Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues Every Week - News

Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues For The Week Of July 7 - 13, 2011: Canada, Ecuador, Australia, Indonesia, Bangladesh


Canada: Lac Seul First Nation Opposes Nuclear Waste Storage Within Traditional Territory


Chief Clifford Bull and the Council of the Lac Seul First Nation have announced that the Lac Seul Band will not support any nuclear waste storage initiatives by regional municipalities within the LSFN traditional territory.


"We are aware that the towns such as Sioux Lookout, Ignace and Ear Falls have either expressed or are expressing their interest as potential host repository sites for nuclear waste, in response to the recent call for Expressions of Interest by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization," said Chief Bull. "We borrow this world from our children, and Lac Seul does not want to create an impossible problem for our future generations to struggle with." Read more about the Lac Seul First Nation and opposition to nuclear waste storage here....


Ecuador: Indigenous People Of Sarayaku Take Ecuador To Court For Violating Their Right To Life, Freedom Of Movement And Consultation


Both sides present their final arguments in the second and last day of hearings before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights


Ecuador did not respect the Kichwa people of Sarayaku´s right to a prior, free and informed consultation when, in 1996, it signed a contract with argentine oil company Compañía General de Combustibles (CGC). This was the case presented in a public hearing held over two days at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica, which concluded yesterday evening.


The victims were represented by the Association of the Kichwa People of Sarayaku (Tayjasaruta), lawyer Mario Melo of the Pachamama Foundation and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL).


In 1996, Ecuador illegally signed a concession with CGC for drilling and exploring in indigenous territory. The Sarayaku community was not consulted, even though it was granted legal ownership of its land in 1992. Additionally, no studies to evaluate the social and environmental impact of exploring and drilling in the area were carried out. Read more about the indigenous people of Sarayaku and the case against Ecuador here....


Australia: SOS To All Aboriginal Communities Of Our Land - James Price Point


You are being asked now to Stand and Save and fight against the Destruction of your Culture by supporting everyone who stands up to the WA Barnett Government which is about to be destroying our Culture, the Whale Dreaming and all our Sites at James Price Point, north of Broome.


You must support. This is another Noonkanbah. This is another attack like the Burrup Peninsula to destroy our Culture and our Spiritual Dreaming, and our History and our Identity who we are - like Aurukun in North Queensland in the 60's, like Noonkanbah in the Kimberleys in the early 1980's, like Bennett Brook in the Swan Valley in mid 80's, like the Sacred Site of the Waugal (Swan Brewery on the Swan River - 1989 to 1994), Sacred Issues all over this Land right up to now, never stops.


You must turn against State and Federal Governments and tell them to go away when they, State and Federal Governments in company with mining companies approach you to make deals to sell your Culture and your Spiritual Beliefs and go against other Aboriginal People, and the Aboriginal Nation of People as a whole. Read more about the struggle over James Price Point here....


Indonesia: Indonesian Government Announces Dramatic Shift In Forest Policy; Commitment To Rights Of IPs, Communities


Indonesian Government announces dramatic shift in forest policy; signals commitment to expand rights of communities, indigenous peoples

As major forestry conference opens in Indonesia, high-level government leaders commit to implement traditional rights lost since colonial era


During a riveting keynote speech given at a global forestry conference in Lombok today, Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, head of the Indonesian President's Special Delivery Unit, announced the government's intention to prioritize the needs of its forest communities and to "recognize, respect and protect Adat rights," implementing legislation that has been on the books for ten years, but rarely implemented.


"This represents a tipping point in Indonesia's policies toward the rights of the people who live in and around the nation's forests," said Pak Iman Santoso, coordinator of a group of experts from government, academia and civil society that has worked to resolve the nation's forest tenure issues for the last ten years. "Because Pak Kuntoro represents the President, this means that all government agencies will have to align their policies with the directives communicated today." Read more about Indonesia's announcement to respect rights of indigenous peoples here....


Bangladesh: PCJSS Rejects 15th Amendment Of Constitution And Terming Of Indigenous Peoples As 'Bengali'


PCJSS protested against terming indigenous peoples as ‘Bengali’ and non-recognition of indigenous peoples and Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Accord of 1997 in the Constitution. PCJSS rejected the Fifteen Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2011 and asked the government for its revision.


PCJSS leaders expressed their agitation in a large public meeting held on 8 July 2011 in Rangamati district headquarters in the CHT reiterating their demands for full implementation of the CHT Accord.


Presided over by Gunendu Bikash Chakma, president of PCJSS Rangamati district committee, PCJSS president Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma was present as chief guest at the gathering. The protest gathering was addressed, among others, by president of CHT chapter of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum Prakriti Ranjan Chakma, vice-president of PCJSS Ushatan Talukder, convenor of M N Larma Memorial Foundation Bijoy Keton Chakma, former president of Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP) and central staff member of PCJSS Udayan Tripura and president of PCP Nitol Chakma. Youth affairs secretary of PCJSS Rangamati district committee Palash Tanchangya delivered welcome speech while general secretary of PCJSS Rangamati district committee Nilotpal Chakma conducted the meeting. Read more about PCJSS' rejection of the 15th Amendment of the Constitution in Bangladesh here....


Last Weeks Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues can be found here.

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