under the authority of the Secretary of Interior of the federal 

Government, on the basis of model constitutions that were developed by the Secretary. 

While providing a degree of self-government, the Act was considered a transitional 

measure to prepare the Indians for, in the words of its chief architect, United States Indian 

Commissioner John Collier, “real assimilation.”2 Many Indian tribes today continue under 

the IRA regime. 

24. In the 1950s the United States Government attempted to complete its programme of 

assimilation with Congress’s adoption of a formal policy of “termination,”3 which involved 

steps to end the special status of Indian tribes and convert their lands to private ownership. 

The termination policy was eventually abandoned, but not before several tribes lost federal 

recognition and their self-governing status, and saw their landholdings dissipate, with 

invariably devastating social and economic consequences that are still apparent today.  

 C. The contemporary federal legislative and policy regime 

25. In the face of past federal programmes of assimilation and acculturation, Native 

Americans continued to make clear their determination, as they still do, to hold on to and 

recover their own distinctive cultures and institutions of self-government as a basis for their 

development and place in the world. With this resolve eventually came a change in federal 

policy, as it moved to reflect, if not entirely accommodate, indigenous peoples’ own 

aspirations. In 1970, the President of the United States advanced this change in a message 

to Congress, in which he affirmed, “The time has come to break decisively with the past 

and to create the conditions for a new era in which the Indian future is determined by Indian 

Acts and Indian decisions.”4   

26. The contemporary thrust of federal policy is marked by several pieces of major 

legislation, including the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975, 

by which tribes are able to assume the planning and administration of federal programmes 

that are devised for their benefit; the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, which favours 

indigenous custody of indigenous children; the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 


 2  House Committee of Indian Affairs, 73rd Cong., 2nd sess., Hearings on Readjustment of Indian 

Affairs (1934), p. 21. 

 3  H.Cong.Res. 108, 3d Cong., 1st Sess., 67 Stat. B137 (1953). 

 4 H.R.Doc. No. 91-363, 91st Cong., 2d Sess. (July 8, 1970). 



1978, which directs federal officials to consult with tribes about actions that may affect 

religious practices; the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990, 

which directs federal agencies and museums to return indigenous remains and sacred 

objects to appropriate indigenous groups; and the Native American Languages Act of 1990, 

which provides support for the use and recovery of indigenous languages through 

educational programmes. A number of other laws provide protections for indigenous 

religion and culture, and still others address Indian economic and natural resource 

development, education and civil rights.  

27. In alignment with the existing federal legislation, there are dozens of executive 

directives and programmes that apply specifically to indigenous peoples, many of which are 

listed in appendix I, and that reflect a significant level of dedication on the part of the 

Government to indigenous concerns within the self-determination policy framework.  

28. Several agencies throughout the Government are dedicated specifically to 

indigenous affairs, the principal one being the Department of Interior, which includes the 

Bureau of Indian Affairs. Under federal law, pursuant to its historical protectorate, or 

trusteeship, the United States holds in trust the underlying title to the Indian lands within 

reservations and other lands set aside by statute or treaty for the tribes. The Department is 

responsible for overseeing some 55 million surface acres and the subsurface mineral 

resources in some 57 million acres.  

29. There are numerous other indigenous-specific agencies and programmes in various 

parts of the Government. Notably, and especially in recent years, the Government has made 

an important, increased effort to appoint indigenous individuals to high-level government 

positions dealing with indigenous affairs, including the position of Assistant Secretary for 

Indian Affairs, which heads the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Also significantly, in 2009, the 

position of Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs was created to advise the 

President on issues related to indigenous peoples. 

 III. The disadvantaged conditions of indigenous peoples: The 

present day legacies of historical wrongs 

30. United States laws and policies in the last few decades undoubtedly have contributed 

to halting the erosion of indigenous identities, and have weighed in favour of placing 

indigenous peoples on a path toward greater self-determination, as well as economic and 

social health. Nonetheless, the conditions of disadvantage persist with the continuing 

effects of a long history of wrongs and past, misguided policies. 

 A. Economic and social conditions 

31. At the close of the Special Rapporteur’s mission to the United States, he received a 

manila envelope stuffed with letters written by students from a class at White River High 

School in South Dakota, a school where a majority of the students are from the nearby 

reservation of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. In a cover letter the class’s teacher explained that 

the students “would like to feel they have a voice as it is so desolate here that it is 

sometimes hard to remember there is an outside world. Despite all the hardships here, these 

kids are so incredibly resilient and talented.” 

32. The teacher’s words were a poignant introduction to the first letter in the stack, 

which was from a 15-year-old girl who lamented: 

Life here is very hand to mouth. Out here, we don’t have the finer things. You get 

what you get and you don’t throw a fit. And I’m going to be honest with you, 



sometimes I don’t eat. I’ve never told anyone this before, not even my mom, but I 

don’t eat sometimes because I feel bad about making my mom buy food that I know 

is expensive. And you know what? Life is hard enough for my mom, so I will 

probably never tell her. My parents have enough to worry about. I do not know what 

you can do, but try your very best to help us. Please help us. We can do this. Yes we 


33. The evident hardship combined with resilience was reflected in the other letters, 

giving a highly personalized gloss on the conditions of disadvantage faced by indigenous 

peoples in the United States. These conditions vary widely among the diverse indigenous 

tribes, nations and communities. United States census data and other available statistics, 

however, show Native Americans to fare much worse along social and economic indicators 

than any other ethnic group in the country.  

34. For example, Native Americans, especially on reservations, have disproportionately 

high poverty rates, rising to nearly double the national average.5 Along with poverty, Native 

Americans suffer poor health conditions, with low life expectancy and high rates of disease, 

illness, alcoholism and suicide.6 As for education, 77 per cent of Native Americans aged 25 

or older hold a high school diploma or alternative credential as compared with 86 per cent 

of the general population, while 13 per cent of Native Americans hold a basic university 

degree as compared to 28 per cent of the general population.7 Indigenous peoples also face 

disproportionate rates of incarceration, and rates of violent crime on Indian reservations 

exceed those of any other racial group and are double the national average.8  

35. The image now often popularized of Native Americans flush with cash from casinos 

is far from the norm. A number of tribes do have casino operations as part of economic 

development efforts, taking advantage of special exemptions from ordinary state regulation 

and taxation that are available to them under federal law. Most tribes, however, do not have 

casinos and, of those that do, only a handful have reaped substantial riches sufficient to 

significantly reduce poverty levels. 

 B. Violence against women 

36. The continuing vulnerabilities of indigenous communities are highlighted by 

alarmingly high rates of violence against indigenous women, a grave and persistent 

problem that has been well documented.9 The United States Department of Justice 

estimates that indigenous women are more than twice as likely as all other women to be 

victims of violence10 and that one in three of them will be raped during her lifetime.11 


 5  National Center for Education Statistics (2008). Statistical Trends in the Education of American 

Indians and Alaska Natives. Washington, DC: US Department of Education . 

 6  Life expectancy is 5.2 years less than the national average, and death rates are higher from 

tuberculosis (500% higher), alcoholism (514% higher), diabetes (177% higher), unintentional injuries 

(140% higher), homicide (92% higher) and suicide (82% higher). U.S. Dept. of Health and Human 


 7  U.S. Census Bureau Fact Sheet, American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month: November 



 8  Steven W. Perry, American Indians and Crime - A Bureau of Justice Statistics Statistical Profile 


  Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, December 2004. 

 9  See, e.g., A/HRC/17/26/Add.5, paras. 62 – 66.  

 10 Perry, supra, p. v.  

 11 U.S. Depart. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence and 




Estimates are that nearly 80 per cent of the rapes of indigenous women are by non- 

indigenous men, many of who have made their way into indigenous communities but who 

are not presently subject to indigenous prosecutorial authority because of their non- 

indigenous status. Congress has yet to pass key reforms in the Violence Against Women 

Act that would bolster tribes’ ability to prosecute these cases. In order to get away from 

violent situations, many victims are forced to leave their homes and communities, which is 

particularly troubling in the context of indigenous peoples. As one Tinglit woman 

expressed, “when I left, I didn’t just leave my family. I left my culture behind… I ran away 

from my traditions, from my songs, my dances, and my heritage.”  

 C. Lands, resources and broken treaties 

37. The conditions of disadvantage of indigenous peoples undoubtedly are not mere 

happenstance. Rather, they stem from the well-documented history of the taking of vast 

expanses of indigenous lands with abundant resources, along with active suppression of 

indigenous peoples’ culture and political institutions, entrenched patterns of discrimination 

against them and outright brutality, all of which figured in the history of the settlement of 

the country and the building of its economy.  

38. Many Indian nations conveyed land to the United States or its colonial predecessors 

by treaty, but almost invariably under coercion following warfare or threat thereof, and in 

exchange usually for little more than promises of government assistance and protection that 

usually proved illusory or worse. In other cases, lands were simply taken by force or fraud. 

In many instances treaty provisions that guaranteed reserved rights to tribes over lands or 

resources were broken by the United States, under pressure to acquire land for non- 

indigenous interests. It is a testament to the goodwill of Indian nations that they have 

uniformly insisted on observance of the treaties, even regarding them as sacred compacts, 

rather than challenge their terms as inequitable.  

39. In nearly all cases the loss of land meant the substantial or complete undermining of 

indigenous peoples’ own economic foundations and means of subsistence, as well as 

cultural loss, given the centrality of land to cultural and related social patterns. Especially 

devastating instances of such loss involve the forced removal of indigenous peoples from 

their ancestral territories, as happened for example, with the Choctaw, Cherokee and other 

indigenous people who were removed from their homes in the south-eastern United States 

to the Oklahoma territory in a trek through what has been called a “trail of tears,” in which 

many of them perished.  

40. Another emblematic case involves the Black Hills in South Dakota, part of the 

ancestral territory of the Lakota people that, under the Treaty of Fort Laramie of 1868, was 

reserved to the Lakota and other tribes known collectively as the Sioux Nation. Following 

the discovery of gold in the area, in 1877 Congress passed an act reversing its promise 

under the treaty and vesting ownership of the Black Hills to the Government. The Lakota 

and other Sioux tribes have refused to accept payment required in accordance with a 1980 

Supreme Court decision and continue to request the return of the Black Hills; this is despite 

the fact that the people of these tribes are now scattered on several reservations and are 

some of the poorest among any group in the country. Today, the Black Hills are national 

forest and park lands, although they still hold a central place in the history, culture, and 

worldviews of surrounding tribes and at the same time serve as a constant visible reminder 

of their loss. 


Consequences of Violence Against Women, Nov. 2000, p. 22 & 60; 



41. In addition to millions of acres of lands lost, often in violation of treaties, a history 

of inadequately controlled extractive and other activities within or near remaining 

indigenous lands, including nuclear weapons testing and uranium mining in the western 

United States, has resulted in widespread environmental harm, and has caused serious and 

continued health problems among Native Americans. During his visit, the Special 

Rapporteur also heard concerns about several currently proposed projects that could 

potentially cause environmental harm to indigenous habitats, including the Keystone XL 

pipeline and the Pebble Mine project in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed. By all accounts the 

Pebble Mine would seriously threaten the sockeye salmon fisheries in the area if developed 

according to current plans.  

42. In many places, including in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest in particular, 

indigenous peoples continue to depend upon hunting and fishing, and the maintenance of 

these subsistence activities is essential for both their physical and their cultural survival, 

especially in isolated areas. However, indigenous peoples face ever-greater threats to their 

subsistence activities due to a growing surge of competing activities, restrictive state and 

federal regulatory regimes, and environmental harm.  

 D. Sacred places 

43. With their loss of land, indigenous peoples have lost control over places of cultural 

and religious significance. Particular sites and geographic spaces that are sacred to 

indigenous peoples can be found throughout the vast expanse of lands that have passed into 

government hands. The ability of indigenous peoples to use and access their sacred places 

is often curtailed by mining, logging, hydroelectric and other development projects, which 

are carried out under permits issued by federal or state authorities. In many cases, the very 

presence of these activities represents a desecration.  

44. A case that has been reviewed in detail by the Special Rapporteur involves the San 

Francisco Peaks in Northern Arizona, an area sacred to the Navajo, Hopi and other 

indigenous peoples, where under a federal permit the Snowbowl ski resort plans to make 

artificial snow using recycled sewage effluent.12 Numerous other examples brought to the 

attention of the Special Rapporteur can be found in appendix II. The desecration and lack of 

access to sacred places inflicts permanent harm on indigenous peoples for whom these 

places are essential parts of identity.  

 E. The removal of children from indigenous environments 

45. Historically, added to the taking of indigenous lands was the direct assault on 

indigenous cultural expression that was carried out or facilitated by the federal and state 

governments. Likely the programme of this type with the most devastating consequences, 

which are still felt today, was the systematic removal of indigenous children from their 

families to place them in government or church-run boarding schools, with the objective of 

expunging them of their indigenous identities. Captain Richard Pratt, founder of the 

Carlisle Indian school, coined the phrase, “kill the Indian in him, save the man,” in 

instituting the boarding school policy in the 1880s which continued well into the mid 


46. Emotional, physical, and sexual abuse within the boarding schools has been well- 

documented. Typically, upon entering a boarding school, indigenous children had their hair 


 12 A/HRC/18/35.Add.1, Annex X, and A/HRC/19/44. 



cut, were forced to wear uniforms and were punished for speaking their languages or 

practising their traditions. The compounded effect of generations of indigenous people, 

including generations still living, having passed through these schools cuts deep in 

indigenous communities throughout the United States, where social problems such as 

alcoholism and sexual abuse are now pervasive and loss of language is widespread.  

