Last week marked the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. To commemorate its enactment, the University of Colorado Law School cohosted a panel and workshop event with the secretariat of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
The declaration comprises 46 articles outlining collective and individual rights on things like culture, language, identity, education and other issues. It is an acknowledgement and com-mitment of UN member states and outlines legal norms, though it is not legally binding. The two-day event included panels on the making and application of the declaration, as well as a day of group workshops in which participants examined different concepts within the declaration and outlined best practices for implementation.
Doug Good Feather, executive director for the Lakota Way Healing Center, delivered welcome remarks and an invocation for the event. He stressed the importance of the declaration and carrying on the work to the next generation of indigenous people.
Upon its passage, the declaration was more than 25 years in the making. The UN has stated that the declaration set forth the standard for the treatment of indigenous peoples, noting it is a “significant tool toward eliminating human rights violations against the planet’s 370 million indigenous people and assisting them in combating discrimination and marginalization.”