We are writing this letter to convey our support of the nomination of Keith Harper as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council. We think the Senate should swiftly confirm him. We have all worked with Keith over many years as he has steadfastly advocated on behalf of tribes throughout this nation. He has been in the forefront of advocacy on behalf of Native peoples across the United States and for indigenous peoples internationally. Repeatedly, Keith has stood strong in the face of difficult odds to stand for what is right. We have come to know Keith well and have confidence in his professionalism, his high ethical standards and his keen capabilities and skills. For these reasons, we think President Obama’s choice is an excellent one.
We are aware that more than 100 Indian nations and more than 25 tribal, human rights and civil rights organizations from across the spectrum have endorsed and are excited about Keith’s nomination. What we have to add is a distinct voice—that of Native women who are tribal leaders, community leaders, educators and advocates. We know that Keith will bring both an understanding of issues that impact Native women and the capability to effectively seek redress for these issues.
Native American women in the United States are more likely to be victims of violent crime that any other racial-gender category. This same dynamic occurs for many indigenous women throughout the world. The lack of safety and security undermines virtually every other aspect of these women’s lives. Moreover, too often, indigenous women do not have the same opportunities to live free, productive lives and participate fully in the political, social and economic opportunities of the wider society. In short, Native women here and everywhere face grave challenges and Keith’s engagement of the Human Rights Council as Ambassador is a critical factor in addressing these challenges.
He has the right experience and the right perspective. He has advocated in support of changes to address violence against Native women and expanding opportunities for them. He also represented the National Congress of American Indians in negotiations regarding the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the U.N.
For the first time, when Keith is confirmed, we will have a United States Ambassador who has a complete understanding of these challenges and the skills and wherewithal to effectively address them. Moreover, his sensitivity to these issues will not just impact matters related to the human rights of indigenous women but all women. So for Native women like us, who care deeply about securing human rights generally and seeing that
progress should be made on the human rights of indigenous women particularly, Keith’s nomination offers a unique opportunity.
Moreover, we are in a good position to evaluate Keith’s attitudes and demeanor towards Native women as we have worked with and observed him. He is always professional, respectful and gracious. Claims otherwise can only come from those who don’t know him.
In recent years we’ve seen some big events come about for Indian country.
The Aleut of King Cove, Alaska want safe, reliable access to medical care – something nearly all other Americans already have and often take for granted.
Arizona is at it again, and “it” goes back to when Arizona was a territory rather than a state.
While President Barack Obama was recently hosting French President Françoise Hollande, they took a tour of Monticello, the slave plantation home of President Thomas Jefferson.
Droughts have long been a part of California’s history, and the Winnemem Wintu have songs about the water trails drying up and our need to pray for them to fill up again.
My ideas about liberation came from my father and my relatives, and are informed by my observations and experiences with my family, Diné community and my readings in feminisms, Native Studies and decolonization.
Debbie Dogskin froze to death in Fort Yates, North Dakota on February 4 while housesitting a trailer for a friend.
I don't know if Woody Allen did it. I'd like to think the four-eyed filmmaker didn't sexually assault the girl, Dylan, but only he knows the truth, and she does, too – and maybe also the fly that was on the wall that fateful day in 1992.
While we wait for the U.S. Supreme Court opinion in the case of Michigan v.
Living in Montana, you’re never too far from Indian country. But I live closer than most. Right down the road from my farm in Big Sandy is the Rocky Boys Reservation, home to the Chippewa-Cree Tribe.
When I first saw P. N.
Upon signing the Declaration of Independence, which led to the Revolutionary War, Benjamin Franklin is said to have quipped, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” His comment characterizes the context of what President Obama called “the dawn of our Republic” in h
Let’s talk about liberals and conservatives, in spite of the fact that Indian issues do not split that way. Environmental and economic issues do split that way, and Indians have not yet figured out how to segregate air and water and wildlife.