47. Additionally, a pattern of placing indigenous children in non-indigenous care under 

state custody proceedings, with similar effects on indigenous individuals and communities, 

continued until well into the 1970s, only to be blunted by passage of the Indian Child 

Welfare Act in 1978, federal legislation that advances a strong presumption of indigenous 

custody for indigenous children but that continues to face barriers to its implementation. 

 F. Open wounds of historical events 

48. The open wounds left by historical events are plentiful, alive in intergenerational 

memory if not experience. The Special Rapporteur heard emotional testimony from a direct 

descendant of victims of one of the most well-known atrocities committed against Native 

Americans, the massacre at Sand Creek in 1864. Scores of Cheyenne and Arapaho were 

attacked by surprise and massacred by some 700 armed United States troops. Previously, 

the tribes had signed a treaty with the United States, under which they willingly gave up 

their arms and flew a flag of truce at the Sand Creek camp. No action was ever taken 

against those responsible for the massacre and, despite the promises made in a later treaty 

of reparations for the descendants of the victims at Sand Creek, none has yet been made.  

49. A more recent incident that continues to spark feelings of injustice among 

indigenous peoples around the United States is the well-known case of Leonard Peltier, an 

activist and leader in the American Indian Movement, who was convicted in 1977 

following the deaths of two Federal Bureau of Investigation agents during a clash on the 

Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. After a trial that has been criticized by many as 

involving numerous due process problems, Mr. Peltier was sentenced to two life sentences 

for murder, and has been denied parole on various occasions. Pleas for presidential 

consideration of clemency by notable individuals and institutions have not borne fruit. This 

further depletes the already diminished faith in the criminal justice system felt by many 

indigenous peoples throughout the country. 

 G. Self-government 

50. Many indigenous representatives in all the locations visited by the Special 

Rapporteur stressed the importance to the health and well-being of their peoples of securing 

and recovering the various expressions and practices of their cultures, including indigenous 

languages, and of being able to transmit their cultures and identities to future generations, 

along with securing ties to land and natural resources and enhancing self-government 


51. As noted in paragraphs 25-29 and in appendix I, several government programmes 

are in place to address the concerns of indigenous peoples and to provide them substantial 

assistance. Indigenous leaders stressed to the Special Rapporteur, however, that the solution 

lies fundamentally in further strengthening indigenous peoples’ ability to develop and 

implement their own programmes for economic development and job creation, education, 

preservation and development of cultural expressions and knowledge, and public order, 

including the protection of indigenous women and children.  

52. Yet, the government policy of indigenous self-determination in place for several 

decades has not abated problematic restrictions that have been imposed on indigenous 



peoples’ self-government. As a general matter, the sovereignty of federally-recognized 

Indian tribes, as far as it goes, displaces the authority of the states over so-called Indian 

country, that is, reservation and other lands under Indian control. But United States courts 

have continued to see the inherent sovereignty of tribes, and hence their self-governance 

authority, as an implicitly diminished sovereignty, and this view has served to limit the 

powers of tribal regulatory and judicial authorities especially in relation to non-indigenous 

persons. Additionally, tribal sovereignty may succumb to substantial state sovereignty 

interests,13 and the Supreme Court has restrictively interpreted the Indian Reorganization 

Act to prevent many tribes from extending their sovereignty over recovered or newly 

acquired lands.14  

53. Judicially-established limitations on tribal sovereignty are in addition to those 

imposed by Congress, especially under acts devised under the earlier eras of assimilation. 

These include the Major Crimes Act of 1885, which established paramount federal 

jurisdiction over certain crimes committed in Indian country, whether by an indigenous or 

non-indigenous person; and Public Law 280 of 1953, which extended state criminal and 

civil jurisdiction to Indian country in specified states.  

54. Especially in light of inadequate state and federal law enforcement on reservations, 

these jurisdictional limits imposed on indigenous tribes result in situations in which, as one 

tribal judge lamented, “we can’t police and punish people who come into the community 

and cause harm to that community and its people.” The Special Rapporteur also heard 

numerous frustrations based on concerns that jurisdictional limitations send the constant 

message to tribes that their institutions are incompetent and inferior, no matter how capable 

they have demonstrated themselves to be. Further impeding self-governance capacity are 

financial constraints. 

55. It is important to note, however, that despite these impediments, many tribal 

governments and justice systems are gaining strength, and the Special Rapporteur was 

impressed by the determination of tribes to continue build their governance institutions. 

During the Special Rapporteur’s consultation in Oklahoma, the Principal Chief of the 

Cherokee Nation put it this way: “As the Principal Chief of the largest Indian Tribe in the 

United States, my vision for our people is one of becoming great.” 

 H. Recognition 

56. In order for its powers of sovereignty, or self-government, to be recognized and 

officially functional within the United States legal system, or to be eligible for assistance 

designated for Indian tribes, an indigenous group must have specific recognition by the 

federal Government. A number of indigenous peoples, for reasons related to the same 

cluster of historical events that have broadly affected indigenous peoples in the country, 

lack such federal recognition and hence are especially disadvantaged. Several of these are 

tribes that were stripped of their federal status as a result of the termination policies of the 


57. Unrecognized indigenous groups have been striving to achieve federal recognition 

for decades, principally through an administrative process provided for this purpose by the 

Department of the Interior. Concerns regarding the cost and the length of the federal 

recognition process, and the challenges faced by lack of recognition, were repeatedly 

brought to the attention of the Special Rapporteur. Indigenous groups have invested 


 13 See Nevada v. Hicks, 533 U.S. 353 (2001). 

 14 See Carcieri v. Salazar, 129 S.Ct. 1058 (2009). 



millions of dollars and filed thousands of documents in support of their claims. Figures 

about the pace of the recognition process yield differing perspectives. Nonetheless, as 

described by one Senator “it is not a system that is working under any stretch of the 


 I. Alaska 

58. Indigenous peoples in Alaska have federal recognition within a unique legal regime 

that developed under a specific set of circumstances. In 1971 Congress enacted the Alaska 

Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), which extinguished “all claims of aboriginal 

title,” as well as “any aboriginal hunting and fishing rights that may exist,” throughout 

Alaska. The act set up a system of native-run corporations with assets provided under the 

settlement, and Alaska Natives born as of the date of the act were given shares in the 


59. With its design of replacing rights in land and resources with individual shares in 

corporations, ANCSA can be seen as being driven by the policy of assimilation that had 

long been in place and that presumably was coming to an end around the time of the act’s 

adoption (see paras. 21-24 above). Yet ANCSA continues to define realities for indigenous 

peoples in Alaska, leaving in its aftermath precarious conditions for indigenous peoples in 

their ability to maintain the subsistence and cultural patterns that have long sustained them 

amid abundant fish and wildlife resources, or to craft their own vehicles of self- 


60. Subsequent federal legislation has done little to restore Alaska Native hunting and 

fishing rights, but instead has left indigenous hunting and fishing subject to the same 

regulatory regime that applies to non-indigenous activities. And this regulatory regime is a 

highly complex, difficult one to navigate, in which both the federal Government and the 

state play a part, with the state in effect having a dominant role. The matter of subsistence 

hunting and fishing remains crucial both for cultural purposes and for food security. 

However, subsistence activities are subject to a state regulatory regime that allows for, and 

appears to often favour, competing land and resource uses such as mining and other 

activities, including hunting and fishing for sport, that may threaten natural environments 

and food sources.  

61. Representatives of Alaska Native tribal governments, villages, corporations and 

organizations with whom the Special Rapporteur met coincided in the view that ANCSA 

was faulty in its inception. There were divergent views, however, about the extent to which 

the corporations can and are being responsive to the needs and aspirations of Alaska 

Natives, within the limitations of the corporate model. The Special Rapporteur did find 

indications that in many respects the native-run corporations are functioning to provide 

important economic and other benefits to Alaska Natives. 

62. At the same time, the Special Rapporteur was struck by indications about how the 

economic and cultural transformations accelerated by ANCSA have bred or exacerbated 

social ills among indigenous communities, manifesting themselves, for example, in high 

rates of suicide, alcoholism, and violence. 

63. Several Alaska Native representatives expressed to the Special Rapporteur the view 

that the problem runs deeper than ANCSA, to the incorporation of Alaska into the United 

States as a federal state through procedures that allegedly were not in compliance with the 

right of the indigenous people of Alaska to self-determination.   



 J. Hawaii 

64. Also uniquely vulnerable are the indigenous people of Hawaii, having experienced a 

particular history of colonial onslaught and resulting economic, social and cultural 

upheaval.  They benefit from some federal programmes available to Native Americans, but 

they have no recognized powers of self-government under federal law.  And they have little 

by way of effective landholdings, their lands largely having passed to non-indigenous 

ownership and control with the aggressive patterns of colonization initiated with the arrival 

of the British explorer James Cook in 1778. Indigenous Hawaiians have diffuse interests in 

lands “ceded’ to the United States and then passed to the state of Hawaii, under a trust that 

is specified in the 1959 Statehood Admission Act and now managed by the Office of 

Hawaiian Affairs.  

65. Remarkably, the United States Congress in 1993 issued an apology “to Native 

Hawaiians on behalf of the people of the United States for the overthrow of the Kingdom of 

Hawaii on January 17, 1893 with the participation of agents and citizens of the United 

States.”15 The apology recognized that the overthrow resulted in the suppression of the 

“inherent sovereignty of the Native Hawaiian people” and called for “reconciliation” 


66. The call for reconciliation, however, remains unfilled, while a growing movement of 

indigenous Hawaiians challenges the legitimacy and legality of the annexation of Hawaii 

following the overthrow, as well as the process by which Hawaii moved from its 

designation as a non-self-governing territory under United Nations supervision, to being 

incorporated into the United States as one of its federal states in 1959. In the meantime, 

indigenous Hawaiians see their sacred places under the domination of others, and they 

continue to fare worse than any other demographic group in Hawaii in terms of education, 

health, crime, and employment.  

 IV. More needs to be done 

 A. Welcomed, but still not sufficient, government initiatives 

67. The Special Rapporteur acknowledges the high level of attention to indigenous 

peoples’ concerns that is represented by numerous acts of Congress and federal executive 

programmes (see paras. 25-29 above and appendix I). Such attention represents some 

acknowledgment of the historical debt acquired toward the country’s first peoples, and 

partially fulfils historical treaty commitments.  

68. It is evident that the federal executive has taken steps in recent years to strengthen 

these programmes, in addition to its new initiatives to develop consultation policies and 

open spaces of dialogue with tribes; to strengthen support for the recovery of indigenous 

languages; to settle outstanding claims for mismanagement indigenous assets held in trust 

by the Government; to increase funding for federal programmes; to address the problem of 

violence against indigenous women; to clean up environmental pollution caused by natural 

resource extraction; to assist tribes with acquiring land to restore their land bases; and to 

enhance tribal capacity and cooperative arrangements in the area of law and order, among 



 15 Public Law 103-150, 103d Congress Joint Resolution 19 (1993). 



69. The Special Rapporteur notes however, concerns that were raised with him about the 

adequacy of effective implementation of the highly developed body of law and government 

programmes concerning indigenous peoples. While welcoming improved consultation 

procedures, for example, a number of indigenous leaders complained that they have yet to 

see significant change in the decision-making of government agents about matters of 

crucial concern to their peoples, in particular decisions about lands that are outside of 

indigenous-controlled areas but that nonetheless affect their access to natural or cultural 

resources or environmental well-being.  

70. The Special Rapporteur also repeatedly heard concerns about a lack of sufficient 

funding for housing, health, education, environmental remediation, women’s health and 

safety, language and other programmes, concerns that were raised by both federal officials 

and representatives of indigenous peoples. Also pointed out were complicated or confusing 

bureaucratic procedures, and an inadequate understanding and awareness among 

government officials about tribal realities or even about the content of relevant laws and 

policies themselves. 

71. The Special Rapporteur observes, nonetheless, that the overall thrust of the policy 

underlying the federal legislation and programmes adopted in the last few decades – a 

policy of advancing indigenous self-determination and development with respect for 

cultural identity – is generally in line with the aspirations expressed by indigenous peoples. 

The problems signalled are that the laws and programmes do not go far enough to meet 

those aspirations and that they are underfunded or inadequately administered. The Special 

Rapporteur takes special note, moreover, that they fail to go so far as to ultimately resolve 

persistent, deep-seated problems. 

 B. The need for determined action within a programme of reconciliation 

72. It is evident that numerous matters relating to the history of misdealing and harm 

inflicted on indigenous peoples are still unresolved. In all his consultations with indigenous 

peoples during his visit to the United States, it was impressed upon the Special Rapporteur 

that historical wrongs continue to live in intergenerational memory and trauma, and that, 

together with current systemic problems, they still inflict harm. Across the United States, he 

heard of specific unresolved problems of historical origins and systemic dimensions, and 

indigenous representatives made abundantly clear that these problems continue to breed 

disharmony, dislocation and hardship.   

73. The Special Rapporteur is of the firm view that, unless genuine movement is made 

toward resolving these pending matters, the place of indigenous peoples within the United 

States will continue to be an unstable, disadvantaged and inequitable one, and the country’s 

moral standing will suffer. Determined action should take place within a cross-cultural, 

encompassing programme of reconciliation, aimed at closing the latent wounds and 

building just and equitable conditions, and at providing needed redress consistent with the 

United States’ human rights obligations.   

