Remarks at a Meeting of the Third Committee on Agenda Item 71: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, V

David Silverman
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
October 12, 2018


The United States thanks the Special Rapporteur for her preliminary thoughts on indigenous peoples and self-governance and looks forward to her future report on the subject. The United States has a government-to-government political relationship with 573 U.S. federally recognized tribes in the United States, and we consider tribal leaders’ concerns when formulating broader policy objectives. We are committed to improving the lives of U.S. indigenous peoples in the United States.

The Special Rapporteur’s report mentions the importance of consultations to ascertain indigenous peoples’ views on matters that have an impact on them. In recent years, the United States has held consultations with U.S. federally recognized tribes on a range of topics, including repatriating sacred and culturally significant Native American cultural items from abroad, addressing violence against indigenous women and girls, and implementing transboundary water treaties affecting tribes along the U.S.-Canadian border. In addition, a longstanding U.S. Presidential Executive Order from 2000 sets forth fundamental principles and criteria that guide the U.S. government in conducting regular and meaningful consultations with U.S. federally recognized tribes when formulating or implementing policies affecting them.

The Special Rapporteur notes that indigenous peoples face challenges to self-governance. What factors can contribute to building indigenous peoples’ capacities to achieve better economic, education, and health outcomes at the local level?