Indian nations know their own history. Without respect for the right of ''full and effective participation'' of Indian nations in decisions affecting them, other rights can be ignored. Respect for these rights is the obligation of the U.S. government under legally binding international human rights treaties that the government has voluntarily ratified. Otherwise, a member of Congress, using disinformation, can gather support to determine what's best for any Indian nation and threaten its very survival.
Suzanne Jasper is the director of First Peoples Human Rights Coalition, a nonprofit educational organization specifically focusing on the human rights of indigenous peoples. A timeline summary of Cherokee history recently was sent to various members of Congress, along with a brief overview of certain fundamental human rights of indigenous peoples.
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