Guest Post: Does the U.N. Love American Indians?
The United Nations has made great profession of honor toward American Indians. The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (September, 2007) lauded the existence and preservation of all tribal peoples of the earth, and promised to protect them. Has the UN made any effort to protect American Indians? I discussed the matter today (November 17) on the Scott Hennen radio show. (UN advocate Ellen Ratner was also a guest.)
The continual removal of American Indian images, names, and logos from American college campuses, from secondary and elementary schools, says no. The United Nations, despite its lofty professions, has not lifted a finger to prevent this protracted genocide against American Indians.
Speaking of genocide, the United Nations Mandate of 1948 vowed to prevent genocide, and provided a definition of genocide which included “serious mental harm to members of the group,” whether the harm was done to aspects of the “national, ethnical, racial, or religious group” (Article II b).
The removal of American Indian images, names, and logos from public view comprises an act of genocide, according to the United Nations. I have appealed three times to the United Nations now:American Indian Genocide: An Appeal to the United Nations(September 26, 2011); Indian Removal II: 2nd Appeal to the United Nations (September 28, 2011), and American Indian Images: An “Indigenous Right” (September 30, 2011). I addressed Mr. Francis M. Deng, Mr. Juan Méndez, and Mr. Edward Luck, Special Advisors on the Prevention of Genocide, all. As yet, I have received no response. I will continue to pursue this matter, according to law. (I have presently an Oklahoma conservative attorney who is most interested in filing against the United Nations. At this point, however, I wish to enlist the support of the UN, rather than to create an adversarial relationship.)
The United Nations is clearly committed to the preservation and protection of the “mental integrity,” of all tribal peoples. In the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the commitment is stellar. Article 15 states: “Indigenous peoples have the right to the dignity and diversity of their cultures, traditions, histories and aspirations which shall be appropriately reflected in educationand public information.”
Indians should have control over our public image, indeed. But how can we if there is none?
From the beginning, the principle force behind the removal of American Indian images, particularly those on American universityand college campuses, has been the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Of course, when the United States Commission of Civil Rights published their statement against Indian mascots, the NCAA used that as a justification of Indian genocide. The truth is the NCAA had listened to Leftist-trained professional Indian protesters before that.
But no one ever listened to what American Indian people had to say. We have been surveyed by professional statistic-gathering companies on mascots. In 2002, in the March 4 issue of Sports Illustrated, the Peter Harris Research Group reported that 81% of Indians surveyed (off reservations) did not feel Indians mascots contributed to prejudice or discrimination against American Indians. The University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Foundation conducteda survey of Indians in 2004 which revealed that 91% of Indians found the “Washington Redskins” moniker “acceptable.” As Betty Ann Gross (Sioux) reported to Sports Illustrated, “There’s a near total disconnect between Indian activists and the Native American population on this [mascot] issue.”
In my appeals to the United Nations, I have cited the NCAA and the USCCR as the principle offending agents in the genocide against American Indians. Indeed, in 2009, the Civil Rights of the Dakotas (a local group in Sioux Falls) called for the elimination of the USCCR altogether. The same might be said for the NCAA, although, as a mere athletic community tournament organizer, the NCAA need simply eliminate its genocide policy toward American Indians.
In my interview with Hennen I emphasized the potential of the American Indian as a key contributor to American patriotism. I believe the Indian is the most essential element in the mix, in fact. However, I confessed that, among professional conservative talking heads, there are simply no talking points about American Indians. Until now, conservatives have simply not seen the Indian as an important item. They view the Indians as a welfare recipient, thus ignoring all the history of war, blood, and treaties—the very force behind the Indian warrior images glorified in the mascots.
I hope the United Nations will help preserve the Indian warrior image everywhere.
David Yeagley is the great-great-grandson of Comanche leader Bad Eagle. He writes at BadEagle.com, and is a contributor to Front Page magazine.Tags: fighting sioux, North Dakota News, United Nations, University of North Dakota