74. The Special Rapporteur notes that the Government took a step that could be one on a 

path toward reconciliation, when in 2010 Congress adopted a resolution of apology to the 

indigenous peoples of the country, following in the spirit of the apology previously issued 

to Native Hawaiians (para. 65 above). Acknowledging widespread wrongdoing, the 

Apology states: “The United States, acting through Congress … apologizes on behalf of the 

people of the United States for the many instances of violence, maltreatment and neglect 

inflicted on Native Peoples by citizens of the United States [and] expresses its regret”. The 



apology also “urges the President to acknowledge the wrongs of the United States against 

Indian tribes in the history of the United States in order to bring healing to this land.”16 The 

full text of the apology bears reading. However, strangely, the apology was buried deep in a 

defense appropriations act, and apparently few indigenous people, much less the public in 

general, were made aware of it. 

75. Such an apology should not go unnoticed. Rather, it should be a point of public 

awakening and mark a path toward reconciliation, a path for concrete steps to address 

issues whose resolution is essential to defeating disharmony, and a path toward more 

enlightened framing of relations between indigenous peoples and the United States.  

76. Among the pending issues that should be addressed with firm determination, within 

a programme of reconciliation, are the severed or frayed connections with culturally 

significant landscapes and sacred sites, such as those resulting from the taking of the Black 

Hills or from environmental pollution in countless places; imposed limitations on 

indigenous self-governance capacity, such as that preventing indigenous authorities from 

acting with full force to combat violence against women; the pathologies left by the 

removal of indigenous children from their communities; and other persistent symbols of 

subordination, such as the refusal of the United States thus far to make good on its long- 

standing promise to provide reparations for the Sand Creek massacre. Also to be addressed 

are the pervasive problems left in the aftermath of Alaska Statehood and the Alaska Native 

Claims Settlement Act, and the still not remedied, yet acknowledged, suppression of 

indigenous Hawaiian sovereignty.  

77. The Special Rapporteur notes the previous significant effort made by the United 

States to comprehensively resolve the grievances of Indian tribes by its creation in 1946 of 

the Indian Claims Commission and by extending the Commission’s authority widely to 

include claims based on “fair and honourable dealings,” inter alia. Over its life the 

Commission determined hundreds of land claims based on treaties or ancestral occupation, 

but the only remedies provided under the relevant statute were for monetary compensation 

upon a finding of extinguishment or taking of rights, a product of the assimilationist frame 

of thinking of the period in which the Commission was created, which left many 

fundamental issues unresolved or further complicated. Still the establishment of the 

Commission represents the capacity of the United States to take sweeping action to address 

evident wrongs on the basis of prevailing policy preferences.  

78. What is now needed is a resolve to take action to address the pending, deep-seated 

concerns of indigenous peoples, but within current notions of justice and the human rights 

of indigenous peoples. Exemplifying the kind of restorative action to be taken consistent 

with contemporary human rights values is the return of the sacred Blue Lake to Taos 

Pueblo and the restoration of land to the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe. Both land areas were 

restored from land under federal administration, with no consequence for any individual 

property interests. Another exemplary action is the more recent initiative to transfer 

management of national park lands to the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. Such 

measures reveal a needed understanding of the centrality of land and geographic spaces to 

the physical and cultural well-being of indigenous peoples, in accordance with standards 

now prevailing internationally and accepted by the United States.  


 16 H.R. 3326 (111th): Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010. 



 V. The significance of the Declaration on the Rights of 

Indigenous Peoples  

79. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples stands as an 

important impetus and guide for measures to address the concerns of indigenous peoples in 

the United States and to move toward reconciliation. An authoritative instrument with 

broad support, the Declaration marks a path toward remedying the injustices and 

inequitable conditions faced by indigenous peoples, calling on determined action to secure 

their rights, within a model of respect for their self-determination and distinctive cultural 


80. The Declaration represents a global consensus among Governments and indigenous 

peoples worldwide that is joined in by the United States as well as by indigenous peoples in 

the country. It was adopted by the General Assembly with the affirmative votes of an 

overwhelming majority of United Nations Member States amid expressions of celebration 

by indigenous peoples from around the world. At the urging of indigenous leaders from 

throughout the country, the United States declared its support for the Declaration on 16 

December 2010, reversing its earlier position.   

81. By its very nature, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is not legally 

binding, but it is nonetheless an extension of the commitment assumed by United Nations 

Member States – including the United States – to promote and respect human rights under 

the United Nations Charter, customary international law, and multilateral human rights 

treaties to which the United States is a Party, including the International Covenant on Civil 

and Political Rights, and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of 

Racial Discrimination.17 

82. Whatever its precise legal significance, the Declaration embodies a convergence of 

common understanding about the rights of indigenous peoples, upon a foundation of 

fundamental human rights, including rights of equality, self-determination, property and 

cultural integrity. It is a product of more than two decades of deliberations in which the 

experiences and aspirations of indigenous peoples worldwide, along with failures and 

successes of the relevant laws and policies of States, were closely examined, with a view 

toward promoting human rights.  

83. With these characteristics, the Declaration is now part of United States domestic and 

foreign policy, as made clear in the United States’ announcement that its endorsement of 

the instrument: 

• reflects the U.S. commitment to work with [indigenous] tribes, individuals, and 

communities to address the many challenges they face. The United States aspires to 

improve relations with indigenous peoples by looking to the principles embodied in 

the Declaration in its dealings with federally recognized tribe, while also working, as 

appropriate, with all indigenous individuals and communities in the United States.  

• Moreover, the United States is committed to serving as a model in the international 

community in promoting and protecting the collective rights of indigenous peoples 

as well as the human rights of all individuals. 

84. As part of United States domestic and foreign policy, an extension of its 

international human right commitments, and reflecting a commitment to indigenous peoples 

in the United States, the Declaration should now serve as a beacon for executive, legislative 

and judicial decision-makers in relation to issues concerning the indigenous peoples of the 


 17 See A/HRC/9/9, paras. 18-43. 



country. All such decision-making should incorporate awareness and close consideration of 

the Declaration’s terms. Moreover, the Declaration is an instrument that should motivate 

and guide steps toward still-needed reconciliation with the country’s indigenous peoples, on 

just terms.   

 VI. Conclusions and recommendations 

85. Indigenous peoples in the United States – including American Indian, Alaska 

Native and Native Hawaiian peoples – constitute vibrant communities that have 

contributed greatly to the life of the country. Yet they face significant challenges that 

are related to widespread historical wrongs and misguided government policies that 

today manifest themselves in various indicators of disadvantage and impediments to 

the exercise of their individual and collective rights. 

  Existing federal legislation and executive programmes 

86. Many acts of Congress and federal programmes that have been developed over 

the last few decades – in contrast to earlier exercises of federal power based on 

misguided policies – constitute good practices that in significant measure respond to 

indigenous peoples’ concerns. Especially to be commended are the many new 

initiatives taken by the executive to advance the rights of indigenous peoples in the last 

few years. 

  The need to build on good practices and advance toward reconciliation 

87. Relevant authorities should take steps to address the concerns of indigenous 

leaders that, in certain respects, federal legislation protective of their rights is not 

adequately implemented and that federal programmes are not adequately funded or 


88. Further, the federal executive and Congress should respond to initiatives 

promoted by indigenous peoples for new or amended legislation and programmes,  in 

accordance with the international human rights commitments of the United States.  

89. Despite positive aspects of existing legislation and programmes, new measures 

are needed to advance reconciliation with indigenous peoples and to provide redress 

for persistent deep-seated problems. Federal authorities should identify, develop and 

implement such measures in full consultation and coordination with indigenous 


90. Measures of reconciliation and redress should include, inter alia, initiatives to 

address outstanding claims of treaty violations or non-consensual takings of 

traditional lands to which indigenous peoples retain cultural or economic attachment, 

and to restore or secure indigenous peoples’ capacities to maintain connections with 

places and sites of cultural or religious significance, in accordance with the United 

States international human rights commitments. In this regard, the return of Blue 

Lake to Taos Pueblo, the restoration of land to the Timbisha Shoshone, the 

establishment of the Oglala Sioux Tribal Park, and current initiatives of the National 

Park Service and the United States Forest Service to protect sacred sites, constitute 

important precedents or moves in this direction.   

91. Other measures of reconciliation should include efforts to identify and heal 

particular sources of open wounds. And hence, for example, promised reparations 

should be provided to the descendants of the Sands Creek massacre, and new or 

renewed consideration should be given to clemency for Leonard Peltier.  



92. Issues of self-governance, environmental degradation, language restoration, 

and federal recognition, as well as the particular concerns of indigenous peoples in 

urban settings and border areas, among other matters, should also be addressed. 

  The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 

93. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is an 

important impetus and guide for improving upon existing measures to address the 

concerns of indigenous peoples in the United States, and for developing new measures 

to advance toward reconciliation. The Declaration represents an international 

standard accepted by the United States, at the urging of indigenous peoples from 

across the country, and is an extension of the United States historical leadership and 

commitment to promote human rights under various sources of international law. 

With these characteristics, the Declaration is a benchmark for all relevant decision- 

making by the federal executive, Congress, and the judiciary, as well as by the states 

of the United States.   

  The federal executive 

94. The federal executive should work closely with indigenous leaders, at all levels 

of decision-making, to identify and remove any barriers to effective implementation of 

existing government programmes and directives, and to improve upon them. In this 

regard, efforts should be made to ensure coordinated and clear delineation of tasks 

among the various government agencies working on indigenous issues, effective means 

of interaction and consultation with indigenous peoples, and coherent, coordinated 

federal executive action on indigenous issues.  

95. In keeping with the expressed commitment of the United States to the 

principles of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and its related 

international human rights obligations, the President should consider issuing a 

directive to all executive agencies to adhere to the Declaration in all their decision- 

making concerning indigenous peoples.  

96. Independently of such a presidential directive, given that the Declaration has 

already been adopted as part of United States policy, all executive agencies that touch 

upon indigenous affairs should become fully aware of the meaning of the Declaration 

with respect to their respective spheres of responsibility, and they should ensure that 

their decisions and consultation procedures are consistent with the Declaration. To 

this end there should be a crosscutting executive level campaign to ensure awareness 

about the content and meaning of the Declaration.  

97. In following up to the apology resolution adopted by Congress in 2010, which 

directs the President to pursue reconciliation with the country’s indigenous peoples, 

the President should develop, in consultation with them, a set of relevant initiatives in 

accordance with paragraphs 87-92 above. As an initial measure, the President should 

make the apology resolution widely known among indigenous peoples and the public 

at large, in a way that is appropriate to the sensitivities and aspirations of indigenous 

peoples, and within a broader programme that contributes to public education about 

indigenous peoples and the issues they face.  


98. Congress should act promptly on legislative proposals advocated by indigenous 

leaders for the protection of their peoples’ rights, and ensure that any legislation 

concerning indigenous peoples is adopted in consultation with them. Particular, 

immediate priority should be placed on legislation advocated by indigenous peoples 



and proposed by the executive to extend protection for indigenous women against 

violence by, inter alia, enlarging the law enforcement capacities of tribal authorities. 

99. Following up to the hearing on the Declaration held by the Senate Committee 

on Indian Affairs on 9 June 2011, Congress should hold hearings to educate its 

members about the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to consider 

specific legislative measures that are needed to fully implement the rights affirmed 

therein. Attention should be paid to aspects of already existing legislation that should 

be reformed, and to new legislation that could advance needed measures of 

reconciliation. Consideration should also be given to providing judicial remedies for 

infringements of rights incorporated in the Declaration. 

100. Congress should, in consultation with indigenous peoples, enact legislative 

reforms or altogether new legislation as required to achieve the reconciliation called 

for in its apology resolution of 2010.  

101. Any legislation adopted by Congress should be in alignment with the human 

rights standards represented by the Declaration. To this end Congress should consider 

adopting a resolution affirming the Declaration as the policy of United States and 

declaring its resolve to exercise its power to advance the principles and goals of the 


102. At a minimum, Congress should continuously refrain from exercising any 

purported power to unilaterally extinguish indigenous peoples’ rights, with the 

understanding that to do so would be morally wrong and against United States 

domestic and foreign policy, and that it would incur responsibility for the United 

States under its international human rights obligations.  

  The federal judiciary 

103. The federal judiciary, in particular the United States Supreme Court, has 

played a significant role in defining the rights and status of indigenous peoples. While 

affirming indigenous peoples’ rights and inherent sovereignty, it has also articulated 

grounds for limiting those rights on the basis of colonial era doctrine that is out of step 

with contemporary human rights values. 

104. Consistent with well-established methods of judicial reasoning, the federal 

courts should discard such colonial era doctrine in favour of an alternative 

jurisprudence infused with the contemporary human rights values that have been 

embraced by the United States, including those values reflected in the United Nations 

Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Furthermore, just as the Supreme 

Court looked to the law of nations of the colonial era to define bedrock principles 

concerning the rights and status of indigenous peoples, it should now look to 

contemporary international law, to which the Declaration is connected, for the same 


105. Accordingly, the federal courts should interpret, or reinterpret, relevant 

doctrine, treaties and statutes in light of the Declaration, both in regard to the nature 

of indigenous peoples’ rights and the nature of federal power.    

  The states of the United States 

106. Although competency over indigenous affairs rests at the federal level, states of 

the United States exercise authority that in various ways affects the rights of 

indigenous peoples. Relevant state authorities should become aware of the rights of 

indigenous peoples affirmed in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 



and develop state policies to promote the goals of the Declaration and to ensure that 

the decisions of state authorities are consistent with it. 

