The United Nation’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People
Since taking office – President Obama has tried to reach out to indigenous Native Americans in a number of ways. Recently – the President announced support for the United Nation’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People – a document previously opposed by former President Bush. As the State Department says – the declaration is not legally binding – but it does work to, “address historical inequities faced by indigenous communities in the United States.” And – President Obama has pledged to improve access to quality health care, education, and employment. Of course – like any reasonable civil rights policy championed by the President – Conservatives are angry. The American Family Association and other right-wing groups claim that in reaching out to Native Americans President Obama is trying to hand over our nation’s sovereignty to Native Americans – including handing them all of Manhattan. Right… – this is nothing more that the politics of bigotry. And this hatred of American Indians happens to coincide with the anniversary of the massacre at Wounded Knee – which happened 120 years today. It was there – that as many as 300 Lakota Sioux Indians were killed at the hands of the US 7th Cavalry Regiment. It was a dark day in American history – and unfortunately just one of many brutal incidents and injustices that have littered the timeline of American Indians since the country was settled by European colonizers more than 500 years ago. And today’s Republican Party is perfectly happy to continue many of these injustices.