Thursday, August 19, 2010


Among the Native American Lakota nation, there is a sacred belief that all people are spiritually connected. Regardless of the impediments and distractions that so often divide us - color, religion, politics - we are all brothers and sisters. We are one.

This beautiful notion means that we share all joys and triumphs… and are responsible for each other in our hour of need.

Right now, the Lakota need your help. And it’s so simple to answer the call.

The HUNKA Ceremony, one of the seven sacred ceremonies of the Lakota, is an ancient and private ritual in which this spiritual connection between souls is celebrated. The details of this tradition are passed down orally, recorded only in memory. Sadly, it is now in danger of being lost forever. The Lakota population diminishes daily – elders pass on, and the younger generation is preoccupied with legacies of poverty and poor health.

Now Lakota Elder Leroy Curley is reaching out, opening up the ceremony to you, and the cameras of the organization One World In Concert, to preserve this tradition for all future generations, for all people.

One World In Concert needs to raise $75,000 - $100,000 in order to make this a reality. And, with our October start date, time is short! Please know that every contribution counts. From the most modest personal donation of just a few dollars, to generous corporate sponsorships, you will be making a difference. All contributors will be listed in the film’s credits as our friends, supporters, producers, and sponsors. The finished product will be screened in various venues around the country, and ultimately will be archived in the illustrious Smithsonian Institute, as is our award-winning documentary WISDOMKEEPERS – watch it at, or donate $50 and receive the DVD as our thanks. Charitable donations of $100 or more will receive the “Hunka: Making Of Relatives Ceremony” DVD when complete.

Won’t you help us stay connected? Reach out to your wide circle of friends and invite them to be part of this HUNKA circle too. Spread the call for support and let’s make this the biggest HUNKA circle ever.

Visit to make your contribution.

All charitable contributions are 100% tax deductible.

Thank you for your continued support!

Ora Abel-Russell
President & CEO
One World In Concert

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

On the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Kindred Spirits by Joseph Melancon

July 8, 2010
United States Department of State
S/SR Global Intergovernmental Affairs
2201 C Street N.W. Suite 1317
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Sir:

In Re: United States Administration reviewing its position in opposition to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by G.A. Res. 61/295 on 13th day of September, 2007.

This U.S. opposition to the Declaration is in the minority of one in the world today and reveals a very narrow-minded outlook. This is wanting to stick with the status quo where the United Nations Organization represents only states and not peoples, now about 4000 peoples with 300 million individuals and growing.

The following are important quotes from the European Parliament which are powerful points in this review, the quotes being from the resolution adopted by the European Parliament of February 9, 1994:

D. whereas the United Nations Organization, despite its name, represents only states and not peoples, and solutions to many problems concerning peoples, particularly indigenous peoples, are therefore difficult to find within it;

E. regretting that, in general, international treaties quite simply neglect the rights of indigenous peoples, even if it is they who must bear the direct or indirect consequences thereof;

F. noting that certain states have concluded treaties with indigenous peoples in the past and that some of those treaties have been shamelessly violated; wherein in this connection, in the context of increasing impoverishment, indigenous people are often the first to be dispossessed of rights, land and resources;

G. dismayed by the violence of every kind to which indigenous peoples have been subjected in the past, and still are; whereas in this connection, the U.N. has recognized the right to intervene when fundamental human rights are under serious threat;

2. Declares that pursuant to U.N. provisions and in the context of a non-violent and fully democratic procedure with due regard for the rights of other citizens, indigenous peoples have the right to determine their own destiny by choosing their institutions, their political status and that of their territory;

3. Takes the view that the U.N. must take advantage of its 50th anniversary to make its bodies more democratic and more effective by enabling peoples without a state, in particular indigenous peoples, to be better represented, especially by involving them in the work of the General Assembly;

4. Solemnly reaffirms that those rights belonging to indigenous peoples have, just as any other being has, the right to life, to respect, the right to freedom of thought and action, to physical security, to health, to justice and to equality concerning the right to use and disseminate their mother tongue and to have the tangible features of their culture protected and disseminated and to have their religious rights and their sacred land respected;

7. Declares that indigenous peoples have the right to the common ownership of their traditional land sufficient in terms of area and equality for the preservation and development of their particular ways of life, such land to be placed at their disposal free of charge; it will therefore be indivisible, non-transferable, imprescriptible and cannot be rented;

9. Declares that indigenous peoples who have been robbed of their rights must be able to obtain fair compensation; if deprivation involves loss of land, this will be made good, first and foremost, by returning the land in question or, alternatively, by providing land at least equal in terms of quality and size to that which has been lost;

10. Calls in the strongest possible terms on states which in the past have signed treaties with indigenous peoples to honor their undertakings, which remain imprescriptible and in this connection gives its firm backing to the U.N. special rapporteur responsible for studying and resolving this problem.

The above cites from the European Parliament Resolution at Parts D, E, F, G and numbers 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, do point out the neglect of indigenous peoples and their human rights prior to the U.N. Declaration of September, 2007.

The Certiorari process was examined by Mr. Matthew L. M. Fletcher, Director of Indigenous Law Center at Michigan State University. Mr. Fletcher examined 163 preliminary memoranda between 1986 and 1983 and he found that the U.S. Supreme Court will not accept a case for review when tribal interests, justice, sovereignty or Indian rights are being violated, even horrendously-zero chance for indigenous rights.

Property rights, land rights, grazing-lands-lease rights are being violated by below market rates which takes $7 million dollars or more a year from the owners of one million acres or more at Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota in tribal and allotted grazing lands. This is violation by federal agencies, B.I.A. & I.R.A., of U.S. domestic law as well! This is tribal & allotted land that is in a capitalist business property law area where below market rates should not apply if equitable law were practiced. Many other areas of U.S. law needs review and re-constitution: in the U.S. Constitution, where "private property should not be taken for public use without just compensation," now stands, it should be followed by the phrase, "public property shall not be taken for private use without just compensation."

In support of the above position paper, support U.N. Declaration of 2007, the following descendants of the treaty signers of the 1868 Treaty of Peace between the United States and the 7 Council Fires of the Titunwun Lakota (misnamed Sioux Nation) have signed their names:

Wicahpi Wanjila- Leroy C. CurleyWicahpi Wanjila - Leroy C. Curley

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