  Indigenous peoples’ authorities 

107. Indigenous authorities should endeavour to educate the members of their 

tribes, nations or communities about the Declaration and its contents. They should 

apply the Declaration in their own self-governance, as well as use it as a common point 

of understanding in dealings with federal and state legislative, executive and judicial 


  Alaska and Hawaii 

108. The situations in Alaska and Hawaii are each unique and merit particular 

attention and action on the part of the United States to secure the rights of indigenous 

peoples there.  The Special Rapporteur intends to address these situations further in 

future communications with the United States.  



Appendix I 

  Summary of information on federal programmes, policies, 

legislation and other initiatives related to indigenous peoples 

submitted to the Special Rapporteur by Government 

representatives, agencies and departments  

  Executive Orders 

1. Executive Order No. 13007 - Indian Sacred Sites of 1996: Calls on federal agencies 

responsible for management of federal lands, to accommodate, to the extent practicable, 

access to and ceremonial use of Indian sacred sites by Indian religious practitioners and 

avoid adversely affecting the physical integrity of such sites, and where appropriate, 

maintain the confidentiality of sacred sites.   

2. Executive Order 13175 Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal 

Governments of 2000: Aims to establish regular and meaningful consultation and 

collaboration with tribal officials in the development of certain federal policies related to 

tribes, to strengthen the United States government-to-government relationships with Indian 

tribes, and to reduce the imposition of unfunded mandates upon Indian tribes.  

3. Presidential Memorandum of November 5, 2009:  Directs each agency to submit to 

the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), within 90 days, a detailed 

plan of actions the agency will take to implement the policies and directives of Executive 

Order 13175.  

4. The plan should be developed after consultation by the agency with Indian tribes and 

tribal officials as described in Executive Order 13175. Further, each agency head must 

submit to the Director of the OMB, within 270 days after November 5, 2009, and annually 

thereafter, a progress report on the status of each action included in its plan together with 

any proposed updates to its plan. 

5. Executive Order 13592 Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Educational 

Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities of 2011: Establishes the 

White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education chaired by the 

Secretaries of Interior and Education. Its purpose is to help expand educational 

opportunities and improve educational outcomes for American Indian and Alaska Native 

students including instruction in indigenous languages, cultures and histories and 

preparation for college and career building.  


6. Omnibus Appropriations Act H.R. 2764-526, Sec. 699B of 2008: Establishes an 

Advisor for Activities Relating to Indigenous Peoples Internationally who is required to 

advise the Director of United States Foreign Assistance and the Administrator of USAID on 

matters relating to indigenous peoples, and who should represent the United States 

Government on such matters in meetings with foreign governments and multilateral 


7. Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010: Improves the capacity of tribal governments to 

deal with domestic violence and sex crimes, alcohol and substance abuse, strengthens 

services to victims, and provides enhanced tribal sentencing authority. The Act also 

expands recruitment and retention of Bureau of Indian Affairs and tribal officers and 



provides new guidelines and training for officers handling domestic violence and sex 

crimes. Establishes the Office of Tribal Justice within the Justice Department.  

8. Claims Resolution Act of 2010: Authorizes and funds the Cobell v. Salazar 

settlement agreement (regarding alleged mismanagement of Indian trust accounts). 

Additionally, it included four water settlements for seven tribes in Arizona, Montana and 

New Mexico and provisions for over $1 billion for new water infrastructure projects to 

meet drinking water supply needs and rehabilitation of existing, aging infrastructure. To 

date, there are 26 congressionally enacted Indian water rights settlements. 

9. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of (2010): Authorizes new and 

expanded programmes and services to American Indian and Alaska Natives through the 

Indian Health Service to make health care accessible and affordable. Created permanent 

authorization for the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA), which is the legal 

authority for the provision of health care to American Indians and Alaska Natives.  

10. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: Provides more than $3 billion to 

help tribal communities renovate schools on reservations, promote job creation, improve 

housing and support health and policing services.  

11. Indian Arts and Crafts Amendments Act of 2010: Amends the Indian Arts and 

Crafts Act, which makes illegal to sell, offer, or display for sale any art or craft product 

falsely suggesting it was Indian made.  The Act empowers federal law enforcement officers 

to enforce this prohibition and it differentiates among penalties bases on the price of goods 

involved in the offense.  

  Legislative proposals 

12. Proposed American Jobs Act: Intended to provide employment opportunities and tax 

cuts to small businesses and employees. Within Indian Country, the Act will serve to 

provide tax cuts to Native American-owned businesses, the extension of payroll tax cuts to 

Native American workers, the extension of unemployment insurance, subsidized 

employment opportunities for Native American youth and adults, community rebuilding 

and revitalization, and expansion of high-speed internet.  

13. S. 1925 - Proposed Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act: Title IX 

addresses violence perpetrated against American Indian and Alaska Native women by 

restoring concurrent tribal criminal jurisdiction over all persons who commit misdemeanor 

domestic and dating violence in Indian Country and clarifies tribal court authorities to issue 

and enforce civil protection orders.  

14. H.R. 4970 - Proposed Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act: Among other 

measures, would authorize Native American victims of domestic violence or Indian Tribes 

on behalf of Indian victims to seek protection orders from United States district courts 

against suspects of abuse. 

  Other Executive/White House Initiatives 

15. Presidential Proclamation of National Native American Heritage Month November 

of 2011: Proclamation to celebrate the rich and diverse ancestry of American Indians and 

Alaska Natives and their contributions to the United States.  

16. Presidential Website: Winning the Future - President Obama and the Native 

American Community: Serves to assist Native Americans and Alaska Natives navigate 

federal government programmes and policies. The site contains a resource center designed 

to bring together over 25 different agencies and departments into one, navigable location.  




17. White House Tribal Nations Conferences 2009 – 2011: Over the past three years, the 

President has hosted three White House Tribal Conferences that brought together Cabinet 

Secretaries and senior Administration officials with leaders invited from all the federally 

recognized tribes in order to strengthen the relationship between the United States 

Government and tribal governments. Issues discussed by representatives from federal 

agencies and tribal leaders include job creation and tribal economies; promotion of safe and 

strong tribal communities; protection of natural resources and respect of cultural rights; and 

social issues including health care, education, housing, and infrastructure. 

18. Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)/ High Intensity Drug Trafficking 

Area Program: Provides funding for enforcement and drug prevention efforts nationwide 

including Native American projects in Oregon, Arizona, New York and Oklahoma. The 

ONDCP engaged in a consultation process for the National Northern Border 

Counternarcotics Strategy in five northern states which included federal, state and tribal 


19. America’s Great Outdoors and the Call to Action: Presidential initiative that 

includes the support of tribal historic preservation efforts and tribal cultural traditions.  

Grants support tribes in fulfilling responsibilities under the National Historic Preservation 

Act including conducting surveys of historic places, maintaining historic site inventories, 

nominating properties to the National Register of Historic Places, and reviewing Federal 

agency undertakings under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. 

20. White House Rural Council: Works across federal agencies to address challenges 

faced by tribal communities in the area of sustainable economic development and to 

promote economic prosperity in Indian Country. 

21. Let’s Move! in Indian Country is a comprehensive initiative dedicated to solving the 

problem of obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier 

and able to pursue their dreams. . 

  Department of Agriculture 

22. USDA Office of Tribal Relations (OTR): Established in 2009 to serve as point of 

contact between the Department and all federally recognized tribal governments, tribal 

communities, individual tribal members, as well as state-recognized tribal governments. 

OTR is responsible for working with all departmental agencies to build a collaborative and 

integrated approach to issues, programmes and services addressing the needs of American 

Indians and Alaskan Natives, including Tribal consultation. 

23. USDA Action Plan for Tribal Consultation and Collaboration: Outlines actions the 

Department intends to take to develop consultation processes across all departmental 

agencies at a regional level regarding their different programmes and services, which would 

include a reporting, accountability and performance assessment structure for these 

consultation processes. 

24. Sacred Sites Policy Review: Review by the USDA’s Office of Tribal Relations 

(OTR) and the Forest Service of the effectiveness of existing policies and procedures for 

the protection of Native American sacred sites on National Forest System Lands, which 

involved national and regional level listening sessions with tribal governments and 

traditional cultural practitioners to gather recommendations. A final report with 

recommendations for needed action at the level of USDA will be developed in consultation 

with tribal governments and cultural practitioners. 

25. USDA Rural Development:  Provided for investment in business in Indian Country 

through multiple programmes that included $7.6 million for their Business & Industry Loan 

Guarantee programme and $4.2 million in grants to support economic development. The 



USDA also provided over $50 million through Natural Resources Conservation Service 

programmes to improve and benefit trust lands across the country. 

26. Internet Access: Both the Department of Agriculture and the Department of 

Commerce have dedicated programmes to bring high-speed, affordable broadband into 

tribal communities and have awarded loans and grants worth over $1.5 billion for projects 

to benefit tribal areas.  

27. Keepseagle v. Vilsack settlement of 2010: The Government reached a $760 million 

settlement with Native American farmers and ranchers who sued the Department of 

Agriculture for discrimination in loan programmes. In addition to monetary damages and 

debt relief awarded to Native American farmers, the settlement contained programmatic 

reforms including the establishment of a Council on Native American Farming and 

Ranching that responds directly to the Secretary of Agriculture, technical assistance to help 

access farm loan programmes, a moratorium on further collection of delinquent loans 

during the pendency of the settlement process and an additional round of loan servicing 

after completion of the claims process.  

  Department of Interior 

28. Department of the Interior Action Plan and Tribal Consultation Policy: Developed 

by a joint federal-tribal team. Provides for a Department-wide tribal governance officer, 

early tribal involvement in the design of actions implicating tribal interests. 

29. Department of the Interior Indian Loan Guaranty Insurance and Interest Subsidy 

Program: Established by the Indian Finance Act of 1974 to stimulate American Indian and 

Alaska Native economic enterprises and employment. In fiscal year 2011, the programme 

made over 46 loan guarantees, totalling more than $78 million. 

30.  Department of the Interior Indian Water Rights Office leads, coordinates, and 

manages the Department’s Indian water rights settlement program.   

31. National Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform: The Secretary of 

the Interior appointed five prominent American Indians to service on the Commission. The 

Commission will undertake an evaluation of Interior’s trust management of Native 

American trust funds. 

32. Department of the Interior Pilot program to reduce crime on Indian reservations: 

Engages reservation communities experiencing high crime rates to reduce violent crime, 

juvenile delinquency, and criminal behaviour.  

33. Proposed Lease Reforms: Aims to simplify the leasing process on tribal lands and 

enhance tribally driven renewable solar and wind energy projects.  

34.  Management of Indian trust lands: Over 11 million acres belong to individual 

Indians and nearly 44 million acres are held in trust for Indian tribes. On these lands, the 

Department manages over 109,000 leases.  

  Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians 

35. The Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians manages approximately $3.7 

billion in trust funds from leases, use permits, land sales and income from financial assets. 

The Office has a Trust Beneficiary Call Center to implement the Cobell v. Salazar decision, 

which provides the Department with the ability to resolve trust claims. The call centre uses 

a toll-free phone number to provide comprehensive account information to 

beneficiaries.The Office also has a Trust Asset and Accounting Management System, an 

integrated database containing land title documents, including supporting revenue 

distribution, invoicing, acquisitions and all legal details relating to land transactions. 



  Bureau of Indian Affairs  

36. Water Rights Negotiation/Litigation Program: A programme of the Bureau of Indian 

Affairs (BIA) to provide funds to the United States and tribes for activities associated with 

securing or defending federally reserved Indian water rights through negotiations and/or 

litigation. It primarily provides funds for necessary documentation, expert witnesses and 

technical reports to further water rights claims.  

37. Water Management, Planning, and Pre-Development Program: A BIA programme 

for assisting tribes in managing, conserving and utilizing trust water resources, primarily by 

providing funds for necessary technical research, studies and other information for Indian 


38. High Priority Performance Goal crime reduction initiative of 2009: Programme 

implemented by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in collaboration with tribal law enforcement 

officials intended to reduce violent crime in four targeted reservations by five percent over 

a 24-month period. The initiative was expanded to two additional reservations. 

  Bureau of Indian Education 

39. The Bureau of Indian Education funds 183 elementary and secondary schools on 64 

reservations throughout the United States, serving approximately 42,000 Indian students. 

Of these, 58 are tribally-operated under contracts or grants. The Bureau also funds or 

operates off-reservation boarding schools and provides higher education scholarships to 

Indian students. 

  United States Geological Survey 

40. Technical Training in Support of Native American Relations (TESNAR): A 

programme that provides grants for the development and implementation of technical 

training, by USGS scientists, for the employees of Tribes and tribal organizations in order 

to strengthen the technical capacity of Tribes in managing tribal natural and cultural 


  Bureau of Reclamation 

41. Native American Affairs Program: A programme of the Bureau of Reclamation 

(BOR) that provides support for Indian water rights negotiations and the realization of 

various irrigation, water development, drought relief and other services and programmes 

implemented by the BOR.  

42. Water Rights Settlement Projects: Provides support for Indian water rights 

settlements, including serving as the construction entity for water supply projects approved 

as part of enacted settlements. 

43. Bureau of Reclamation/ Rural Water Projects: Works with Indian tribes to assess 

their water supply needs, including for domestic uses, and to address these needs by 

designing and constructing water supply projects.  Construction of water projects to provide 

safe and reliable domestic water supplies to Indian tribes, and other local entities, are 

ongoing in several states. 

