The achievement by the World Indigenous Peoples’ Movement of institutionalizing human rights for themselves in international law is an example of the power of moral sanction. While protecting their collective rights to property, governance and cultural heritage on paper is not an end, it is a means.
As the indigenous nations continue their struggle to have their governments treated equally among international institutions, moral sanction will continue to be a useful weapon in the arena of human consciousness. As we wield this weapon over the coming decades, we will need to keep in mind how we arrived at this point in the history of humankind, in particular how relationships between our societies have evolved.
One aspect of these relationships we mustn’t neglect if we are to succeed in finally decolonizing indigenous territories is netwar, for while many UN member states have endorsed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we know from such sources as Wikileaks that some are secretly working against it. Monitoring both the overt and covert actions of states and corporations is a task that we must institute as part of the movement in order to prevail.