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Swords into plowshares

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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.

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Posts with tag: un declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples

June 2, 2013

The Indigenous Peoples of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh

by Brendan Welsh

Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues logoI attended a side event of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which pertained to Article 30 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: an article addressing military activities on indigenous land. The event focused specifically on the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, home to over  half a million indigenous peoples of varying linguistic, tribal, and racial backgrounds.

Shapan Adnan, of the International CHT Commission, told us that before the 1997 CHT Peace Accord, the Bangladeshi government brought 400,000 non-indigenous people into the CHT in response to regional violence and insurgency. During ...

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May 30, 2013

Indigenous Peoples and Freedom of Religion

by Marissa Costello

Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues logoOn May 22, 2013 I attended a side event of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues entitled “Indigenous Peoples and Freedom of Religion.” Speakers included individuals who are members of various tribes such as the Apaches and Sand Hill Indians but individuals from NGOs also participated. People from all walks of life came to educate themselves on the issues that indigenous peoples face and what are the possible solutions to address these issues.

Three key speakers served on the indigenous peoples’ panel:  Roberto Mukaro Borrero, Chief Ronald Yonaguska Holloway, and Steven Gonzales. Mr. Borrero is a consultant ...

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May 24, 2013

Indigenous food sovereignty

by Brendan Welsh

Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues logoI attended a side event of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues entitled, “Our Food Is Our Life.” The presenters elaborated on Article 31 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which addresses the sovereignty of indigenous people over their food, traditions, and intellectual property.

Andrea Carmen, executive director of the International Indian Treaty Council, said, “since the Mayan creation story states that human beings are made from corn, Mayans see the issue of genetically modified American corn as a spiritual one.” According to Carmen, “the USDA’s poisonous corn varieties, unfit for human ...

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