AP Photo/Tulsa World, Mike Simons, File
Veronica, now 4, smiles in a bathroom of the Cherokee Nation Jack Brown Center in Tahlequah, Oklahoma on August 6, 2013.

NICWA, NCAI Applaud UN for Calling on U.S. to Protect Veronica


The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA), the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), and Angel Smith, an independent attorney appointed by the District Court of the Cherokee Nation and “Next Friend in the filing,” are applauding  yesterday's action by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples James Anaya calling for state, federal, and tribal authorities in the United States to take all necessary measures to ensure that the well-being and human rights of Veronica Brown, the 4-year-old Cherokee child at the center of a highly contentious custody dispute, are protected.

RELATED: United Nations Demands Respect for Veronica's Human Rights

Anaya’s office in a release September 10 pointed out that the Indigenous rights are guaranteed by various international instruments subscribed to or endorsed by the United States, stating, “I urge the relevant authorities, as well as all parties involved in the custody dispute, to ensure the best interests of Veronica, fully taking into account her rights to maintain her cultural identity and to maintain relations with her indigenous family and people.”
NICWA, NCAI, and Smith, who had brought their concerns to the Special Rapporteur’s attention, hailed the announcement as corroboration of the concerns raised both in the federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Veronica in July and in ongoing legal matters in Oklahoma.
Among the possible human rights violations is the forced removal of Veronica from her Indian family and tribal nation without adequate protection or recognition of her right to culture. Such removal violates her right to culture, education, family, and tribal nation as guaranteed by Articles 7 and 8 of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The executive directors of two leading national organizations, NICWA’s Terry Cross and NCAI’s Jacqueline Pata, called for the national conversation about the case to focus on Veronica’s human and civil rights.
“These rights are being violated by the failure of the courts to provide Veronica, her tribal nation, and her extended family with opportunities to be heard regarding her best interests,” said Cross. “What the U.N.’s involvement indicates is that we must all agree to turn our focus back to Veronica. When we do, it becomes disturbingly clear that the courts have utterly failed to protect what is guaranteed to her by international law and established treaties, best adoption practices, and in my opinion, basic tenets of decency. Her rights have been violated, pure and simple.”
“We commend the Special Rapporteur for engaging on this issue—it’s a vital step for protecting all Indigenous children throughout the world. It’s important to note that these are violations of international laws recognized and ratified by the United States long ago, not external forces weighing in on domestic laws,” said Pata. “Veronica, and all similarly situated Indian children, families, and tribal nations, have deeply felt interests in maintaining their individual and collective rights to family, culture, and community. These basic human rights, along with the fundamental principles of self-determination, non-discrimination, due process, and equality, must be protected.”
Smith agreed, stating, “Of course the facts of these matters are heart aching. Even so, it is important and required that when considering Veronica’s rights and protections to acknowledge that, as an Indigenous child, she holds the rights of continued connection to her family, her culture and community. It has been tragic that, in the media firestorm following this case the last two years, so little attention has been paid to Veronica’s basic human rights. These are rights and protections due her—due to Veronica—and are independent of any other individual involved in these matters. Veronica's rights and interests must be considered.”
Smith continued, “If she were any other child, in any other case, her present situation, needs, and rights would be considered and would have been part of the determination. Today, Veronica is a four-year-old little girl with her own view of her daily world and her own identity. She has her own words, and her own voice. It is time Veronica is heard because it is, after all, Veronica’s life.”

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builds-the-fire's picture
Submitted by builds-the-fire on
I feel all of the above is true, and Veronica's rights must be protected and respected. However, she is a 4-year-old child. I feel this case is as much about parental rights as it is doing what's best for Veronica. She can not care for herself, so what has to be looked at is how is she being cared for by her father. She is the picture of a well-cared-for child. Children should never be viewed as wards of the state to be handled as the state see fit. They are gifts from God. If her father were a parent who mercilessly beat and/or starved his child, then yes, the state should step in if extended family does not. There are enough people looking for their biological parents that there is a lucrative industry built around helping adult children find their biological parents. The state does not need to create another one with “Baby Veronica” when she is obviously in the loving care of her father--Dusten Brown--his wife, her sister, and her extended family.

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iphone4 ケース
Submitted by iphone4 ケース on
名鑑の見方改選数の横の数字は立候補者数。ただ、松田は選考会2位。ドゥシャノフ氏(50)の指導を受けてレベルを上げていった。ブレイク(春休み)を前に、フロリダ旅行に出かける計画を立て、その資金を強盗で調達しようと企てる。計画は成功し、待ちに待ったスプリング?0 コロンビア 2013/9/10 ベネズエラ 3?2 アルゼンチン 2011/11/15 チリ 2?練習後も「先生、気づいたことはないですか」といつも聞いてきた。井上は最後まで冒険野郎だったし、負けると分かっていても立ち向かった。 ◇難産だった一人息子… 一人息子のみきおさんは56年7月21日に生まれた。

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エアジョーダン 新作
Submitted by エアジョーダン 新作 on
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Michelle George's picture
Michelle George
Submitted by Michelle George on
Thank you Creator, forever watching over our babies!!! Thank you!! From Onondaga Nation!!!! DIPHR, thank GOD!!!

Michelle George's picture
Michelle George
Submitted by Michelle George on
Thank you Creator, forever watching over our babies!!! Thank you!! From Onondaga Nation!!!! DIPHR, thank GOD!!!