IOSDE is currently preparing for travel to Geneva for the United Nations’ CERD (International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination) Committee review of the United States of America. For this the 85th Session of CERD, a fine-pointed focus is at hand for IOSDE: zeroing in on the Right to Self-Determination and discrimination therein. This year IOSDE is promoting equal participation at UN CERD for Chief Caleen Sisk of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, a federally-unrecognized tribe, with emphasis on the discriminatory nature of the top-down, currently-under-review US Federal Recognition system re tribal status and benefits and hindrances therein. Discriminatory, top-down State-controlled Indigenous and Tribal recognition systems are not only a violation of the fundamental Right to Self-Determination, but create issues of Access to Justice and many other Human and Indigenous Rights violations, including, such as in the case of the Winnemem Wintu, the desecration of Sacred Sites, endangerment of and damage to the health and well-being of women, and threatening and creating blockages to the continuation of traditional culture-based Indigenous leadership, healing and religions.
IOSDE has been very active this past Spring and Summer of 2014, and further updates per-action/activity will be provided soon! From continuing to provide private and confidential assistance and consultation by request, to public attendance at the UN PFII (United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues) in May and inter-organization unity, such as with the Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples Director Angela Mooney D’Arcy, to participation at UN EMRIP (United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) in July with a special focus, advocacy and intervention within the theme of Access to Justice, to participation in Solidarity activities in militarized Indigenous regions in Mindanao, Philippines leading to honorings of diversity and traditional leadership, acknowledgment murderous loss and thus investigation, documentation and soon-to-be follow-up legal briefs and collaborations for justice, rights and peace, and to the now participation at UN CERD as mentioned above, IOSDE is busy working to make the world a better place in care and collaboration with many wonderful activists, leaders, doers and persons and our family of change continues to grow and flourish. All of this could not be done without the bold leadership of those fair and good peoples and persons around the world who are speaking and acting for and within their own peoples, communities, tribes, groups and organizations and the brave believers. I look forward to highlighting these activities past and present more here in IOSDE's blog in the near future!
For now, a big Thank You to all of the amazing change-makers and truth-holders and -seekers working in unity.
More to come!
In peace and solidarity,
India Reed Bowers, B.A. LL.M
Founder & Director IOSDE