A. Introductory Statement
1. Owe Aku International Justice Project (hereinafter, “Owe Aku”) submits this report for consideration by the United Nations Human Rights Committee (“HRC”) on behalf of the Oyuhpa Tiyospaye of the OglalaLakota Oyate, a band of the Lakota Nation within the Oceti Sakowin (the Seven Council Fires). Thetiyospaye is the most basic form of traditional government within the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota nation.2. While Owe Aku has observed countless US violations of Indigenous rights in the United States,especially in light of the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the “Declaration”),Owe Aku’s report to the HRC will address its two central concerns: (1) the United States’ consistent failure torecognize, honor and enforce Indigenous treaty and self-determination rights, both as a matter of its municipallaw and in its international positions, and (2) the propriety need for an international mechanism for vindicating Indigenous sovereign and treaty rights.
The Rights set forth in the Declaration are consistentwith those set forth in the ICCPR.3. The United States’ report to the HRC is replete with notes on process reform, increases in“consultations” with Indigenous peoples, and with welfare disbursements to Indian country. The UnitedStates has also voiced its “support” for the Declaration. None of these measures, however, honor, ensure or effectuate the self-determination and sovereignty of Indigenous peoples as laid down in the InternationalCovenant on Civil and Political Rights (“ICCPR”), the Declaration, and common international law. Therights of sovereignty and self-determination are not merely rights to process or “consultation,” they representrights to determine and preserve traditional ways of life. Moreover, and as stated by Professor Martinez in theStudy on Treaties, Agreements and Other Constructive Arrangements Between States and Indigenous Peoples(the “Treaty Study”), “[i]ndigenous peoples, like allpeoples on earth, are entitled to that inalienable right” of self determination. E/CN.4/Sub.2/1990/20 ¶ 260.4. The Treaty Study accurately reported on how settler colonial powers have sought to “divest” Indigenous peoples of their international standing and of the enforceability of their treaties by a process of “domestication,” subsuming Indigenous concerns under their domestic law. E/CN.4/Sub.2/1990/20 ¶ 112.This process has diminished the effective self-determination of Indigenous peoples, and threatened our cultural traditions through,
, environmental racism and genocide wrought by degradation andcontamination of land, water and other resources vital to the survival of Indigenous culture. “Domestication”is a blatant violation of the human rights of the Lakota, and other Indigenous peoples, and is contrary to theaccepted position that Indigenous rights to self-determination are not dependent, but “inalienable.”
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As noted below, the rights set forth in the Declaration are substantially similar to those provided for under the ICCPR, particularlythose addressing the right to self-determination.