  US Fish & Wildlife Service  

44. Tribal Wildlife Grants Program: Provided approximately 360 grants to nearly 200 

tribal governments to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and habitats.  



  National Park Service 

45. Agreements on gathering of traditional plants and minerals: The National Park 

Service is preparing to issue a rule to authorize agreements between Park Service and 

federally-recognized tribes to permit limited gathering of plants and minerals for traditional 


46. Proposed Tribal National Park: The National Park Service is working with the 

Oglala Sioux Tribe to develop legislation to establish the first tribal national park in the 

South Unit of the Badlands National Park, which is located entirely in the Pine Ridge 

Indian Reservation. 

47. National Park Service Management Policies: Management policies and other official 

guidelines such as Director’s Order # 53 - Special Park Uses, direct officials to respect the 

government-to-government relationship, to provide access to and use of Indian sacred sites, 

and to ensure that consultation to ascertain and address the concerns of Indian tribes and 

tribal traditional religious practitioners is carried out when actions that may have an effect 

on Indian tribes and their cultural traditions are proposed. 

48. National Park Service Shared Beringian Heritage Program: United States and 

Russian joint cooperation for the protection of the area’s natural, cultural resources and the 

rights of indigenous peoples in both countries. The National Park Service is to consult with 

Alaska indigenous peoples regarding initiatives under the program.  

  Bureau of Land Management 

49. BLM Tribal Consultation Policy:  Developed in response to Executive Order 13175 

with the purpose to identify the cultural values, the religious beliefs, the traditional 

practices, and the legal rights of Native American people which could be affected by BLM 

actions on Federal lands. 

50. BLM - 8100 Manual and Handbook: Instructs BLM managers on identification and 

management of cultural resources on public lands. Provides for tribal consultation to 

identify and manage sacred sites, including providing access to such sites. 

51. BLM/Co-management Agreements: Provides for co-management agreements to 

manage areas of significant value to Tribes. These have included co-management 

agreement with the Pueblo de Cochiti in New Mexico to manage the Kasha-Katuwe Tent 

Rocks National Monument; and a co-management agreement with Taos Pueblo, New 

Mexico to jointly manage the “Wild Rivers Section” of the Rio Grande.  

52. BLM Cultural Resources Management program: Provides for repatriation to Native 

American peoples of human remains and cultural items held in BLM’s collections and 

enhancing management of culturally significant sites on public lands. 

  Department of Justice 

53. Violence Against Women Federal/Tribal Prosecution Task Force: Composed of 

federal and tribal prosecutors that facilitate and coordinate action between the Justice 

Department and tribal governments regarding the prosecution of violent crimes against 

women in Indian Country including the development of recommendations and resource 

materials on prosecutions of these offenses.   

54. Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation: Provides a single streamlined application 

process for tribal government-specific grant programmes administered by the Office of 

Justice Programs, Community Oriented Policing Services, and the Office on Violence 

Against Women. 



55. Consideration of Policy Regarding Eagle Feathers: Departments of Justice and the 

Interior have worked to facilitate tribal members’ access to eagle feathers for religious and 

cultural purposes and to address concerns over the effects of federal laws protecting eagles 

on tribal and cultural practices.  

  Department of Homeland Security  

56. Tribal Relations Program: Seeks to include tribal governments in many facets of 

homeland security and emergency management, through joint law enforcement operations 

with Customs and Border Protection and improved response to disasters affecting tribal 

members and tribal lands.  

  Department of Labor 

57. Indian and Native American Program/ Employment and Training Administration: 

Provides funding for tribes and Native American non-profit organizations to provide 

employment and training services to unemployed and low-income Native Americans, 

Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. 

  Department of Commerce 

58. The Minority Business Development Agency of the Department of Commerce: 

Funded six Native American Business Enterprise Centers in Arizona, California, New 

Mexico, North Dakota, Washington and Oklahoma. 

  Department of the Treasury 

59. Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) – Native Initiatives 

Program: Designed to increase capital, credit, and financial services for Native populations 

across the nation and build the capacity of Native community development financial 

institutions to provide financial products and services to Native Communities.  

  Department of Housing and Urban Development 

60. Section 184 Loan Guarantee Program: Based on the Housing and Community 

Development Act of 1992, the programme provides home ownership opportunities to 

American Indians and Alaska Native living on trust or restricted lands. 

61. Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant Program Section 184A Loan Guarantee 

Program for Native Hawaiians: Provides access to private financing on Hawaiian home 

lands and promotes homeownership, property rehabilitation and new home constructions 

for eligible Native Hawaiian individuals.  

62. Native American Housing Needs Assessment: Study undertaken by Housing and 

Urban Development that included regional and national outreach meetings with tribal 

housing stakeholders to seek input on methodology for survey of housing needs.  

63. Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) Program: Provides annual funding to Native 

American tribes or tribally designated housing authority to make housing assistance 

available to low-income Indian families. IHBG was established through the Native 

American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996.  

64. Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Program: Provides grants to 

improve housing and economic opportunities in Native American and Alaskan Native 




65. Rural Housing and Economic Development (RHED) Program: Provides for rural 

housing and economic development activities at the state and local levels including 

reservation and tribal communities in rural areas.  

66. Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP): Assists Tribal Colleges and 

Universities to build, expand, renovate and equip their facilities and support their role as 

service providers for health programmes, job training and economic development.  

67. Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) Program: Provides funding for 

job training and support services to assist public housing residents to transition from 

welfare to work.  

68. Department of Housing and Urban Development Tribal Government-to-Government 

Consultation Policy of 2001: Enhances communication and coordination between the 

Department and federally recognized Indian tribes or Alaska Native tribes.  

  Department of Veterans Affairs 

69. Home Loans to Native American Veterans: The Department of Veterans Affairs 

Loan Guaranty Service works with federally-recognized tribes to provide loans to Native 

American Veterans for the purchase, construction, or improvement of homes located on 

federally-recognized trust land.  

  Department of Energy 

70. Office of Indian Energy/ Indian Country Energy and Infrastructure Working Group: 

An informal group of tribal leaders who provide advice and input to the Office of Indian 

Energy and Department of Energy on energy development issues in Indian Country. 

71. Office of Indian Energy: Engaged in the development of programmes for tribal 

energy education, strategic and targeted technical assistance for tribes on renewable energy 

project deployment, transmission and electrification, innovative project development, and 

best practices forums. 

72. Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START): An initiative of the Office 

of Indian Energy Policy and Programs (DOE-IE) that advances modern clean energy 

project development in Indian Country.  

73. Department of Energy Technical Assistance and Grants: Technical assistance and 

grants to help Native American communities develop renewable energy resources and 

energy efficiency. 

74. Tribal Energy Program: Provides funds to tribes to undertake assessments of energy 

efficiency of tribal buildings and provide training for assessing clean energy options.  

75. American Indian Research and Education Initiative: Department of Energy 

facilitated partnership between the American Indian Higher Education Consortium and the 

American Indian Science and Engineering Society to bring science, technology, 

engineering, and mathematics research and education funding to Native American students 

in tribal colleges and universities.  

  Department of Health and Human Services 

76. Tribal Advisory Committee: Established by the Secretary to improve services, 

outreach, and consultation efforts with tribes.   

77. Indian Health Service and Health Resources and Services Administration/ National 

Health Service Corp program: Seeks to improve the recruitment and retention of healthcare 

providers in the Indian healthcare system.  



78. Special Diabetes Program for Indians: Provides funding to Indian Health Service, 

tribal, and urban Indian health programmes for community-driven strategies to address 

diabetes treatment.  

79. National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention: Developed new task forces to 

address and improve suicide prevention programmes in American Indians and Alaska 

Native communities.  

80. Indian Health Service Sexual Assault Policy and Protocol: Establishes a standard of 

care for sexual assault victims who seek clinical services within an Indian Health Service 

operated hospital; seeks to ensure that care is culturally sensitive, patient-centered, and 

needs are addressed with a coordinated response from the community. The policies also 

assist in evidence collection for possible use in the criminal justice system. 

81. Administration for Native Americans/US Department of Health & Human Services: 

Promotes self-sufficiency for Native Americans by providing discretionary grant funding 

for community-based projects, and training and technical assistance to eligible tribes and 

Native organizations. Conducted a Language Symposium in September 2011 to build and 

share best practices, discuss challenges and barriers and identify necessary resources to 

support language and culture in Native communities.  

  Department of Education 

82. National Advisory Council on Indian Education: Advises the Secretary of Education 

on the funding and administration of Department programmes relevant to American Indians 

and Alaska Natives and reports to Congress on any recommendations that the Council 

considers appropriate for the improvement of federal education programmes that include or 

may benefit Native Americans.  

  Environmental Protection Agency 

83. Office of Air and Radiation: Supported initiatives for tribal involvement in the 

designation and application of Clean Air Act standards within Indian Country.  

84. Indian Environmental General Assistance Program: Provides technical and financial 

assistance to tribes to develop and administer federal environmental programmes.  

85. EPA Targeted Grants: Provided $12 million in grants to 83 tribes to establish Tribal 

Environmental Response Programs to address contamination on tribal lands.  

86. Border 2012 Program: Provides for the improvement and expansion of clean water 

and wastewater management capacity to tribal communities in border areas.  

87. Tribal Solid Waste Interagency Workgroup: Environmental Protection Agency, in 

collaboration with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Indian Health Service, Department of 

Defense and United States Department of Agriculture, provides financial assistance to 

tribes to manage new solid waste initiatives.  

88. EPA-Tribal Science Council: Partnership with tribal representatives to integrate 

Environmental Protection Agency and tribal interests, including the integration of 

traditional ecological knowledge in environmental science, policy and decision-making.  

89. EPA - Policy on Consultation and Coordination: Provides for consultation with 

federally recognized tribal governments when Environmental Protection Agency actions 

and decisions may affect tribal interests. The EPA has developed a guide to consulting with 

Indian Tribal Governments for Federal Government personnel.  

90. Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Reporting for Facilities Located in Indian Country 

and Clarification of Additional Opportunities Available to Tribal Governments under the 



TRI Program: Requires each facility located in Indian country to submit TRI reports to the 

Agency and the appropriate Tribe, rather than to the State in which the facility is located. 

The rule also provides Tribes with the opportunity to request that facilities located in their 

lands be added to the TRI and that a particular chemical be added or deleted from the TRI 

chemical list. 

91. Health and Environment Impacts of Uranium Contamination in the Navajo Nation 

(June 2008): Five-year plan developed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of 

Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Environmental Protection Agency and Indian 

Health Service at the request of the House Committee on Oversight and Government 

Reform to address the public health and environmental impacts from historical uranium 

mining on the Navajo Reservation. 

92. National Environmental Justice Advisory Council: Currently developing a national 

tribal and indigenous peoples’ environmental justice policy to improve the Agency’s 

effectiveness when addressing the environmental justice concerns of federally-recognized 

tribes, tribal members, state-recognized tribes, indigenous organizations, and other 

indigenous stakeholders. 

93. National Tribal Operations Committee (NTOC): Works to ensure more affective 

representation of tribal interests within the NTOC and stronger connections between the 

NTOC and regional and subject matter tribal partnership groups including air, water and 

science councils.  

94. American Indian Environmental Office (AIEO): Supports implementation of federal 

environmental laws consistent with the federal trust responsibility, the government-to- 

government relationship, and Agency’s 1984 Indian Policy. It participates in the Arctic 

Council Indigenous Peoples Contaminant Action Program (IPCAP), which intends to build 

awareness and capacity among Arctic indigenous communities to better understand their 

contaminant exposures and to more effectively engage in governmental efforts to address 

exposure issues.  

95. Border 2020 Program: American Indian Environmental Office collaborates with the 

Office of International and Tribal Affairs (OITA) in conducting effective coordination and 

formal government-to-government consultation with United States border tribes and in 

outreach to Mexican border indigenous communities. 

96. North American Tribal/First Nations/Indigenous Climate Change Adaptation 

Project: American Indian Environmental Office is a lead partner with other federal 

agencies, the Canadian government, and a Canadian indigenous not-for-profit organization 

in an effort to design a workshop scheduled for September 2012 to focus on climate change 

adaptation needs of North American indigenous communities in the area of food security 

and traditional plant use.  

  Department of Transportation 

97. Indian Reservations Roads Program: Provides funds for planning, designing, 

construction, and maintenance activities on Indian Reservation Roads. The programme is 

jointly administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Federal Highway 

Administration’s Federals Lands Highway Office.  

98. Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program/Tribal Transit Program: 

Provides a total of $45 million in direct funding to federally recognized tribes to support 

tribal public transportation in rural areas. 



