Statehood and UN Indigenous Issues

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the General Assembly. For two weeks, from April 21, to May 2, 2008, hundreds of indigenous peoples from around the globe attended the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Seventh Session. The theme for this session was “Climate Change, bio-cultural diversity, and livelihoods: the stewardship role of indigenous people and new challenges.” There was testimony given by representatives of peoples who are literally the last speakers of their language, practitioners of their ways and beliefs, peoples facing real extinction due to the forces of colonialism. Clearly, any serious discussion about the effects of Hawai?i as a state has to grapple with the issues now being brought up in this international assembly. The latest mask of colonialism, free-trade, the free-market economy, the vast conspiracy of sub-contractors and wall street speculation has led to environmental and cultural disaster. Mass migration, the real issue of genocide, and climate change, were all topics in the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The forces against sovereignty here in Hawai?i make an assumption that is terribly flawed and short-sighted, and it is that the Hawai?i we are living in now will be the Hawai?i we will be living in tomorrow. The possibility of an international food crisis is actually upon us. The cost of shipping is rising. What will happen when food becomes unaffordable to the working poor, or to those unemployed and homeless, and then to the “middle-class”? A real question, that deserves examination now. This land is connected to the tongue, connected to identity. The struggle towards self-determination is a necessity. Is it unrealistic to predict that the state will throw tax-payer money to research and sub-contact out food suppliers to feed the working poor? This post-Katrina solution is the new colonialism, and this is where the conflict over statehood will have teeth.]]>

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