CHAIRMAN DANIEL CASTRO ROMERO, JR. & Nde’ Community Member
April 16, 2011
After participating in the North American Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus, March 18-20, at Blue Lake Rancheria, California, the Nde’ representative from El Calaboz Rancheria, Margo Tamez, Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas-Mexico, and Chairman Romero, representing the Nde’ traditional territory, re-grouped to participate in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 10th Session, New York City, NY, May 16-27, 2011.
Dr. Margo Tamez (Nde’, Co-Founder, Lipan Apache Women Defense) and Chairman Daniel Castro Romero, Jr. (Lipan Apache Band of Texas) accompanied an Apache delegation to present concept papers, research, and interventions related to the human rights violations in the matter of Lipan Apache peoples and Indigenous Proprietary Title (‘Aboriginal Title’), land claims, the border wall, gender violence, and the situation of Indigenous women human rights defenders, among the many concerns raised by Nde’ communities.
Margo Tamez stated, “We have a specific mandate from indigenous people, and it is up to us to ensure that indigenous peoples’ voices and concerns are heard and understood by our peer Indigenous leaders and delegates at the UNPFII 10th Session, by U.N. officials, NGOs, and by States–particularly Spain, the Holy See, Mexico and the U.S.
“Indigenous peoples in South Texas, the LRGV and along the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo river are and have always been deeply related along cultural, social, political and economic perspectives and our histories of colonization. The Nde’ delegation is actively engaging international arenas today more than ever. This is not accidental, nor a recent development, as Nde’ (Lipan Apache peoples) have long been dynamic actors in international sovereign to sovereign and nation to nation relations–with the Holy See, Spain, Mexico and Texas–since the mid 16th century.”
“Thus, this diligent work towards the reclamation of self-governance of Nde’ traditional territory, is a crucial part of a broader movement of Indigenous peoples across the hemisphere. Nde’ are finally reclaiming the rightful place in the international legal arena as a Nation–firmly embracing a self-determination process in which Nde Lipan Apaches are uniquely situated for, given our long international relations experiences with Spain, Mexico, Texas and the U.S.”
Nde’ Human Rights, Land, Territories, and Futures
The Nde’ (‘Lipan Apache’) delegation formally requested a formal meeting with the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya, (U.N. Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights). This formal request by the Nde’ was granted by Special Rapporteur Anaya.
The issues of Nde’ land claims, Nde’ land grants, Nde’ Crown title mechanisms, Indigenous Proprietary Title, redress, and revenue sharing of oil, uranium, copper, coal, and other mineral elements, including biodiversity, are at stake for indigenous self-determination and self-governance.
Implementing the UNDRIP along the Texas-Mexico border is complicated by the states’ policies of militarization, criminalization of indigenous peoples, globalization, climate change, unresolved historical contexts of violent dispossession and supplantation of Indigenous governance systems, and the human rights of Indigenous women, children, families, and workers.
The Nde’ delegation raised these and more for the formal review of the Special Rapporteur.
Specifically, in her face-to-face meeting with Anaya in New York City on May 18, Tamez articulated that the Nde’ of El Calaboz formally request that the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples make an official visit to the Texas-Mexico Border along the trajectory of the border wall, and to observe, witness, and to document the rights violations against Indigenous families, communities, elders, women, children and workers who are the most severely impacted by the U.S. violation of international law. The office of the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples is organized within the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.
In fulfillment of his mandate, Special Rapporteur Anaya:
* Promotes good practices, including new laws, government programs, and constructive agreements between indigenous peoples and states, to implement international standards concerning the rights of indigenous peoples (See Promotion of good practices)
* Reports on the overall human rights situations of indigenous peoples in selected countries (see Country reports);
* Addresses specific cases of alleged violations of the rights of indigenous peoples through communications with Governments and others (see Communications);
* Conducts or contributes to thematic studies on topics of special importance regarding the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples (See Thematic studies).
James S. Anaya, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples