A United Nations human rights official has recommended the U.S. turn over control of lands considered to be sacred to Native Americans, including the site of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
James Anaya, a UN fact-finder on the rights of indigenous peoples, presented his recommendations in Geneva last Friday after completing a 12-day visit to the U.S. where he met with representatives of indigenous peoples in six states.
‘I have heard stories that make evident the profound hurt that indigenous peoples continue to feel because of the history of oppression they have faced,’ Mr Anaya said in a statement. For over a century, he said, the government had seized lands and resources from Native Americans, removed children from their families and communities, caused the loss of languages, broke treaties with tribes and oppressed the indigenous peoples on the grounds of racial discrimination. ‘The sense of loss, alienation and indignity is pervasive throughout Indian Country,’ Anaya said.
Anaya’s findings will be included in a final report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council.