Statement by Chockie Cottier on Behalf of the Indigenous World Association - UNWGIP, August 1987
A SIMPLE REQUEST
Many of our files are unique and/or copyrighted by The Center For
World Indigenous Studies and The Fourth World Documentation
Project. All FWDP files may be reproduced for electronic
transfer or posting on computer networks and bulletin boards
1. All text remains unaltered.
2. No profit is made from such transfer.
3. Full credit is given to the author(s) and the Fourth World
4. This banner is included in the document if being used as a
file on a BBS, FTP site or other file archive.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Center For World Indigenous Studies
|| The Fourth World Documentation Project runs entirely on grants ||
|| and private donations. If you find this information service ||
|| useful to you in any way, please consider making a donation to ||
|| help keep it running. CWIS is a non-profit [U.S. 501(c)(3)] ||
|| organization. All donations are completely tax deductible. ||
|| Donations may be made to: ||
|| The Center For World Indigenous Studies ||
|| ATTN: FWDP ||
|| P.O. Box 2574 ||
|| Olympia, Washington USA ||
|| 98507-2574 ||
|| Thank You, ||
|| CWIS Staff ||
:: This file has been created under the loving care of ::
:: -= THE FOURTH WORLD DOCUMENTATION PROJECT =- ::
:: A service provided by ::
:: The Center For World Indigenous Studies ::
:: THE FOURTH WORLD DOCUMENTATION PROJECT ARCHIVES ::
:: http://www.halcyon.com/FWDP/fwdp.html ::
:: THE CENTER FOR WORLD INDIGENOUS STUDIES ::
:: http://www.halcyon.com/FWDP/cwisinfo.html ::
U N I T E D N A T I O N S
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination
and Protection of Minorities
Working Group on Indigenous Populations
Fifth Session, 3-7 August 1987
Item 5 of the Agenda
STATEMENT OF CHOCKIE COTTIER ON BEHALF OF
INDIGENOUS WORLD ASSOCIATION
A non-governmental organization in consultative status II with the
Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations
Thank you Madam Chairperson.
I am an administrator of an organization that develops
social and economic programs for Indigenous families and
communities I am also the mother of four children and it is
from my experience in these two worlds that I contribute to
this discussion on self-determination.
I have read the numerous documents and listened to the
interventions and I am very concerned. It appears that our
discussions in the past ten years have become so technical
that much of the human side of us has been left at the
threshold of this building.
I have suffered the pains of discrimination and exploitation
and struggle daily with families and children who are lost,
caught in limbo with confused identities, lost culture and
no purpose in life.
There is no purpose for them because they see no future in
this world for Indian (Indigenous) people, as it is today,
They don't know what to teach their children or even how to
become a part of mainstream society,
As a mother I struggle to maintain a circle of spiritual
strength and Indian values against what seems like a never
ending battle to eliminate our people, if not by the gun, it
is through the denial of our existence and through our
forced assimilation into mainstream society.
From this, I would like to submit to you this list of
principles for SURVIVAL. I say survival because this
represents the absolute minimum of standards that will be
necessary to insure the continued existence of Indigenous
Peoples as Indigenous Peoples on this earth, our mother.
What I call "survival" you may call "autonomy" or "self-
Either of these terms is still less than the sovereign
nation status that we should have as a right.
And so, I present to this body a Minimum Standard for the
SURVIVAL of Indigenous Peoples.
* The right to choose their own governmental processes,
* The right to elect their own representatives,
* The right to determine the means of the development of
their own resources: human, land, water, air, space,
mineral, agriculture, fishing, game, forests, off-shore,
* The right to develop and control their own educational
systems, codes and curriculum.
* The right to choose their own National and Regional
languages, and when to use them.
* The right to establish and control their own judicial
structure, including enforcement and jurisdiction.
* The right to define their own membership.
* The right to a land base sufficient in size and resources
to develop a diverse, healthy and culturally compatible
economy, including the right to tax any resident,
individual, or business.
* The right to sufficient, uncontaminated water to live and
support their populations in perpetuity.
* The right to protect, preserve, practice and teach their
children and their childrens' children their distinct
languages, customs and spiritual practices, without
interference or exploitation by any other group of people,
in particular, the nation state in which their land is
* The right to administer and design their own health care
* The right to choose whether or not it is in their best
interest to participate in any and all forms of military
conflict in accordance with their negotiated relationships
with the nation state in which their land base is located.
* The right to international representation in accordance
with their negotiated relationships with the nation state
in which their land base is located.
* The right to unrestricted movement on their traditional
land base, even where recently established borders have
divided their territories.
* The right to access current technologies at least to the
level of the general population of the ration state and to
adapt them to their own use.
* The right to political representation at the National
level as collective entities
THE NATION STATE:
* The national government should bear the responsibility to
provide adequate technical assistance and financial
support for health, education, welfare and economic
development programs as a part of reparations for
historical land theft and exploitation.
* The national government should establish an independent
office that would have the power to prosecute on behalf of
the Indigenous people where the Indigenous peoples are and
will continue to be a numerical minority.
In light of the historical exploitation of Indigenous
peoples by nations and the inherent conflict of interest
that may result in implementation of these principles, the
Indigenous World Association fully supports the
recommendations of the Independent Commission on
International Humanitarian Issues' recommendation to
establish an International Ombudsman under the aegis of the
United Nations to monitor Indigenous situations, and in
particular, those that are in crisis.
In addition, the Indigenous World Association would like to
reiterate our support of an official study of treaties and
agreements made between Indigenous peoples and nation
Finally, we too support the proclamation of 1992 as
"International Year of the World's Indigenous Peoples."
Again, I call the aforementioned standards, minimum
standards of SURVIVAL and remind you of our continuing
struggle to survive, and of the people who have died in the
last ten years as you continue to contemplate this issue.
Thank you Madam Chairperson
To have a current Center For World Indigenous Studies Publication
Catalogue sent to you via e-mail, send a request to
Center For World Indigenous Studies
P.O. Box 2574
Olympia, WA U.S.A.
OCR Provided by Caere Corporation's OmniPage Professional