  The Special Rapporteur met with representatives of the following federal 

departments, offices, bureaus, agencies, and other institutions during his visit to the 

United States from 23 April to 4 May 2012 

  Federal Level 

  Department of State  

• United States Agency for International Development  

• Bureau of International Organizations, Office of Human Rights and Humanitarian 


• Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor  

• Office of the Legal Adviser  

• Office of the Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs  

• Office of Global Women’s Issues 

• Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons 

• Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs 

  Department of the Interior  

• Bureau of Indian Affairs 

• The Bureau of Indian Education 

• Bureau of Land Management 

• National Park Service 

• Bureau of Reclamation  

• Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians 

• The United States Geological Survey 

• International Affairs Coordinator for the Office of the Assistant Secretary - Indian 


  Department of Justice 

• Office of Tribal Justice  

  The White House 

• Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs 

• Advisor on Violence Against Women 

• Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement and Others 

  Department of Health and Human Services  

• Director, Indian Health Service 

• Chief Medical Officer, Indian Health Service  

• Office of the General Counsel 

• Office of Multilateral Affairs  



  Environmental Protection Agency  

• American Indian Environmental Office, including its Tribal/Indigenous Peoples    

Environmental Justice Work Group 

• Assessment and Remediation Division, Office of Superfund Remediation and 

Technology Innovation 

• Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response 

• Cross-Cutting Issues Law Office of General Counsel 

  Department of Housing and Urban Development 

• Office of Native American Programs 

• Office of Public and Indian Housing  

• Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity 

• Secretary for Public Affairs 

• Office of International and Philanthropic Innovation 

• Office of Policy Development and Research 

  United States Department of Agriculture 

• Office of Tribal Relations 

• Natural Resources and Environment 

• Forest Service 

  Department of Education   

  State Level 

• Office of the Governor of South Dakota 

• Office of the Governor of Alaska  



Appendix II 

  Summary of information and allegations presented by 

indigenous peoples, groups, and organizations to the Special 

Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples 

1. During his mission, the Special Rapporteur held consultations with United States 

officials as well as with indigenous peoples, tribes, and nations in Washington, D.C.; 

Arizona; Alaska; Oregon; Washington state; South Dakota; and Oklahoma, both in Indian 

country and in urban areas. The Special Rapporteur is very grateful for the assistance he 

received from the National Congress of American Indians; the Navajo Nation; the Indian 

Law Resource Center; the International Indian Treaty Council; the University of Arizona 

Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program; the Alaska Native Heritage Center; Port 

Graham Village; Chickaloon Village; the Curyung Tribal Council; the National Indian 

Child Welfare Association; the Cowlitz Indian Tribe; the University of Tulsa; and Sinte 

Gleska University for their assistance in planning key consultations in the various locations 

visited. He would also like to thank the numerous individuals who provided essential 

assistance in this regard, in particular, Dalee Sambo Dorough (Alaska), Armstrong Wiggins 

(Washington, D.C.), William Means (South Dakota), Andrea Carmen (Alaska), Melissa 

Clyde (Oregon), Gabe Galanda (Oregon), Bill Rice (Oklahoma), and Seanna Howard and 

Robert Williams, Jr. (Arizona). 

2. The Special Rapporteur received the following information either in person during 

his consultations or via electronic or other means. The submissions are divided roughly by 

the region of their origin for organizational purposes.  

  Northeast and Washington, D.C. 

3. Seneca Nation of Indians: United States has frequently breached treaty promises to 

the Seneca Nation; Government infringement on Seneca rights, including the construction 

of the Kinzua Dam and the violation of treaty-protected lands rights, waters rights, and 

resources rights, and the right to economic development.  

4. Algonquin Confederacy of the Quinnipiac Tribal Council, Inc.: Discriminatory 

practices and removal of Quinnipiac artifacts and landmarks from traditional territories.  

5. Haudenosaunee Ska-Roh-Reh: Contaminated drinking water; barriers to practising 

traditional religion; treaty breach by the United States Government.  

6. Association of American Indian Affairs: Stronger protection needed for sacred sites; 

reform is needed for the federal recognition process; promotion of international repatriation 

with recommended modalities; call to create a Special US/Tribal Nations Joint Commission 

on Implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  

7. Ramapough Lunaape Nation: Industrial pollution threatens the health and well-being 

of community; state recognition by resolution has been achieved but federal recognition is 

still lacking.  

8. Maine Indian Tribal - State Commission (MITSC): Maine Indian Claims Settlement 

Act and Maine Implementing Act create structural inequalities that limit the self- 

determination of Maine tribes; structural inequalities contribute to Maine tribal members 

experiencing extreme poverty, high unemployment, short life expectancy, poor health, 

limited educational opportunities and diminished economic development.  



9. Members of the Beaver Clan, Onondaga Nation: Report on sexual violence and 

criminal acts against indigenous children.  

10. Indian Law Resource Center: Highlights areas of Government policy that present 

significant concerns for indigenous peoples located in the United States and elsewhere 

including the effect of United States’ foreign policy on indigenous peoples in other 

countries; recommendations are made for policy change that would bring the United States 

into compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  

  Southeast region 

11. Lummi Nation: Need for protection of sacred sites and repatriation of ancestral 


12. Council of the Original Miccosukee Simanolee Nation Aboriginal People: Affirm 

rights to land, culture and way within the context of historical violations by the 


13. Choctaw Nation of Florida: Historical taking of lands and treaty breach issues.  

14. Yamasi People: Need for sustainable development and peaceful and productive 

communication between indigenous peoples and the Government regarding environmental 


  Midwest and Great Lakes region 

15. Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC): Mining activities, including prospective 

mining development, is negatively affecting indigenous lands and waters within the 

Anishinaabeg territory and established reservation homelands, which includes the 

destruction of the sacred place, Migi zii wa sin (Eagle Rock).  

16. Anishinaabe representative: Increased mining in the Great Lakes region is a growing 

threat to native communities on both sides of the United States/Canada border. 

17. Native American Alliance of Ohio (NAAO): Report that “documentary genocide,” 

the practice of eliminating recognition of native peoples, is taking place in Ohio. 

  South Dakota and broader Great Plains region (including submissions at Sinte Gleska 

University consultation) 

18. Sioux Nation Treaty Council: Contamination from extractive industries including 

gold mining, uranium mining and strip mining for coal in treaty territory; breach of the 

1868 Fort Laramie Treaty; high rates of cancer among indigenous people of the Northern 

Great Plains; misrepresentation of Sioux peoples by non-indigenous person; proposed war 

games in Buffalo Gap National Grasslands.  

19. Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe: Uncertainty remains regarding compensation 

stemming from the Tribal Equitable Compensation Act (TECA) and P.L. 106-511, an act to 

provide for equitable compensation for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and for other 


20. Lakota People’s Law Project: Native children are taken from their families in 

violation of the Indian Child Welfare Act and this is reflected by the disproportionately 

high rate of Native American children in foster care.  

21. Chief Iron Eagle, Nakota Sioux Fire (Yankton Sioux Reservation): Lack of adequate 

legal recourse to address treaty breach and sovereignty issues faced by indigenous peoples 

in the United States. 



22. Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council and Owe Aku International Justice Project: 

Treaty violation of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty; laws and policies in the United States do 

not extend equal rights to Native peoples and nations; inadequate implementation of the 

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the United States 


23. Oceti Sakowin Omniciye and Treaty of 1805 Task Force: United States Government 

in violation of the 1805 Treaty, the first treaty between the Dakota, Lakota, & Nakota and 

the Government.  

24. Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation (Fort Berthold Reservation): Need to 

streamline process for federal review and approval of individual Indian tribes mineral 

leases while maintaining trust responsibility; Bakken Formation can provide numerous 

benefits to the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation and its members but must be 

developed in a way that does not harm community.  

25. Nueta, Hidatsa, & Sahnish Allottee Economic Development Corporation: 

Environmental degradation resulting from oil development in the area; lack of corporate 

responsibility regarding oil development in Fort Berthold; lack of consultation regarding 

development of the Garrison Dam / Lake Sakakawea Project.  

26. Ihanktonwan Dakota: Self-government and self-determination in light of the United 

Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; Doctrine of Discovery in addition 

to a patchwork of federal statutes, regulations and policies create foremost barriers to self- 


27. American Indian Movement Interpretative Center: Concerns regarding development 

activities in the Penokee Range and Bad River Watershed of Wisconsin; opposition to the 

Keystone XL Pipeline Project; concerns regarding effects of uranium mining in the Navajo 

Nation; call for the immediate release of Leonard Peltier.   

28. Community for the Advancement of Native Studies: Underrepresentation of Native 

American students in higher education and as teachers and administrators in the South 

Dakota education system; discriminatory practices within the state education system.  

29. Sisseton and Wahpeton representative: Treaty information 1668 – 1817; information 

regarding the Waldron – Black Tomahawk Controversy and the Status of “Mixed Bloods” 

among the Teton Sioux.  

30. Emerson Elk, Fred Sitting Up, Bill Means, Shawn Bordeaux, and Sam Mato: 

Indigenous identity theft is taking place through academic colonialism, legislation, agency 

rule making, and other activities.  

31. Oahe Landowners Board of Directors: Inadequate compensation for the 

dispossession of indigenous lands as part of the Oahe Dam and Reservoir Project. 

32. Cante Wanjila: Inability of Native Americans incarcerated in federal, state and 

private prisons to freely practise their traditional religions without discrimination, 

harassment, indifference and racial profiling.  

33. Ihanktonwan Treaty Steering Committee: Continued interest in the seven treaties the 

tribe has with the federal government; lack of consultation by the United States 

Government regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline Project, poor groundwater quality due to 

uranium mining; mismanagement of tribal lands by the Government; land dispossession.  

34. National Boarding School Healing Project: Information regarding the experiences of 

American Indians attending boarding schools during the years of 1920 to 1960 in the 

northern plains region; accounts of emotional, physical and sexual abuse and neglect of 

children and separation from families and communities. 



35. Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center: Native American 

and Alaska Native women are often denied due process within courts and health care 

services following a sexual assault; denial of health services based on race; need for 

improved standard of care for sexual assault victims, including the collection of forensic 

evidence to assist with the prosecution process.  

36. Bryce in the Woods: Historical overview of Lakota economic system and secretarial 

orders regarding Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe lands.    

37. Chief Arvol Looking Horse and Indigenous Elders and Medicine Peoples: Call for 

United States Government to acknowledge indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination, 

respect their religious and cultural practices, and include indigenous peoples in consultation 

and decision-making processes. 

38. International Indian Treaty Council: Failure of the United States Government to 

fully accept the rights to self-determination and free, prior and informed consent of 

indigenous peoples; importance of implementation of Committee for the Elimination of 

Racial Discrimination concluding observations regarding the Western Shoshone indigenous 

peoples and nuclear testing, toxic and dangerous waste storage and other activities carried 

out in areas of spiritual or cultural significance to indigenous peoples; the United Nations 

Declaration as a framework for a “new jurisdiction” for redress of treaty violations; 

proposed language to strengthen and recognize treaty rights within the proposed American 

Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  

39. President of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe: Non-consultation by state and federal 

authorities regarding the development of the Keystone XL Pipeline Project; treaty breach of 

the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty; loss of lands due to the General Allotment Act 

1887; call for improved implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of 

Indigenous Peoples.  

40. Rosebud Sioux Tribe member: Concerns regarding Indian health-care services, 

home energy costs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the 

Keystone XL Pipeline Project.  

41. Owe Aku (Bring Back the Way): Environmental degradation caused by uranium, oil 

and gas development; lack of free, prior and informed consent; treaty violations by the 

United States Government; genocide by the Government in Lakota homelands.     

42. Oglala Sioux Tribe: Infringement on treaty lands by construction and operation of 

Keystone XL Pipeline Project; negative environmental consequences if the pipeline is 

constructed and operated; provided several resolutions from native nations and 

organizations opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline Project. 

43. Chief Iron Eagle, Nakota Sioux Fire: Working to address issues related to treaty 

rights for the Nakota people.   

44. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe:  

• Resolution opposing the original route of the development of the Keystone XL 

Pipeline Project through the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe aboriginal homelands and 

the new proposed route through the Lakota Homelands.  

• Obstruction of the right to education; need to improve intellectual development of 

Lakota children.  

45. Sicangu Lakota Nation: Complex federal and state laws and regulations negatively 

affect tribal sovereignty and hinder economic development of indigenous peoples.  



46. Chief Oliver Red Cloud: Taking of lands after the ratification of the 1868 Fort 

Laramie Treaty; Indian Reorganization Act promoted colonialism and assimilation of 

Native Americans.  

47. Lakota Rose LaPlante: South Dakota Department of Social Service is in non- 

compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act. 

48. International Native Indian Programs Incorporated (INIPI): Alleged misuse of funds 

on the Pine Ridge Reservation. 

49. Cante Tenza Okolakiciye – Strong Heart Warrior Society, Free & Independent 

Lakota Nation and Elders: Call for the United States Government to investigate alleged 

graft and corruption within the Oglala Sioux Tribal Government as well as elder abuse by 

Oglala Sioux tribal members.  

50. Unites Sioux Tribes Development Corporation: Difficulties with gaming compacts 

and tribal-state relations.  

51. Mniwakhanwozu Oyate: Presentation is in his native language, with attachment of 

an article of Sinte Gleksa University hosting the Special Rapporteur on the rights of 

indigenous peoples.  

52. Sheryl Lightfoot (Ojibwe): United States Government qualified support for the 

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples appears to be an active 

process of self-exemption and a pre-emptive strike against implementation that preserves 

the status quo while also offering some relief from transnational and domestic political 


53. Lawrence Swallow: Indian Reorganization Act constitutions do not reflect culture or 

identity of indigenous peoples; inadequate management of land claims; physical abuse of 


  Oklahoma and South-Central region (including submissions at Tulsa consultation) 

54. Lipan Apache Band of Texas: Community members of El Calaboz Ranchería are 

harassed by United States Government agents working along the United States – Mexico 

border; lack of free, prior and informed consent regarding seizure and destruction 

traditional ranchería lands.  

55. Osage Indians: Wrongful transfer of headrights in the Osage Mineral Trust to non- 

Indians and corporations.  

