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Indigenus Nations' Rights in the Balance, by Charmaine White Face, Zumila Wobaga

Living Justice Press is pleased to announce the release this month of Indigenous Nations' Rights in the Balance

Between 1994 and 2007, three different versions of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples were passed by various bodies of the United Nations, culminating in the final version passed by the UN General Assembly. Significant differences exist between these versions differences that deeply affect the position of all Indigenous Peoples in the world community. In Indigenous Nations Rights in the Balance, Charmaine White Face gives her well-researched comparative analysis of these versions. She puts side-by-side, for our consideration, passages that change the intent of the Declaration by privileging the power and jurisdiction of nation states over the rights of Indigenous Peoples. As Spokesperson representing the Sioux Nation Treaty Council in UN proceedings, she also gives her insights about each set of changes and their ultimate effect.

160 pages, indexed, $20.00



Charmaine White Face, Zumila Wobaga, is Oglala Tetuwan from the Oceti Sakowin (Great Sioux Nation) in North America. As Spokesperson for the Sioux Nation Treaty Council, she participates at the United Nations in Geneva and New York City to advocate for the Great Sioux Nation and other Indigenous Peoples.

"Charmaine White Face, a Lakota Wiyan from Pine Ridge, S.D. . . . gives us here a lucid and implacable analysis of the crucial relationship between Indians and their colonizers. Her work in Geneva, Switzerland, as well as her defense of the Black Hills of the North Plains region, challenges the United Nations Human Rights declaration of 2007 as deeply flawed. . . . she charges that it has again through its recent declarations provided legitimacy and prestige not only to historical eighteenth-century genocide, but to the continuing plunder of rights and resources of native peoples. . . .
"Charmaine White Face is the Rachael Maddow of the Lakota political world concerning environmental and civil rights...."
Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, Hunkpati Dakota
Author of A Separate Country: Postcoloniality and American Indian Nations
"Charmaine White Face's mesmeric account of the Declaration painstakingly reveals the enormous difficulties that Native nations face in their quest to have their rights and resources respected by their host states and by the international community at large. The tortured process she described reveals that states interpret the phrase rule of law to mean their rules and their laws, leaving indigenous peoples even now at the mercy of states and state-dominated institutions, like the U.N."
David E. Wilkins, Lumbee
Author of Uneven Ground: American Indian Sovereignty and Federal Law
"What a great piece of work it is necessary for the people who were present to write the true history of the declaration and the gutting of the key language that we fought so hard to get into the original document. You have done the most amazing job. I am in awe of you and your work. It is the love of a woman for her people that you have undertaken this work for the future generations."
Sharon Venne, Nehiyaw (Cree) lawyer
"Many indigenous organizations that participated in the long negotiations of the Declaration did not give their consent to the final UN versions of the Declaration. The final form of the declaration ignored indigenous self-government, rights to territory, plural citizenship, rights to appeal to international bodies for dispute resolution, and effective rights of informed consent. . . . This book provides a detailed analysis ...that shows how nation states and the UN ignored the rights of indigenous peoples when finalizing the Declaration. Everyone interested in the well being of indigenous peoples should read this book."
Duane Champagne, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa
Author of Captured Justice: Native Nations Under Public Law 280

Mission Statement

"Defenders of the Black Hills is a group of volunteers without racial or tribal boundaries whose mission is to preserve, protect, and restore the environment of the 1851 and 1868 Treaty Territories, Treaties made between the United States and the Great Sioux Nation."

Speaking about radioactive fallout, the late President John F. Kennedy said,

"Even then, the number of children and grandchildren with cancer in their bones, with leukemia in their blood, or with poison in their lungs might seem statistically small to some, in comparison with natural health hazards. But this is not a natural health hazard and it is not a statistical issue. The loss of even one human life, or the malformation of even one baby who may be born long after we are gone, should be of concern to us all. Our children and grandchildren are not merely statistics toward which we can be indifferent."

July 26, 1963 upon signing the ban on above ground nuclear tests