In many Indigenous communities, dual justice systems operate in tandem: the European system, a colonial imposition characterized by hierarchical, punitive, written codicies, and the Indigenous system, which is often based in tradition and holistic in nature.
Human Rights Lawyer Michelle Cook (Dine') elaborates on the interactions between these two systems, and explains how communities can use the language of human rights to challenge the colonial legal system imposition in order to gain a seat at the table as independent nations with internationally recognized justice systems.
John Scott highlights the importance of using processes established by Indigenous communities when gaining free, prior and informed consent for activities which will take place on their lands. He also talks about the importance of including traditional knowledge of Indigenous Peoples at the UN Permanent Forum.
Antonio Gonzales, director of the American Indian Movement AIM West, explains why the use of Indigneous Peoples as mascots is culturally offensive and can no longer be tolerated in the 21st century. We caught up with Antonio Gonzales at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples Issues, New York.
Antonio Gonzales explains how without proper enforcement governments, cooperations, and extractive industries willingly ignore frameworks like FPIC which are designed to protect the rights of indigneous peoples.
Antonio Gonzales has spent many years working with international forums for the rights of Indigenous Peoples. He has witnessed achievements but draws attention to the fact that indigenous communities across the world are struggling to bring their governments to the table for discussion. He is currently advocating for an International Convention.