UNDRIP: UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People

Why this is Important: it demonstrates that legally what LKS does is protected by the First Amendment ED.

MKP has been falsely accused of violating the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People. First, UNDRIP is not the law in the United States, the 1978 American Indian Religious Freedom act is the law.

It reads:

          “Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress Assembled, That henceforth it shall be the policy of the United States to protect and preserve for American Indians their inherent right of freedom to believe, express, and exercise the traditional religions of the American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, and Native Hawaiians, including but not limited to access to sites, use and possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremonials and traditional rites.”

This law is based on the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

I wish to be clear here. The granting of the OK for LKS to do what it does falls under the Freedom of Religion clause of the First Amendment, as believed by those who granted it.

LKS does a secular Ceremony, not a Religious Ceremony. What LKS does, and the P&RC, is protected under the Freedom of Speech clause in the First Amendment, as well as the Freedom of Assembly.

Furthermore, the granting of the OK is, in fact, congruent with UNDRIP Article 11. The Chief was a Traditionally appointed representative of his people, and hence empowered to negotiate on the use of the “intellectual property” of his people.

And, also in fact, I know for certain that Chief Lone Hill questioned the fundamental assertion of UNDRIP that the practices and beliefs of the people are “intellectual property.” As Chief Fools Crow stated more than once, “No one owns Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit. Or a religion!”

Finally, a communication sent to the MKP from S.p.i.r.i.t includes a letter from someone serving on a UN Committee claiming that Looking Horse is the spokesman for the Lakota People. Correspondence with the UN received the reply: “This is to inform you that Members of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues are appointed as experts in their individual capacity, are not employed by the United Nations and are free to express their own opinions as individuals.”

There is no such designation as “spokesman”. Nobody speaks for the entire Lakota people, nor does anyone speak for the “Sioux Nation”. These claims are inflated, hyperbolic, and misleading to such an extent that they strike me as falsehoods.

And, it seems to me, these people who attack us may be speaking for nobody but themselves. They have shown us no bona fides, no authorizations to speak for the people.

We, on the other hand, our bona fides, our authorization is intact. And it does not include speaking for the people as representatives. They can speak for themselves if they have something to say to us. If anyone of authority were to come forward we would meet with them about what we do.

Furthermore, those who attack us have shown no evidence that they are authorized to speak for anyone.

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