UN: US must heal native peoples' wounds, return lands

By REUTERS
May 5, 2012 03:31

 
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UNITED NATIONS - The United States must do more to heal the wounds of indigenous peoples caused by more than a century of oppression, including restoring control over lands Native Americans consider to be sacred, a UN human rights investigator said on Friday.

James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, just completed a 12-day visit to the United States where he met with representatives of indigenous peoples in the District of Columbia, Arizona, Alaska, Oregon, Washington State, South Dakota, and Oklahoma. He also met with US government officials.

"I have heard stories that make evident the profound hurt that indigenous peoples continue to feel because of the history of oppression they have faced," Anaya said in a statement issued by the UN human rights office in Geneva.

That oppression, he said, has included the seizure of lands and resources, the removal of children from their families and communities, the loss of languages, violation of treaties, and brutality, all grounded in racial discrimination.

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