ndigenous World Association – UN/ECOSOC
c/o P. O. Box 2069 ❖ Kahnawake, QC Canada J0L 1B0
514-591-6704 phone ⬥

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Human Rights Council - 30th Session, Geneva, Switzerland

Statement of Indigenous World Association

Agenda item 6: Consideration of United States UPR Outcomes

September 24, 2015

Mr Chair:

The Indigenous World Association remains concerned about the lack of effective protection for sacred places in the United States. Since the first UPR cycle, indigenous peoples in the US continue to seek protection for sacred places such Mt. Taylor, the Grand Canyon, Oak Flat, San Francisco Peaks and Mauna Kea.

We note three major impediments to adequate protection :

1. The United States” continued insistence that the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is “a non-binding, aspirational document,” a caveat that makes a mockery of this important human rights instrument

2. A failure to implement existing domestic laws for protection of sacred places in a manner that fully implements the rights contained in the Declaration

3. A failure to ensure comprehensive and coordinated compliance with international human rights instruments – including the ICCPR (Convention on civil and political rights) and the ICERD (international convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination)- at the federal, local and state levels. Almost every sacred site involves a federal or state agency.

US federal agencies continue to insist, for example, that antiquated laws such as the General Mining Act of 1872, preference mining activities over cultural practices on public land.

This resistance continues, even in the face of recommendations in the 2014 ICCPR and CERD reviews and by several UN Special Rapporteurs.

We respectfully ask that the US follow its words with meaningful actions.

Thank you