56. United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee: Overview of the Western/Arkansas Cherokee 

people; current status of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees, the band's history, and 

how it has staved off termination attempts.  

57. Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma: Difficulties of tribal members in obtaining a 1-872 

card and using the card for entry into the United States; need to protect and respect Native 

American religious practices, customs, and observances; encroachment of urban areas on 

wildlife habitat that inhibits hunting and gathering; delays in placing newly acquired 

tribally owned lands into trust status. 

58. Sac and Fox Nation: Refusal by the Department of the Interior to acknowledge the 

rights granted to the Nation through their Federal Corporate Charter undermines self- 

determination; proposed pump station for the Keystone XL Pipeline Project threatens water 

sources and gravesites; violation of Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation 

Act by the state of Pennsylvania.  

59. Tusekia Harjo Band of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma: Outlines the negative 

effects of discrimination on the social conditions of American Indians; many Indians have 



lost faith in law enforcement and justice systems in Indian Country; mistreatment of Indians 

in state and federal courts; need to implement United Nations Declaration on the Rights of 

Indigenous Peoples as a means to end discrimination.  

60. Muscogee (Creek) Nation representative: Unequal treatment in economic for 

opportunities inhibits economic development, which is connected to social, political and 

legal issues for Muscogee (Creek) Nation. 

61. Cherokee Nation representative: Tribal courts are not afforded the same respect as 

federal and state courts; tribal court judges and justices are viewed and treated with less 

esteem than their federal and state counterparts.  

62. Executive Director Choctaw/Cherokee: Federal recognition is a flawed and arbitrary 

process with the primary objective being forced assimilation. 

63. Chickasaw Nation Department of Justice: Compacting with the United States as one 

of the original “demonstration” tribes with Indian Health Services proved to be a positive 

and empowering experience in self-governance; recent challenges to tribal self governance 

by federal and state agencies; protection of natural resources; and litigation connected to 

water rights agreements.  

64. Euchee (Yuchi) Tribe: Tribe is not federally recognized but is trying to gain federal 

recognition, which it sees as critical to its self-determination. 

65. Principal Chief Cherokee Nation: Department of the Interior adoption of a tribal 

consultation policy; resolution of longstanding breach of Indian Trust lawsuits; national 

criminal justice training program; preservation and revitalization of native languages; 

ongoing problems, including violence against indigenous women. 

66. Prairie Band Potawatomi: State taxation of Native American veterans domiciled in 

Indian Country violates the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act of 1940. 

67. Descendants of the Sand Creek Massacre: Call for the United States Government to 

make reparations in connection to the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre near Fort Lyon, 


68. Gregory Bigler (Tribal Court Judge): Lack of jurisdiction over non-Indians; 

jurisdiction questions over activities within the Tribes’/Nations’ territory; inability to craft 

solutions for some criminal and certain juvenile cases due to limited resources. 

69. Walter R. Echo-Hawk (Chief Justice for the Supreme Court of the Kickapoo Tribe 

of Oklahoma; Justice of the Supreme Court of the Pawnee Nation): Discusses multiple 

aspects of federal Indian law and policy that require strengthening or could benefit from 

reform in light of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  

70. Haskell Indian Nations University Student Senate: Chronic underfunding 

undermines Native American education and institutions; call for improved federal support 

for Native American education. 

71. Wetlands Preservation Organization: Development threatens the Wakarusa 

Wetlands; forced relocation of plants and animals creates an environmental and social 


72. Ponca Tribe Business Committee: Pollutants from the Continental Carbon Company 

facility in Ponca City, Oklahoma continued to interfere, with the Ponca peoples’ health and 

the use of their property. 

73. National Indian Youth Council (Dr. Kay McGowan): Governments, including the 

United States, that have systematically used boarding school programmes to diminish their 



indigenous populations and the need to systematically redress the damage of such 


74. Indigenous Environment Network: Overview of difficulties involved in living in the 

modern world and yet staying rooted to tradition, particularly in light of continuing racism 

toward Indians and development of the Keystone XL Pipeline Project, which threatens 

archaeological and historical sites.  

75. Tribal Towns of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation (Hickory Grounds): Making efforts to 

protect, preserve and maintain sacred historical sites in the aboriginal homelands of the 

Muscogee people. 

76. Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma member: Provided information regarding treaties with the 

United States beginning in 1858 and 1865, which ceded thousands of acres of land.   

  Pacific Northwest region (including submission at Portland consultation) 

77. Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission: Importance of the Columbia River and 

its fish population to Northwest Coastal Indians is reinforced by a map showing the various 

native peoples associated with the river. 

78. Snoqualmie Tribal Elder: Violations of Snoqualmie tribal member’s civil and human 

rights due to banishment from the tribe and lack of due process.  

79. Métis Consulting, LLC: Métis descendants excluded from consultation and planning 

process regarding Fort Vancouver Barracks Transfer; continued occupation by the United 

States Army and U.S. National Park Service of Métis traditional lands that were confiscated 

in 1846.  

80. National Indian Child Welfare Association: Current national trends in American 

Indian and Alaska Native child welfare policy and practice; disproportionate rate of 

American Indian and Alaska Native children in United States state foster care systems. 

81. Seattle Human Rights Commission: Poor social and economic conditions of Seattle 

urban Indian populations include high rates of accidental deaths, diabetes, liver disease, 

alcohol-related deaths, infant mortality, poverty, homelessness and lower education 


82. City of Seattle Native American Employees Association (CANOES): Violence 

against native women is a serious concern in the Pacific Northwest as women have very 

few resources aimed at preventing such violence or assisting victims of violence. 

83. Honor the Earth /1000 Nations: Lack of compliance with essential elements of the 

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples undermines sacred sites 

protection and religious freedoms; militarization of Indian Country. 

84.  Cowlitz Tribe: Efforts to consolidate their land base and engage in economic 

development opportunities following their “restoration” to federal recognition, having 

previously been terminated during the 1950s. 

85. Makah Tribe Chairman: Barriers to indigenous management of natural resources, 

especially marine resources; need to integrate tribal governments into higher levels of 

natural resource management at federal level, especially energy, land and ocean 


  Southwest region (including submissions at Tucson consultation) 

86. San Carlos Apache Tribe representative: Opposition to a land exchange process that 

would facilitate mining in the Oak Flat area in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest, a region 



that has cultural, social, religious and political significance to for the Apache and other 

indigenous peoples.   

87. Chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation: Increased border security and other 

restrictive measures have made travel difficult across the United States – Mexico border for 

tribal members and restricted freedom of movement; and the proposed Rosemont Copper 

mine threatens cultural and archaeological sites containing numerous funerary and sacred 


88. Gente de l’ioti, A.C.: Tohono O’odham Nation exercise of the right to self- 

determination is severely restricted by the presence of United States federal agents on the 

Nation’s main reservation; the United States Customs and Border Patrol regularly violate 

the rights of indigenous peoples that reside in near the United States – Mexico border.  

89. Tohono O’odham (Mexico): The Tohono O’odham peoples in Mexico and the 

United States were separated by metal barriers installed by the United States Government 

without consultation; the Department of Homeland Security fails to recognize the right of 

indigenous people to freely enter and exit the Tohono O’odham reservation.  

90. Individual from Tohono O’odham: Deaths of immigrants crossing on Tohono 

O’odham Nation; access to water as a human right.  

91. O’odham Voice Against the Wall: Failure to adequately recognize and protect the 

human rights of indigenous peoples whose communities span the United States – Mexico 


92. Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee: Concerns regarding the health, safety 

and reintegration of Leonard Peltier.  

93. Keepers of the Secret (from Havasupai Tribe): Current ban on uranium mining does 

not protect Havasupai territory and drinking water sources.  

94. Navajo Nation Office of the Vice President: The goal of the Navajo Nation is to 

develop an educational system that endorses Navajo culture by sustaining the language 

while promoting academic success; the Navajo nation is moving forward to create and 

operate a school system specifically designed to meet the needs of Navajo students despite 

disparities among the funding levels for state and private education systems and the Navajo 

Nation education system.  

95. Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission: The United States frequently allows for 

the desecration and economic exploitation of indigenous peoples’ sacred sites, including the 

San Francisco Peaks located in Flagstaff, Arizona for the benefit on non-indigenous 

peoples, business owners and the non-indigenous public to the detriment of indigenous 


96. Navajo Nation Corrections Project and International Indian Treaty Council: High 

rate of Native Americans incarcerated in state and federal prisons; Native peoples are often 

denied access to traditional religious and spiritual ceremonies and services while 

incarcerated; wrongful conviction and prosecutorial misconduct of Leonard Peltier. 

97. Dine’ bi Siihasin: Mismanagement of housing programmes in the Navajo Nation 

result in discrimination and oppression.  

98. Chihene Nde Nation: Due to lack of federal recognition, the tribe is having great 

difficulty protecting sacred and ancient sites from being excavated and looted. 

99. Pueblo of Laguna: Indigenous transmission of knowledge to future generations is 

difficult without access to traditional lands, language and cultural practices; uranium 

mining has contaminated water sources and threatens many sacred sites.  



100. Nahuacalli and Tonatierra Project: Rights of indigenous peoples are threatened by 

Arizona Senate Bill 1070, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the Doctrine of 


101. Native American Church of North America, Inc.: Concerns regarding health and 

sustainability of naturally occurring peyote in peyote gardens; reoccurring issues for peyote 

users and harvesters include wrongful arrest, confiscation, prejudicial treatment in family 

custody cases, and discrimination in employment.  

102. Native American Directions: The Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican 

American Studies program is a good example how a school district should reflect the 

community that it serves.  

103. Indigenous Elders and Medicine Peoples Council: A recent report regarding the 

USDA Forest Service Policies and Procedures fails to provide meaningful and effective 

direction for the development of policies for the protection of indigenous sacred sites.  

104. Indigenous Youth Experience Council: United States Government has statutory and 

treaty obligations as well as standing agreements to protect the sacred places of indigenous 


105. National Congress of American Indians: Importance of “Carcieri Fix” to restore the 

benefits provided by the Indian Reorganization Act and to remove the uncertainty 

surrounding development and strategic planning in Indian Country; support for reform of 

federal surface leasing regulations for American Indian lands; important that tribes have 

equal access to states of all programmes.  

106. Indian Law Resource Center, National Congress of American Indians Task Force on 

Violence Against Women, National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, Inc., and Clan 

Star, Inc.: Violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls in the 

United States has reached epidemic levels in Indian Country and Alaska Native villages. 

107. Morning Star Institute: Hundreds of Native American sacred places, heritage 

languages and cultures are endangered; Native Americans encounter serious barriers when 

attempting to exercise their cultural rights. 

108. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona: Mining in the Oak Flat area will result in the 

destruction of sacred sites, notably mining in any part of the ecosystem will negatively 

affect the religious and cultural integrity of the area as a whole.  

109. Black Mesa United-Dzilijiin Bee Ahota, Inc. (BMU-DzBA): Strip mining and 

related activities threaten Black Mesa, a sacred mountain, and area drinking water sources.  

110. International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers: Mining threatens the 

survival of indigenous cultures, contaminates soil and drinking water; government, 

financial institutions and decision-making bodies should have better implementation of 

free, prior and informed consent with regard to indigenous peoples.  

111. Representative of boarding school survivors, Leo Killsback: Boarding schools and 

forced assimilation created historical trauma that is now imbedded in the contemporary 

lives of Native Americans.  

112. Tewa Women United: Extractive industry threaten natural resources including 

water, air and land in New Mexico; Historical Document Retrieval and Assessment Project 


113. Honor Our Pueblo Existence: Indigenous peoples in the Southwest region of the 

United States live in the shadow of a violent culture created by Government and military 

projects to research, develop, and manufacture weapons of mass destruction.   



114. Black Mesa Water Coalition: Department of the Interior has a trust responsibility to 

indigenous communities to protect drinking water sources.   

115. Individual from Navajo reservation: Need to protect indigenous peoples’ right to 


116. Wooden Shoe People representative: Working to bring attention to the non-binding 

apology to Native Americans on behalf of the citizens of the United States that was 

included in the 2010 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill. 

117. Pueblo of Jemez, New Mexico: The Jemez Pueblo has never ceded or abandoned the 

Indian title to the Valles Caldera, which is critically important to the group for both 

spiritual and resource reasons. Jemez Pueblo has never been compensated for the taking of 

these lands by the United States.  

118. National Indian Youth Council:  

• The contemporary legal framework for prosecuting domestic violence in Indian 

Country is in adequate; tribes need criminal and full civil jurisdiction over non- 

Indian offenders in order to protect Native women against violence;  

• Urban Indians are frequently landholders of allotments, and given current emphasis 

on extractive industries, mineral extraction, and energy policy, off and near 

reservation Indian are affected by on-reservation policymaking; and 

• United States Government consistently ignores urban Indians generally, and in the 

following areas, specifically: the right to participation, violence against women, 

cultural and spiritual issues, education and related services, and person sovereignty.  

