Native Peoples Aim to End Historic and Current Injustices
IPS, 8 May 2012

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK: At the opening of the 11th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), leaders of the world’s 370 million indigenous people urged governments not only to replace laws that violate their rights to protect their lands, resources and culture, but also to introduce legislation that protects these rights. Indigenous leaders hold that the laws of settler governments that target indigenous populations emanate from the so-called “Doctrine of Discovery”, an issue that is the focal point of discussions at this year’s meeting. “Through the continued use of non-indigenous languages, terminology and perspective in describing the doctrine of discovery, we may inadvertently encourage the reproduction of such perspectives amongst our own peoples,” said activist Arthur Manuel from Canada. “Indigenous legal and judicial systems exist today. Our knowledge systems exist today. Indigenous languages continue to be spoken,” said Manuel. “We will continue to assert our rights as described in the UN Declaration and in our own indigenous laws.” Read the article …