International Indian Treaty Council Capacity-building & Human Rights Training Program for Tribes and Indigenous Communities
The International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), founded in 1974, is an organization of Indigenous Peoples working for human rights, environmental justice and self-determination for Indigenous Peoples and the recognition and protection of their human rights, treaties, traditional cultures and sacred lands. In 1977, IITC was the first Indigenous organization to receive Consultative Status to the United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council.
The IITC’s Human Rights Training and Capacity-building Program provides training and capacity-building for Indigenous Peoples, Tribes, grass roots communities, networks and organizations. Its focus is to expand awareness and build the active, informed use of international standards and mechanisms in support of local human rights issues, struggles and campaigns. Consultations, trainings and workshops take place by invitation in tribal communities and gatherings, as well as through dissemination of educational materials, technical and legal assistance for filing cases and urgent action communications, “training trainers” in communities and mentorship at international fora.
The objectives of program activities are to: 1) increase the direct, effective participation of Indigenous
representatives in the development and implementation of international human rights standards; 2) expand
their ability to use international standards, bodies and procedures to defend and exercise their human rights
and address their local/tribal concerns; 3) build awareness about local impacts of international policies; 4)
increase understanding of their human rights under international law; and 5) understand the full impact and
opportunities presented by recent new developments at the UN, in particular the adoption in September 2007
of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the UN General Assembly.
The program also provide educational workshops and training for non-Indigenous organizations, nongovernmental
organizations (NGO’s) and government agencies interested in building their understanding about
the human rights concerns, struggles and perspectives of Indigenous Peoples and build greater diversity and
collaboration in human rights campaigns.
Training draws upon IITC’s long-standing “hands on” experience and expertise in the international human
rights arena and use experienced Indigenous trainers. They can be structured from a half-day to two days in
length, or arranged in a series focusing on different themes. Follow up sessions, mentorship and/or technical
assistance can be provided upon request.
For more information contact:
International Indian Treaty Council
Andrea Carmen, Executive Director
456 N. Alaska Street
Palmer, AK 99645
or visit IITC online at www.treatycouncil.org
IITC Training, Waimanalo, Hawaii, January 2003
International Indian Treaty Council
Capacity-building & Human Rights Training Topics
Training can be offered in one or more of the following primary areas, based on needs and requests of the host
community/tribe. Additional topics can be included upon request.
1. A practical overview of the United Nations system and structure, including:
a. UN areas and bodies focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and environmental justice.
b. Key terminologies: “UN-speak” and what it really means.
c. Overview and history: How Indigenous Peoples can use the UN to defend their rights.
d. Setting realistic objectives based on understanding the UN system and its bodies.
e. Using the international arena as an effective component of community-based justice campaigns.
f. Requirements and procedures for participating in different UN bodies and sessions.
2. What are Human Rights? How has the international understanding of human rights evolved with the input
of Indigenous Peoples? What are “Self Determination”, “Free Prior informed Consent”, “Collective Rights”,
“Peoples” and other key human rights concepts and how do they apply to Indigenous Peoples?
3. Using and applying UN Conventions and Declarations including the Universal Declaration on Human
Rights, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
International Labor Organization 169 and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial
Discrimination, among others.
4. Treaties, Agreements and Constructive Arrangements between Indigenous Peoples and States:
International recognition and legal impacts; developing new models and mechanisms for addressing Treaty
and land rights violations, reparations and restitution using international standards and oversight.
5. Using UN bodies and complaint procedures to address local/tribal human rights concerns and create
pressure on countries to change their actions and policies. Filing cases with UN bodies and “Rapporteurs”
addressing issues such imposed, non-sustainable development and environmental destruction, racial
discrimination, threats to subsistence rights and food security, land appropriation, prisoners’ rights, women
and children’s rights and threats to traditional cultural practices and sacred sites.
6. Building Effective participation in international “multi-stakeholder” and “major group” dialogues,
coalitions and processes; information-sharing and networking opportunities among Indigenous Peoples
from other regions, “NGO's”, UN agencies and issue-based organizations in key areas of shared concern
including food security, biological diversity protection and sustainable development.
7. The Organization of America States and how it can also be used to defend Indigenous Peoples’ human
rights (i.e. The Inter-American Human Rights system, the draft American Declaration on the Rights of
IITC Training, Southern Illinois University, May 2008
IITC's Human Right and Capacity Building Training
Program includes presentations and small group
discussions as well as individualized technical
assistance. IITC training materials are available in print,
video and power point formats and cover a number of
topics including: Right to Food and Food Sovereignty,
Right to Water, Protection of Scared Sites,
Environmental Protection, Impacts of Toxics and
Pesticides on Humans, Racial Justice and the
Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial
Discrimination, the UN Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples, Treaty Rights and the Right to Free
Prior and Informed Consent to name a few. Some
materials are available in both Spanish and English.
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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008: www.earthcycles.net/
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