Indigenous peoples in the US and all over the world are at considerable risk now that powerful states like the US oppose indigenous peoples' right to self-determination and the free right of self-government. (Yes, I know, the US finally endorsed the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples four years after it opposed that set of principles in 2007, but you will recall that this support is based on a "reservation:" The US will define the choices for American Indians, not American Indians.) The US government under George H W Bush, William Clinton, George W Bush and now Barak Obama has intensified US government opposition to state policies recognizing indigenous peoples' right to free, prior and informed consent on matters that directly affect their peace, security, and prosperity.
When the US government becomes less committed to advancing democracy peoples all around the world suffer. US policy unleashes authoritarian governance permitting widely used state military power to control indigenous peoples...denying them their freedoms. Fear has replaced the embrace of freedom closing the space for dialogue and comity. Brute force replaces the open hand. Such an environment can only lead to greater violence in the world.
The effort of indigenous peoples to engage states' governments on matters of constructive cooperation and collaboration can only be undermined when states like the US turn away in fear and suspicion. Indigenous peoples' freedom can only be squelched by the growing state authoritarianism.
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