119. Forgotten People organization:  

• Failures of the United States Government to remediate conditions in the Hopi 

Partition Land and the area affected by the Bennett Freeze, which was lifted in 2009 

with inadequate funding for rehabilitation or the protection of water rights; 

• Mental, physical and psychological trauma resulting from the Bennett Freeze 

including youth suicide and mental illness;  

• Expropriation of land and for energy resource exploitation; 

• Health and remediation issues related to uranium mining on the Navajo Nation;  

• Land and animal confiscation;  

• Extractive industries and the contamination of water sources and high rates of cancer 

and contamination resulting from abandoned uranium mines;  

• Destruction of spiritual and sacred sites on Black Mesa as the result of mining; 

• Forced relocation of the people from Black Mesa has resulted in the inability to 

practise traditional religion, which is based on a spiritual relationship with ancestral 


• Threats to indigenous peoples while they are attempting to protect burial and sacred 

sites; destruction of sacred sites; and 

• Opposition to Senate Bill 2109 /House Resolution 4067, Little Colorado River 

Water Rights Settlement and its potential benefits for the Navajo Generating Station 

(NGS) owners and Peabody Coal Company; settlement grants a waiver without 

redress for past, present and future contamination of our water sources.   



  Alaska (including submissions at Anchorage consultation) 

120. Native Village of Point Hope: Importance of accessibility to subsistence resources 

including whales, seals, polar bears and fish; negative repercussions of military activities 

and radiation on village population and wildlife; high poverty rates and substance abuse in 


121. Alaska–Hawaii Alliance for Self Determination: Self-determination for Native 

Alaska and Hawaiian peoples; government and corporate practices are abusive toward 

indigenous natural resources and cultural practices.  

122. Chugachmiut Tribal Consortium: High rate of suicide among Alaska Natives; 

intergenerational stress and related long-term consequences on children and communities.  

123. Indian Law Resource Center: Legal barriers regarding violence against Native 

American and Alaska Native women include the lack of jurisdiction over non-Indians, lack 

of adequate response to violence against Alaska Native women due to jurisdictional 

limitations created by United States law, and ramifications of Public Law 280.  

124. Native Village of Eklutna: Need to balance subsistence needs of indigenous peoples 

with development of urban areas in Alaska.  

125. Akiak Native Community and Akiak IRA Council: Restrictions on king salmon 

fishing inhibit families and elders from gathering a sufficient fish supply for the winter; 

confusing fishing regulations hinder some indigenous peoples from harvesting fish.  

126. Yupiit Nation, Akiak Native Community: The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act 

restricts traditional fishing activities; request for Congressional hearings to examine high 

rates of suicide, domestic violence, sexual assault, accidental death, and health issues in 

Alaska Native communities. 

127. Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope: Maps of Arctic Slope area; proposed oil and 

gas exploration development; information about possible oil spill in Arctic Ocean.  

128. Kenaitze Indian Tribe Community members:  

• Status of Alaska Native peoples is distinct from indigenous peoples in the 

contiguous United States; Alaska Natives must be afforded rights of self- 

determination and self-government.  

• The United States provided false and misleading information regarding the United 

Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.  

129. NANA Regional Corporation: Importance of the Declaration on the Rights of 

Indigenous Peoples and the promotion of indigenous rights domestically; need to protect 

and promote subsistence activities at the federal and state levels; Kuskokwim river king 

salmon closure places severe stress on the food security of Yupiit households in the region; 

economic barriers to rural economic development; diminishing population of indigenous 

language speakers.   

130. Alaska Native and Indigenous Faculty Council: Significant disparities exist between 

Alaska Natives and other Alaskans.  

131. Ahtna, Inc.: Ongoing adverse land title and subsistence disputes are exacerbated by 

differential enforcement of property laws and a lack of enforcement of trespass laws. 

132. Sealaska Corporation: The equitable settlement of Native land claims is 

fundamentally an issue of Native rights, but also of job fairness and self-determination; the 

importance to pursue subsistence activities, both to preserve aspects of culture and to 

ensure food security; the legal framework governing subsistence in Alaska significantly 

hampers the ability of Alaska Natives to access their traditional foods.  



133. Native Village of Paimiut, Yupiaq: Alaska Natives Commission: Final Report, 

Volume I, Anchorage, Alaska (May 1994). 

134. Occupy Bearing Sea: Commercial fishing is having damaging effects on native 

fishing practices; North Pacific Fisheries Management Council needs to enact policies to 

protect native fishing. 

135. Yup’ik Eskimo Dillingham community member: Pebble Mine Project will have 

devastating consequences on the Bristol Bay cultural landscape and salmon stocks used for 

subsistence harvest.  

136. Atmautluak Traditional Council: Call to the Special Rapporteur on the rights of 

indigenous peoples to review the denial of the right to self-determination regarding the 

situation of Alaska and Hawaii. 

137. Native Village of Unalakleet community member: Off-shore oil and gas 

development threatens indigenous communities that rely on marine mammals and fish as 

primary sources of food; flooding and erosion related to climate change; lack of education; 

high suicide rates; and lack of self-government.  

138. Alaska Federation of Natives: Need for food security is a basic human right and a 

vital part of Alaska indigenous cultures; provided information regarding way to empower 

indigenous people to have an active and meaningful role in issues that affect them. 

139. Chickaloon Village Traditional Council; Chickaloon Native Village: Proposed 

Usibelli coal mine threatens indigenous lands and culture.  

140. Chickaloon Village community members:  

• Negative effects of Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act on indigenous families and 


• Education at the Ya Ne Dah Ah school includes traditional Athabascan culture, 

history, language in addition to math, reading, and writing while creating 

relationships between elders and young people of the village. 

• Importance of language in Athabascan culture, tradition and spirituality.  

• Indigenous lands and watersheds that support salmon habitat should be protected 

from the negative effects of coal mining and related activities.  

• Concern regarding environmental degradation and mental health issues related to the 

proposed coal mine.  

• Mental health of village residents is not being adequately considered under the 

Rapid Health Impact Assessment of the Wishbone Hill Coal Mining Project.  

• Importance of several rivers and creeks in area to indigenous peoples including 

Moose Creek, Buffalo Creek, Eska Creek, Chickaloon and King rivers. 

• Federal Indian law and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act have undermined 

efforts of Alaskan tribes to realize self-determination, to promote native education, 

and to assert tribal sovereignty. 

141. Second International Indigenous Women’s Symposium on Environmental and 

Reproductive Health:  

• Gwich’in Arctic Village; Venetie Tribal Government, Alaska; Resistance of 

Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands (REDOIL): Tribal challenges to oil 

and mining industries; right to a healthy environment; need to protect environment 

and traditional food resources, particularly caribou. 



• Gwich’in Steering Committee: Importance of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and 

the Porcupine Caribou Herd for the Gwich'in Nation who are a remote and 

traditional people; threats to communities from oil and gas development.  

• Resistance of Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands (REDOIL): Dramatic 

increase in respiratory ailments in native communities has occurred due to industrial 

activities, particularly mining. 

• International Indian Treaty Council; North – South Indigenous Network Against 

Pesticides; Indigenous Women’s Environmental and Reproductive Health Initiative; 

and the Native Village of Savoonga: Negative effects of environmental toxins on the 

health, well-being, and cultures of indigenous peoples particularly indigenous 

women, children and future generations; framework for assessing United States 

laws, policies and practices regarding the production, use export, and disposal and 

dumping of environmental toxins.  

• Elim Students Against Urainium: Uranium exploratory activities damaging effects 

on the Tubutulik River and Norton Bay watersheds. 

• Importance of traditional medicine and how it can be used to achieve better physical 

and mental health for Alaskan Natives. 

• Alaska Inter-Tribal Council: Expression of political will by Atmautluak Traditional 

Council and Native Village of St. Michael to be reinstated to the list of non-self- 

governing territories.   

• Native Youth Sexual Health Network: Indigenous peoples and HIV in the United 

States; suicide rates among indigenous youth; detention and incarceration of 

indigenous youth; child apprehension; violence against indigenous women.  

• Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center: Roundtable report on 

the accessibility of Plan B as an over the counter (OTC) within Indian Health 


142. Curyung Tribal Council and community members: 

• Background and history of Curyung tribe; value of subsistence;  

• Information regarding the proposed Pebble Mine Project; risks of Pebble Mine 

Project; potential negative effects of oil spills;  

• Efforts by the tribe regarding environmental and economic issues, particularly 

preservation of populations of marine resources;  

• Tribal resolutions that provide for protection of the Bristol Bay watershed; tribal 

resolution to re-instate Alaska to the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories; and 

• Pebble Partnership Report; Bristol Bay Regional Vision Statement; and the 

Environmental Protection Agency Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. 

143. Nunamta Aulukestai: Potential harm regarding with offshore drilling in the Bristol 

Bay region; risks to regional indigenous peoples, wildlife and natural resources from the 

Pebble Mine Project; environmental reports regarding the Pebble Mine Project; and 

information regarding opposition to the Pebble Mine Project. 

144. Bristol Bay Native Corporation: Information on Pebble Mine Project; Bristol Bay 

Native Corporation opposition to Pebble Mine Project; concerns regarding unacceptable 

environmental effects of the project; and information regarding the importance of 

responsible resource development. 



145. Bristol Bay Vision: Report that documents a yearlong effort by the residents of 

Bristol Bay to create a vision for their schools and community.  

146. Atmautluak Traditional Council: Resolution declaring the tribe’s sovereignty. 

147. Knugank Tribe: The tribe was omitted from the list of federally recognized tribes in 

1993, which inhibits efforts to promote sovereignty and the exercise the right to self- 

govern; and the inability of the tribe to gain title to a traditional cemetery. 

148. Qutekcak Tribe: As a result of historical circumstances and administrative errors, 

Qutekcak Native Community has not been allowed federal recognition. 

149. Knikatnu, Inc.: Concerns regarding the proposed Susitna – Watana Hydroelectric 

Project, No. 14241; concerns regarding wildlife management and declining wildlife 

populations in Alaska and effects on indigenous peoples.  

150. Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium: The Southeast Alaska Regional Suicide 

Prevention Task Force is developing coping strategies to reduce the high rate of suicide 

among Alaska Natives. 


151. La Cuna de Aztlan Sacred Sites Protection Circle: Development of solar power 

projects threatens sacred sites in Eastern Riverside and San Bernardino counties. 

152. Kawaiisu Tribe of Tejon, Kawaiisu National Council: Lack of recognition and treaty 

breach  contribute to the tribe’s inability to exercise its right to full and effective 

participation in matters related to culture, land and territories; tribe opposes corporate 

ownership of grave goods, artifacts and cultural sites.  

153. American Indian Rights and Resources Organization (Temecula Indians): Damaging 

effects of disenrollment, banishment, and denial of tribal membership, including exclusion 

from participation in regularly schedule elections for the Tribal Council. 

154. Tosobol Clan (Temecula Indians): Allottee disenrollment and membership results in 

denial of access to housing, education, and health assistance; banishment and exclusion are 

barriers to accessing on-reservation allotments.  

155. Sherwood Valley Rancheria: Opposes certain aspects of the Marine Life Protection 

Act (MLPA), which places restrictions and regulations on the gathering of native foods 

including seaweed, abalone, smelt and salmon along the coastline. 

156. Nuumu Yadoha Language Program (Hupa Mattole Indian): Lack of recognition has 

negative consequences on health and education programmes for small California Indian 


157. Tübatulabal Tribal Chairwomen: Certain tribes in California that have allotment 

lands and are seeking federal recognition; state government has created a definition for 

“California Native American Tribes” that includes both federally and non-federally 

recognized tribes.  

158. Winnemem Wintu Tribe: Tribe is unable to conduct a spiritual ceremony for young 

girls due to refusal by the U.S. Forest Service to effectuate a mandatory closure of a small 

section of the McCloud River.   

159. InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council: The Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) 

is an example of a successful collaboration between the state of California and North Coast 

Indian Tribes developing regulations that will protect the continuation of traditional tribal 

gathering, harvesting and fishing in designated marine protected areas outside of 

reservation lands.  



160. California Traditional Basket Weavers: Information about the traditional methods of 

basket weaving by Native Californians; traditional basket weavers and their children suffer 

from health conditions caused by high levels of mercury in the water and soil of 

California’s Central Valley  

161. Juaneño Band of California Mission Indians: Ineligibility of members of terminated 

tribes to direct health care from Indian Health Services, educational scholarships and other 

benefits directed by the United States for the welfare and advancement of Indian people.  

162. Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians: Lack of consultation regarding the proposed 

development of wind farm; proposed construction of industrial-seized wind turbines on 

lands traditionally used and occupied by area tribes that are home to sacred sites and burial 


163. Basket Weavers In Action and Indigenous Youth Foundation; California Traditional 

Basket Weavers: Indigenous people in California suffer from serious health problems 

caused by exposure toxins, pollutants and pesticides in areas where Tule reeds are gathered 

for basket making.  

164. AIM – WEST: Indigenous peoples in the United States face challenges to protecting 

sacred sites, as well as the ability to exercise the freedom of religion; hate crimes and 

violence against Native women, the insensitive use of American Indians as mascots in 

sports images, and team names by non-native schools, and imprisonment of Leonard 



165. Indigenous Peoples and Nations: Importance of self-determination for Alaska and 

Hawaiian Natives.  

166. Commission on the Restitution of the Hawaiian Government in Exile: Resolution 

calling for fact finding commission on the political status of Hawaii to compel the United 

States to fulfill its treaty obligations to the Hawaiian people and to the United Nations. 

167. Indigenous Hawaiian individuals: Native Hawaiians experience loss of traditional 

lands, territories and culture; The plight of native Hawaiian people as presented in a short 

documentary film: occupation of the Hawaiian Islands; justification for Hawaiian self- 

governance and self-determination. 

168. Koani Foundation - Ke Aupuni O Hawaii: Joint resolution of political will of the 

people of the Hawaiian islands asserting the international legal and political status of the 

Hawaiian Islands; Hawaiian Sovereignty Elections Council Report.