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.


davec/mn's picture
davec/mn 12 years 12 weeks ago

More listening on the history of the subject: . Go to the First Person Radio program and hear author Heather Cox Richardson talk about the history of the eara. Her book, "WOUNDED KNEE, Party Politics and the Road To An American Massacer ". There is an excerpt to the book available on Google.

The history here is very interesting, in that President Harrison added six states to the Union in one week, thus adding 12 Senators and at east 6 Reps. The effect of this was to add at least 18 "electors" prior to the election of 1890, thus gaining reelection. Harrison lost the popular vote by 100,000 votes!

Note: The archive is available for two weeks only!

jilan's picture
jilan 12 years 12 weeks ago

As a Christmas gift this year I recieved from my daughter the full series of dvd's 'Into The West". A TNT Dreamworks production by Steven Spielberg. This movie is one of the best that depicts the whites and native Americans from early 1800's up to the masacre at Wounded Knee.

Choco's picture
Choco 12 years 12 weeks ago

This sounds like a story that I need to learn much more about. The genocide of the Native Americans was initiatiated largely by the railroad tycoons of the day. The wanton slaughter of the people and their primary food source of the plains Indians, the bison, is as cruel as any genocide anywhere. Much of this formerly sustainable Native homeland, especially in the western prairies, is owned by billionaire Ted Turner. His barbwire fences keep his bison contained until their trip to his bison meat restaurants.

rickg's picture
rickg 12 years 12 weeks ago

Its about time the indiginous people of this country get something for us taking their land and killing their people. This part of American history is blot upon this nation.

Barliman's picture
Barliman 12 years 12 weeks ago

I'm guessing that the Republicans would be hoping that the Hopi Indian prophecy is nothing but a fantasy. However it has come true right up to the last item- which is still outstanding.

It would be interesting to know how Thom fits with his material from "The Prophet's Way'. The two prophecies seem to dovetail uncomfortably well to me- and both fit in very well with the natural outworking of karma. Unfortuantely the karma of the US nation is like the curates egg "good in parts".

kwinstel's picture
kwinstel 12 years 12 weeks ago

This is a small step in the right direction for a great many native people that respected life, the land, each other and the oneness of all life with a greater reverence than those who stole their peace.. It is tragic that prejudice and bias still exist towards Native Americans. Fear and bigotry coupled with selfish greed is a lousy image to show the rest of America.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 12 years 12 weeks ago

Me have too much comment. But I would like to contribute some miscellaneous historical notes on the anniversary year of the Wounded Knee Massacre.


1/1/1890 The Original "First National Bank of Amarillo" was chartered 1/1/1890= Bank of America #3510

The American Life Insurance Co failed ; formed 1850 in Pennsylvania; 1850- Beginning of "INTEGRA BANK CORP. Assets: $3 billion Two years ago, the 30 financial institutions acquired since 1985 by National City Bancshares Inc., headquartered in Evansville...The corporation's history begins in 1850 with the founding of the Canal Bank in Evansville."

1/1/1890 Standard Federal Bank (ABN AMRO) was chartered

reorganized 1890; The Sterling Trust Ltd c/o/ Fleming, Guinness, Touche; incorporated as Alabama, New Orleans, Texas & Pacific Rys Co; in receivership 1887;changed name to Sterling Trust 4/14/1917; sold Alabama & Vicksburg Ry, Vicksburg, Pacific Ry and Railroad Lands Co, Ltd in 1924

2/12/1890 (Robert Fleming mine "1F") WEST VIRGINIA COAL CO Eff Date: 2/12/1890 Term Date: 1/2/1906

3/18/1890 A bill of foreclosure was filed against the Florida Southern Railroad by the New England Trust Company ; now Bank of America #3510

The Lincoln National Bank, Washington, DC was chartered March 1890- correspondents were National City Bank, Continental National Bank Chicago,

10/17/1890 Union Oil Company of California

12/29/1890 Massacree

12/31/1890 Plat - 1890T001019 Document # 1890T001019 Recording Date 12/31/1890 08:11:00 AM Book Page 1 19 Grantor Name REEDY CREEK (Lake Buena Vista) mostly lands of ("foreclosed")South Florida RR and Florida Southern Ry -

aka The Original Plat of the real estate sold for Walt Disney World. (Amarillo Shamrock Pool)

delster's picture
delster 12 years 12 weeks ago

One of the tragedies for the American Indians is that they were discredited by the European settlers as backwards . They were in my humble opinion anything but backwards. They got it . In the grand scheme of things if their lifestyle were embraced perhaps global warming, wasted management , and

widespread pollution would have been less severe. I'm not saying they didn't have their own problems,

or social inadequacies, they just didn't exploit them the way europeans did. From the Spanish in South

and Central America to the europeans in North America the indigenous tribes of the Americas really got screwed in the worst way.

Stuart Brann's picture
Stuart Brann 12 years 12 weeks ago

Apparently, Manifest Destiny -- the implementation of American Exceptionalism -- is alive and well where it always was.

WobblyWarhead's picture
WobblyWarhead 12 years 12 weeks ago

The William Bennetts of the world are just sore because they lost their shirts at the casino. Bury my outrage at Wounded Knee.

fourarrows's picture
fourarrows 12 years 12 weeks ago

The four countries that did not sign the declaration (Australia, New Zealand, U.S. and Canada) did not sign it becaue they still pratice the Doctrine of Discovery. In fact, all four are passing legislation that essentially negates their signatures and they have already said nothing is binding. The only reason the U.S. finally signed is because it was mandated in the recommendations by the Universal Periodic Review document also recently issued by the U.S. This is the U.S. first time to be evaluated and they want to look good. If you want to read more about this, my blog at Truthout will soon be covering this topic in depth. Or read my University of Texas Publication textbook, Unlearning the Language of Conquest; Scholars Expose Anti-Indianism in America, and read Vine Deloria's chapter, "Conquest Masquerading as Law."

By the way, it was disappointing but predictable that Senator Bernie Sanders knew nothing about this. It just goes to show how really insigificant this vital matter is to all American politicians, including progressives.

wmstoll's picture
wmstoll 12 years 12 weeks ago

The North American indigenous people were a stoneage people, and war like. The males represented a separate class of hunter/warrier. It is unfortunate that they were at such a technological disadvantage, but that is life. When you talk of Central and South America you are talking bronze age culture, but some of the most warlike peoples in the world. The Aztecs remind me of the Assyrians, and the Inca were pure conquest.

wmstoll's picture
wmstoll 12 years 12 weeks ago

Stoneage, no wheel, no draft animals, no written language, yep, certainly ahead of their time.

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