On June 9, 2011, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held an oversight hearing on the domestic policy implications of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In his opening statement, Committee Chairman Daniel Akaka (D-HI) said that the United States has long been a proponent of a high standard for human rights, both for ourselves and for the rest of the world. He said that the Committee wants to know if implementing legislation is needed to bring the law of the United States into compliance with the principles in the Declaration. This was a theme that he returned to throughout the hearing, asking witnesses if the U.S. can be a world leader, whether our current Indian law is the best model, and how our legal framework can be improved.
Information about the hearing is available on the Committee’s website, including the witness list and written testimony of the witnesses. In addition, a webcast of the hearing has been posted. See http://indian.senate.gov/hearings.
The hearing record will be open for two weeks. Please let us know if we may provide you with further information on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples or assistance in preparing testimony for the record.