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Justice for Indigenous Peoples

General Resolution

BECAUSE Unitarian Universalists affirm justice, equity, and compassion in human relations; the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; and respect for the interdependent web of existence;

BECAUSE Unitarian Universalists value the diversity of human cultures and appreciate the insights and truths in other religious and cultural traditions; and

BECAUSE we have much to learn from indigenous peoples about respect, responsibility, and living in harmony with one another and with the earth; and

WHEREAS the General Assemblies of 1967, 1970, 1973, and 1975 addressed the need to promote social justice for the indigenous peoples of Canada and the United States and insufficient progress has been made;

WHEREAS a legacy of injustice with regard to indigenous peoples persists:

  1. in the violation of their treaties;
  2. in the appropriation and environmental ruin of their lands, resources, and sacred sites;
  3. in the suppression of their languages, spiritual practices, and cultural ways;
  4. in continued attempts at forced integration and assimilation under paternalistic systems;
  5. in the failure to respect their rights to self-government; and
  6. in the public expression of racist attitudes through violence and stereotypical and trivialized images; and
WHEREAS such injustice is inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Unitarian Universalist Association endorses the United Nations International Year of the World's Indigenous Peoples (1993) and encourages associate members, independent affiliates, and member congregations to honor this year with activities that celebrate cultural diversity and that affirm the close relationships between environmental protection and other social concerns;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Unitarian Universalist Association encourages its member congregations and individual Unitarian Universalists to work beyond 1993 in their own regions to:

  1. learn from indigenous peoples about the richness of their cultures and about the problems and issues they face;
  2. support local indigenous peoples' political action committees in their struggles for social justice and religious freedom; and
  3. act individually and through coalitions to respect and support indigenous peoples in preserving their cultural pride and heritage and in protecting their natural resources;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Unitarian Universalist Association encourages its member congregations and individual Unitarian Universalists to support discussion of treaties protecting native lands, advocating that:
  1. treaties be regarded as inviolate;
  2. compensation for lands taken be provided; and
  3. sovereignty of indigenous peoples be supported;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Unitarian Universalists in the United States are urged to support amendments to the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 to provide for protection of sacred sites, religious use of peyote, prisoners' religious rights, and ritual use of eagles; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Unitarian Universalist Association shall:

  1. provide programs and curricula about indigenous peoples and their issues;
  2. review investment policies with regard to indigenous peoples' concerns; and
  3. support the work of the Unitarian Universalist Network on Indigenous Affairs.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Wednesday, August 24, 2011.

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