Obama adopts U.N. man­i­festo on in­dige­nous peo­ples

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - BY VA­LERIE RICHARDSON

Pres­i­dent Obama an­nounced Dec. 16 that the U.S. would re­verse the po­si­tion of the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion and be­come the last nation to drop its op­po­si­tion to the United Na­tions Dec­la­ra­tion on the Rights of In­dige­nous Peo­ples.

Mr. Obama made the an­nounce­ment to en­thu­si­as­tic ap­plause at the sec­ond White House Tribal Na­tions Con­fer­ence, a gath­er­ing at­tended by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the nation’s 565 rec­og­nized Amer­i­can In­dian tribes.

“The as­pi­ra­tions it af­firms — in­clud­ing re­spect for the in­sti­tu­tions and rich cul­tures of na­tive peo­ples — are ones we must al­ways seek to ful­fill,” Mr. Obama said at the con­fer­ence, held at the In­te­rior Depart­ment. “But I want to be clear: What mat­ters far more than words — what mat­ters far more than any res­o­lu­tion or dec­la­ra­tion — are ac­tions to match those words. And that’s what this con­fer­ence is about.”

The non­bind­ing dec­la­ra­tion rec­og­nizes the rights of in­dige­nous peo­ples to self-de­ter­mi­na­tion, as well as their in­sti­tu­tions, cul­tures and tra­di­tions, and pro­hibits dis­crim­i­na­tion against

John R. Bolton, a U.N. am­bas­sador un­der Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush, called the an­nounce­ment “ex­actly the kind of mushy, feel-good mul­ti­lat­er­al­ist ges­ture one would ex­pect from Pres­i­dent Obama.”


Make for a good photo-op? World War II-era Navajo Code Talk­ers lis­ten to Pres­i­dent Obama speak Dec. 16 at the White House Tribal Na­tions Con­fer­ence, which was at­tended by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the na­tion’s 565 rec­og­nized Amer­i­can In­dian tribes.

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