Onondaga Nation Files Human Rights Violations against US
“The latest insult is this series if decisions starting with Sherrill that resulted in the automatic dismissal of our case,” Joe Heath, Onondaga’s long time general counsel told Indian Country Today Media Network. “Clearly that in and of itself is a human right violation because the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples indicates that states have to have some kind of system that works for redress of treaty violations.”
The petition is presented in two parts: “Facts” and “Merits.” The first section details the illegal taking of the land, the environmental damage to the land and its waters, and the Nation’s efforts to seek a remedy through the U.S. courts. The second section presents the legal arguments for redress based on the facts, focusing on three fundamental human rights – the right to property, the right to equality and the right to judicial protection and due process.
“We also stress that we have tried diplomatic efforts for 220 years – and they don’t work,” Heath said, “but ultimately that’s how we’re going to find a solution to this historic harm – diplomatically and politically.”
Heath acknowledged that the IACHR is an advisory body whose rulings have moral weight, not the power of implementation, but a moral victory would be more than welcomed, he said.
“The Onondagas are not going to quit,” Heath said. “They’re not going to stop talking about their land and to obtain a moral victory at this point would really provide the impetus for the state to find a solution here.”
You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page