As the UN celebrated the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on Wednesday 11th August 2010, the California Tribal Business Alliance was preparing to make a stand against big money pressures on tribes in North America.
The CTBA, claims that off-reservation gaming schemes proposed in California have been pushed by non-Indian developers who encourage California tribes to claim territorial rights in more marketable locations outside their tradition homelands.
CTBA Chairwoman Leslie Lohse explained:
“The recognized territory of a tribe has significant legal, historical and cultural meaning. When outside investors entice a tribe to venture outside of their ancestral lands for placement of a casino, it compromises tribal sovereignty and cultural identity. These off-reservation proposals also chip away the goodwill of the voting public, who agreed to tribal gaming exclusivity with the understanding that such gaming would only take place on existing tribal lands.”
The UN is pushing for all governments to protect the cultural, historical and ecological heritage which is maintained by indigenous people around the world. The UN independent expert on the rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, said that indigenous communities continue to endure oppression:
“Indigenous peoples continue to see their traditional lands invaded by powerful actors seeking wealth at their expense.”
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the General Assembly in 2007 and lays out a framework for governments to use in strengthening relationships with indigenous peoples and protecting their human rights.