''The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives voted unanimously April 15 on a joint resolution in support of the declaration, which was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly Sept. 13, 2007, in a historic vote of 143 states in favor to 4 against, with 11 abstentions. The U.S. joined Canada, Australia and New Zealand as the only nations opposing the declaration. Significantly, all four countries have substantial indigenous populations that can claim large areas of land.'' [See ''Maine endorses UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,'' by Gale Courey Toensing, Vol. 27, Iss. 46.]
In an amazing show of congressional unity, the likes of which has not been seen in this country in a very long time, the rich and the poor on both sides of the aisles in both houses of Congress, raised a harmony of voice, sending a clear message to the executive branch and its department of categorical indigenous racial repression.
Under the spotlight of international opinion, we seem to have been caught standing with our pants down around our ankles on the world stage, in the rather uncomfortable position of being one of only four nations on earth to have opposed granting America's Native peoples what the rest of humanity recognizes as the inalienable rights of all sovereign peoples.
The archaic and bloody traditions of Christian Discovery, by which the lands and belongings of all non-Christ-worshippers were justifiably forfeit in the name of ''Salvation of their Souls,'' allowing genocide and 200 years of confinement in forced social prison camps, have been repudiated by the great tribunal of human opinion, by a score of 143 to 4.
In a time when self-determination and the sovereignty of the nations is challenged at every turn by hostile state governments, and the federal government continues to insist that Native peoples will never free themselves of the shackles of domestic dependency, it is comforting to know that the entire world disagrees.
Write your congressman. Call your senators. Thank them for standing up to be counted in the Native struggle for self-determination and sovereignty. Read the declaration. Quote it in the press. Teach it to your children. Shout it from the rooftops! Insist that your government adhere to this directive given the world by humanity.
- Doug DeWitt