Reconciliation between States and Indigenous Peoples highlighted on
(New York, 6 August) â€“ In commemoration of the International Day of
the World’s Indigenous People ( ), an observance at UN
Headquarters will focus on efforts by and States to foster reconciliation.
A panel discussion, titled “Conciliation and Reconciliation between
States and Indigenous Peoples,” will include speakers Gert Rosenthal,
of Guatemala to the United Nations; Henri
Paul Normandin, Deputy Permanent Representative of Canada to the
United Nations; and Chief Oren Lyons, spiritual leader, Onondaga
Nation (see full programme below).
Reconciliation between indigenous peoples and States can take many
forms that differ from country to country. Generally it involves
recognition for past injustices, justice for victims and the healing
of relationships. The adoption of the UN in 2007, after more than 20 years of negotiations
among States and indigenous peoples with the mediation of the United
Nations, is itself an historic act of reconciliation.
In a message to mark the Day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
highlighted the Declaration, saying: “The result of more than two
decades of negotiations, [the Declaration] provides a momentous
opportunity for states and indigenous peoples to strengthen their
relationships, promote reconciliation, and ensure that the past is
Affairs and Coordinator of the Second International Decade of the
World’s Indigenous People, further emphasized that “the Declaration
is a manifestation of reconciliation between indigenous peoples and
states â€“ and a mechanism for carrying that reconciliation forward.
Indeed, 2008 has already witnessed concrete measures towards
reconciliation in several countries.”
Some recent examples of reconciliation efforts include:
– In February 2008, the Australian Government formally
apologized to members of the “Stolen Generations” and their families,
for the policy of forcible removal of indigenous children, which
affected generations of indigenous Australians.
– In June 2008, Prime Minister Harper of Canada offered an
apology to the approximately 80,000 former students of Indian
residential schools still living, to their family members and their
communities, for the forcible removal of children from their homes.
– In June 2008, the Government of Japan formally recognized
the Ainu people as indigenous people of Northern Japan. The
resolution adopted by the Parliament states that the Ainu have a
distinct language, religion and culture, recognizing that Japan is
not an ethnically homogenous nation.
Dag HammarskjÃ¶ld Library Auditorium, UN Headquarters
Message from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
Message from Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs
Message from the Chairperson of the, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz
Halau i Ka Wekiu (School Upon the Summit) Cultural Performance
Panel Discussion: Conciliation and Reconciliation between Indigenous
Peoples and States
Part of the New Human Rights Dialogue Series, commemorating the 60th
anniversary of the .
Gert Rosenthal, Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the United
Henri Paul Normandin, Deputy Permanent Representative of Canada to
the United Nations
Andrew Goledzinowski,Deputy Permanent Representative of Australia to
the United Nations
Marcie Mersky, Liaison Officer,
Chief Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper, Turtle Clan, Onondaga Nation, Member
of Grand Council of Chiefs of the Haudenosaunee
Master of Ceremonies: Roberto MÃºcaro Borrero (TaÃno, Puerto Rico),
NGO Committee on the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous
This event is organized by the Secretariat of the United Nations
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues DSPD/DESA, the NGO Committee on
the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples and the
New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Co-
sponsored by the Tribal Link Foundation and the American Museum of
FILM SCREENING: THE APOLOGY
1:00 â€“ 1:45 p.m.
A 30-minute film screening organized by the Permanent Mission of
Australia to the United Nations will follow the panel discussion.
The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is officially
commemorated annually on 9 August in recognition of the first meeting
of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations in
Geneva in 1982.
MEDIA ARRANGEMENTS: Journalists without UN accreditation who wish to
attend the event should follow the instructions for obtaining
accreditation at www.un.org/media/accreditation For media enquiries
or interviews, please contact: Renata Sivacolundhu, Department of
Public Information, tel: , e-mail: email@example.com. For
Secretariat of the Permanent Forum, please contact: Broddi
Sigurdarson, tel: , e-mail:
For more information on the Day’s events, please visit: