Monday, April 24, 2006

Update On Inter-Tribal Council's Proposed U.N. Appeal

While searching the web last night (April 24th), I found the Hawaiian Independence Blog, which was addressing this issue from the Hawaiian perspective. Posted on this site was an article from the April 22nd issue of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin detailing plans by a group known as the "Indigenous World Association" (no website) to appeal to the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) during their annual convention July 10th through July 28th.

Synopsis: Ronald Barnes, a spokesman for the Indigenous World Association (IWA), disclosed that the IWA had filed an appeal with the UNHRC to overrule American occupation of Alaska and Hawaii. Mr. Barnes stated "We are independent and occupied peoples. Neither Alaska nor Hawaii have ever ceded these powers." He further stated that indigenous peoples from Alaska and Hawaii are being taxed but receive no representation.

The UNHRC intends to discuss this issue with American officials during their conference in July. Specifically, they want to know how Federal laws apply to indigenous people. The IWA is an umbrella organization created to bring together indigenous peoples from both Alaska and Hawaii.

Analysis: In my previous post of April 20th, I addressed the Alaska Inter-Tribal Council's (AITC) appeal to the UNHRC. There was no reference in that post to the IWA because the source did not refer to it in the news story. Similarly, in the Star-Bulletin story, there is no reference to the AITC. At first glance, it's unclear whether these are two separate appeals or if it is a joint appeal. However, the AITC has since updated their website with additional documentation, including their Indigenous Peoples and Natives Coalition's press release of April 20th, the Indigenous World Association press release dated April 20th, and the IWA's Explanation of the Shadow Report and The Special Situation in Hawaii. So this indicates the AITC and the IWA are working together on the same appeal. The direct links to each document are bad, so click here to get to the AITC's April 20th press release, then click on the indicated link for each report.

The Hawaiian Independence Blog is operated by Scott Crawford, who favors independence for Hawaii, but as a multi-racial nation with no special privileges for ethnic Native Hawaiians. He believes the IWA appeal will ultimately fail but welcomes it as an additional opportunity to focus on Hawaiian issues.

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