Project Reports

El Centro de la Raza report on UNDRIP

2007-2017: The First Decade of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)

Date: October 5, 2017

Place: Kiva Classroom

An Academia-Community forum addressing the First Decade of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on September 13, 2007. On the 10th anniversary of its adoption, this panel of scholars reflected on the achievements Indigenous Peoples have had by using the provisions of the declaration to advance human rights and encourage dialogue about the obstacles Indigenous Peoples face to extend the protections of Mother Earth from extractive industries and accelerated Western development. The purpose of this forum was to have a dialogue and understanding about the use of UNDRIP to safeguard the well-being of future generations.

A modest Ortiz Center contribution supported the participation of guest speaker Shannon Rivers of the Tohono O'odham Nation who has wide experience with Indigenous groups in the U.S. and Latin America. The program consisted of four presentations, with questions and answers from the audience and further discussion.

  • Prof. June Lorenzo, from the UNM Law School, spoke about the legal implications of UNDRIP and the importance of having legal language that can be used to protect Indigenous Peoples
  • Mr. Shannon Rivers, Tohono O'odham leader and Master’s student at the University of California, LA, discussed the politics of resistance that emerge from the affirmation of Indigenous Peoples rights.
  • Dra. Teran, Professor in the Native American Studies program, addressed the role of women in developing this important resolution of the UN General Assembly, as well as the participation of Indigenous Women in the creation of the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of Traditional Knowledge associated to Biodiversity
  • Jorge Garcia, Senior Program Manager of UNM’s El Centro de la Raza, gave a brief overview of the Indigenous Continental Movement and its 30-year effort leading to the resolution
An audience of over 50 students, staff, faculty and community members attended the forum and participated in the discussion following the presentations