Tuesday, 26 June 2012

International Indian Treaty Council Statement of Support for Winnemem Wintu

The International Indian Treaty Council has released a statement in support of the right of the Winnemem Wintu peoples to be able to conduct an upcoming spiritual ceremony without the disruption and disturbance that the ceremony and its participants have been subjected to in the past. The Winnemem Wintu have made requests to have the ceremonial site protected by restrictions being placed on boats going past on the river which borders the site.

The International Indian Treaty Council statement highlights provisions of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that give a right to privacy to as to religious sites and the rights of indigenous peoples to exercise and express their culture:

"We affirm the inherent and inalienable rights of the Winnemem Wintu and all Indigenous Peoples, as stated in Article 11 and 12 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, “to maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures” and “to have access in privacy to their religious and cultural sites.”"

The plight of the Winnemum Wintu peoples and their efforts to hold the ceremonies without disturbance have been the subject of previous blog posts with links here and here.

It is hoped that the United States government will take the steps necessary to ensure that the ceremonies are conducted in privacy and without fear of disrespectful interruptions. The rights that are in place in the UN Declaration are given little value and importance if they can be so easily disregarded and ignored.

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