Gale Courey Toensing
6/24/14
Describing violence against indigenous women and girls as a “global scourge,” Keith Harper, the United States ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council, called on the w...
ICTMN Staff
6/4/14
Keith Harper, the Cherokee Nation citizen, who is most notable for his work on the Cobell settlement was confirmed as the United States human rights ambassador to the United Nation...
Rob Capriccioso
6/3/14
The Senate voted 52 – 42 on June 3 to confirm Cherokee Nation citizen Keith Harper as a human rights ambassador to the United Nations...
Brian Cladoosby, Jefferson Keel, Joe Garcia, Tex Hall, Susan Masten & W. Ron Allen

We are living in historic times for Indian Country. As we are still celebrating the confirmation of Diane Humetewa, the first Native American woman who will serve as a Federal Judge, there is another opportunity for a historic ‘first’ at our fingertips....

5/28/14
Richard Walker
5/14/14
Billy Frank Jr.’s funeral was less a time of mourning and more a time of celebration for all he did in defense of treaty rights and Native sovereignty and the environment...
Rob Capriccioso
3/26/14
Senior D.C. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan has denied $8.2 million in fees for class representatives involved in the Cobell class-action trust lawsuit...
Various Authors

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...

2/28/14
Rob Capriccioso
2/28/14
John Berrey, chairman of the Quapaw Tribe, is adding himself to a list of Native Americans who are expressing concern about Keith Harper’s nomination to serve as a United Nations a...
Gyasi Ross
3/3/14
TRUE STORY: The other day, my barely seven-year-old son told me, “Datchu (daddy), I want to be the first Native President.” Sounds cool, right?...
Jim Gray

In recent years we’ve seen some big events come about for Indian country....

2/27/14

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