Keith Harper, the Cherokee Nation citizen, who is most notable for his work on the Cobell settlement was confirmed as the United States human rights ambassador to the United Nations on June 3 by a Senate vote of 52 – 42.
Upon hearing the news Tex “Red Tipped Arrow” Hall, chairman of the Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara Nation of North Dakota, along with chairman of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association, and past president of the National Congress of American Indians, released a statement praising the appointment of Harper.
“For countless generations our warriors and leaders have fought for the human rights and traditions of our own people. That is just as true today, even though our struggle takes place on a worldwide stage, and even though we have been relegated to the sidelines of the U.N. For as long as I can remember, we have never been able to count on the United States to actively promote or defend our rights on an international level,” Hall said. “That all began to change when President Obama reversed the United States’ opposition to UNDRIP. And now, for the first time in history, the President's nomination and Senate confirmation, of Keith Harper as Ambassador means that we will have someone representing the United States who can fight for our tribal treaty rights and our human rights at the international level. This is an unprecedented opportunity for Indian country and the United States to work together on a global scale to advance our human rights through UNDRIP and other international human rights instruments.”