Snapshots

Insiders’ Report From The 4th Indigenous Leaders Summit Of The Americas

The 4th Indigenous Leaders Summit of the Americas was held April 11-14, 2012 in Cartagena, Colombia. It was in my view the first time in history that an Indigenous Leaders Summit of the Americas (ILSA) was given a high degree of prominence by the State hosting the event. This is in sharp contrast to the 3rd Indigenous Leaders Summit that was held in Panama whilst the 5 Summit of the Americas (for the OAS Heads of State) was held in Trinidad.

As a Caribbean person I felt ashamed and embarrassed by the insulting attitude of the host Government of Trinidad which only allowed for one person, Chief Ed John of the Assembly of First Nations of Canada/AFN, from the 3rd ILSA to address the OAS Heads of State for a mere 5 minutes. Indeed, only one paragraph in the entire post V Summit of the Americas made fleeting mention of Indigenous Peoples. Despite the valiant efforts of the AFN which did a great job organizing the III ILSA in 2009, the political leaders at that time generally treated the Indigenous Leaders of the Western Hemisphere with contempt.

If this is what can be expected from a Caribbean country then I honestly hope that no future Summit of the Americas is EVER held in a Caribbean State with the possible exception of Dominica.

Why Dominica you ask? Because it was Dominica’s UN diplomat decades ago that gave up his seat so that Indigenous Peoples could address the UN General Assembly directly. Dominica also granted it’s sole Indigenous Chief of the Kalinago (aka ‘Carib‘) Tribal Nation with a Diplomatic Passport.

The only three issues that stain the name of Dominica in the eyes of the Indigenous & Human Rights World are its inhumane refusal to increase the size of the woefully tiny Kalinago Territory – which is incapable of sustaining the present Kalinago population, it’s illegal imposition of a Police Station in the Kalinago Territory against the wishes of the Kalinago people – and in violation of International Indigenous Rights Laws and OAS & UN Conventions; and thirdly – the fact that Dominica never brought the Policeman who murdered a peacefully protesting un-armed Kalinago tribesman to justice – it merely moved this murderer in uniform to another Police Station in Dominica.

FULL ARTICLE HERE: Insiders’ Report From The 4th Indigenous Leaders Summit Of The Americas.

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