CONSOLIDATED INDIGENOUS PEOPLES ALTERNATIVE REPORT SUBMITTED TO THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE FOR THEIR REVIEW OF THE UNITED STATES

From International Indian Treaty Council

CONSOLIDATED INDIGENOUS PEOPLES ALTERNATIVE REPORT SUBMITTED TO THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE FOR THEIR REVIEW OF THE UNITED STATES

September 13th, 2013: Today the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) submitted a Consolidated Indigenous Peoples Alternative (“Shadow”) Report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee for their upcoming review of United States (US) compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). 28 Indigenous Nations, Tribes, Treaty Councils, organizations, Community groups and Traditional Cultural Societies were co-submitters and/or made contributions to the report. Based on specific questions directed to the US by the Committee, the co-submitters addressed the ongoing lack of protection by the US for Indigenous Peoples’ Sacred Areas, religious and cultural practices, and its failure to implement the right to Free Prior and Informed Consent.

The ICCPR is a multilateral legally binding Human Rights Treaty adopted by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on December 16, 1966. The US is one of 167 “State parties” which have ratified the Covenant. All State parties are required to undergo periodic reviews by the Human Rights Committee assessing their compliance with the Covenant, usually every 4 – 6 years. The US will be reviewed by the Committee in Geneva on October 17th and 18th, 2013 during its 109th session.

The Indigenous co-submitters are calling on the Committee to hold the US accountable for its ongoing human rights violations including the desecration of Indigenous Peoples’ sacred places. Petuuche Gilbert, representing the Indigenous World Association and Laguna Acoma Coalition for a Safe Environment, explained that “most Indigenous lands and sacred areas, like Mt. Taylor, have been declared to be ‘public’ land by the United States, so it is up to the federal government to fulfill their human rights commitments and protect these areas held sacred by Indigenous Peoples, including preventing their destruction from activities such as uranium mining.”

Spiritual Leader and IITC Board member Radley Davis, representing Pit River Nation and Advocates for the Protection of Sacred Sites, affirmed the importance of this submission: “The UN world bodies are vital to Pit River Nation and all other Indigenous Peoples regarding the protections of their sacred places because the US, in its short span of life, has allowed activities that desecrate sacred areas like Medicine Lake which are of the greatest spiritual significance for us. We call upon the UN Human Rights Committee to hold the US accountable for the human rights that they have agreed to uphold.”

The Consolidated Indigenous Peoples’ Alternative Report will be posted in its entirety, along with the US country report, other Alternative Reports and Committee’s Concluding Observations regarding the US on the Human Rights Committee web site: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/.

The Indigenous Peoples’ Report is also available on IITC’s web site, www.treatycouncil.org.

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