Building a New International Mechanism for Repatriation of Indigenous Peoples Cultural Heritage

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1 Building a New International Mechanism for Repatriation of Indigenous Peoples Cultural Heritage )

2 History is Made: The General Assembly Adopts the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples September 13th, 2007

3 The Declaration is the Minimum Standard The rights recognized herein constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world. --Article 43

4 Article 11, UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples States shall provide redress through effective mechanisms, which may include restitution, developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples, with respect to their cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual property taken without their free, prior and informed consent or in violation of their laws, traditions and customs. -- Article 11, para. 2 Item: MHPE481 Price $1, Provenance: California: A very nice brown, yellow and green woven Yurok/Hupa Hat from the 1800's. A scarce and desirable item -- Western Artifacts company sales catalogue, 2008

5 Article 12, paragraph 2 States shall seek to enable the access and/or repatriation of ceremonial objects and human remains in their possession through fair, transparent and effective mechanisms developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples concerned. Aboriginal shield in the British Natural History Museum, obtained in the 1700 s in Botany Bay Australia

6 The Declaration Obligates All States and the UN System Article 42: "The United Nations, its bodies, including the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and specialized agencies, including at the country level, and States shall promote respect for and full application of the provisions of this Declaration and follow up the effectiveness of this Declaration.

7 WCIP Outcome Document commits States 3. We reaffirm our support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and our commitments made in this respect to consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them, in accordance with the applicable principles of the Declaration. 4. We reaffirm our solemn commitment to respect, promote and advance and in no way diminish the rights of indigenous peoples and to uphold the principles of the Declaration.

8 We affirm and recognize the importance of indigenous peoples religious and cultural sites and of providing access to and repatriation of their ceremonial objects and human remains in accordance with the ends of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We commit ourselves to developing, in conjunction with the indigenous peoples concerned, fair, transparent and effective mechanisms for access to and repatriation of ceremonial objects and human remains at the national and international levels. World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, September 22, 2014 paragraph 27

9 The UNPFII 14 th session, April The Forum therefore recommends that States and indigenous peoples establish a working group to prepare a manual of good practice with regard to the repatriation of ceremonial objects and human remains, with the support of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and other United Nations entities, and submit a progress report to the Forum at its fifteenth session.

10 EMRIP Advice Submitted to the UN Human Rights Council, States should take effective measures to assess, redress and remedy the effects of past injustices and violations of the rights of indigenous peoples by ensuring the restitution and repatriation of their cultural heritage. --- August 9, 2015 [A/HRC/30/53]

11 EMRIP Study on the Promotion and protection of the rights of Indigenous Peoples with respect to their cultural heritage, The right to redress and restitution where violations of the rights of indigenous peoples have occurred is a foundational element to ensuring reconciliation and the future commitment to protecting the rights of indigenous peoples 71. The repatriation of the cultural heritage of indigenous peoples is an important aspect of such restitution

12 A Matter of ongoing Global Concern Northern California Indian Cultural Items are held by 85 museums in Europe and Russia -- Time s Flotsam, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Press, 1990

13 Consultation on International Repatriation, UNPFII15, May 13 th, 2016

14 Recommendations in the Report of the 15th session of the UNPFII, May 2015

15 Proposals for the New Mechanism or Process for International Repatriation 1. Based on the rights affirmed Articles 11 & 12 of the UN Declaration, including recognition of Indigenous Peoples laws, traditions and customs and FPIC 2. Full participation of Indigenous Peoples representatives, States and UN bodies/agencies 3. Possible placement with EMRIP and/or UNESCO 4. Direct access for Indigenous Peoples to information about items held in each country (data base) 5. Regulations to halt the international transport of Indigenous Peoples sacred items

16 The 1970 UNESCO Convention: Shortfalls and Opportunities Article 4 The States Parties to this Convention recognize that for the purpose of the Convention property which belongs to the following categories forms part of the cultural heritage of each State: (c) cultural property acquired by archaeological, ethnological or natural science missions, with the consent of the competent authorities of the country of origin of such property;

17 Article 6 The States Parties to this Convention undertake: (a) To introduce an appropriate certificate in which the exporting State would specify that the export of the cultural property in question is authorized. The certificate should accompany all items of cultural property exported in accordance with the regulations; (b) to prohibit the exportation of cultural property from their territory unless accompanied by the abovementioned export certificate; (c) to publicize this prohibition by appropriate means, particularly among persons likely to export or import cultural property.

18 Article 13 The States Parties to this Convention also undertake, consistent with the laws of each State: (a) to prevent by all appropriate means transfers of ownership of cultural property likely to promote the illicit import or export of such property; (b) to ensure that their competent services co-operate in facilitating the earliest possible restitution of illicitly exported cultural property to its rightful owner; (c) to admit actions for recovery of lost or stolen items of cultural property brought by or on behalf of the rightful owners; (d) to recognize the indefeasible right of each State Party to this Convention to classify and declare certain cultural property as inalienable which should therefore ipso facto not be exported, and to facilitate recovery of such property by the State concerned in cases where it has been exported.

19 Items of Ethological Interest or Sacred Living Beings for Indigenous Peoples? Sacred Yaqui Maaso Kova (ceremonial Deer Head) displayed in the National Ethnological Museum, Stockholm Sweden

20

21 Meeting with Yaqui Nation Political and Cultural leaders, Sweden, United States, IITC and Sami Parliament to discuss repatriation of the Yaqui Maaso Kova, May 11, 2016, Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN, New York City

22 As of this date, the Sacred Yaqui Maaso Kova has still not been returned and this ongoing violation of Yaqui cultural, spiritual and human rights continues

23 The Ongoing Commercial Sale and Auction of Indigenous Sacred Items One Katsinam was purchased and returned to Hopi spiritual leaders by their attorney and SI (photo by ICT media). The Annenberg Foundation purchased and returned 24 others. In April 2013 a French Judge approved the $1.6 million sale of 70 Hopi and Zuni sacred items by EVE Auction house in Paris after the Hopi Tribe and Survival International went to court to halt the sale. The United States also opposed, citing the 1970 UNESCO Treaty. Private sale and auction of Indigenous sacred and ceremonial items continues in various countries.

24 Recommendations for UNESCO 1. Organize a seminar/seminars in 2017 with UN EMRIP and Indigenous Peoples representatives to develop/implement the new process or mechanism 2. Set up a new data base listing items and encourage States to begin posting this information 3. Establish a new regulation requiring proof of FPIC from appropriate Tribal/Cultural /Indigenous entities before sale/international transport of sacred and ceremonial items or human remains is permitted (example: CITES for endangered species)

25 Cheoque Utesia Thank You Very Much )

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