Obama apologizes to Indians, supports UN in giving them new ‘rights’

December 21, 2010 08:31

President Barack Obama, addressing a tribal nations conference at the White House last week,  apologized for the mistreatment of  the “First Americans,” and – unlike his predecessor – said he would support a United Nations declaration that sets forth the many “rights” of  indigenous peoples. – CNSNews.com

By Penny Starr at CNSNews.com


Brent Schaefer, an analyst with the Heritage Foundation, told CNSNews.com that although the U.N. declaration now supported by the Obama administration is non-binding, it represents a “significant policy shift” from the Bush administration.

Schaefer also said that before crafting legally binding international treaties, the U.N. usually starts the process with a non-binding resolution — a fact that will put the U.S. in a more difficult position if it objects to similar language in a formal treaty.

The Bush administration called Article 26 “particularly unworkable,” because it “appears to require recognition of indigenous rights to lands without regard to other legal rights existing in land.”

The text “could be misread to confer upon a sub-national group a power of veto over the laws of a democratic legislature,” the Bush administration warned. “We strongly support the full participation of indigenous peoples in democratic decision-making processes, but cannot accept the notion of a sub-national group having a ‘veto.’”


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