The United Nations has made a statement that is shocking to many, but comes as no surprise to those who know their history. An investigator probing discrimination against Native Americans has said that the United States government has an obligation to return much of the land stolen from Native American tribes, if they want to combat systemic racism and discrimination in the United States.
As of 2011, there were 5.1 million American Indians and Alaska Natives in the U.S. but the rate of Native Americans being killed by law enforcement far outpaces the rates of any other group, with African Americans coming in second.
From 1999 to 2013, Native Americans have been killed by police at nearly identical rates as black Americans, but at a slightly higher rate in recent years. The big difference with Native lives, however, is that the media is virtually silent on these killings and the “Native Lives Matter” movement.
Simon Moya-Smith, a journalist and editor with Indian Country Today Media Network, said, “we protest, we take to social media, we get as many stories and Native American voices as we can into news media,” but still, “we’re not entirely on [the mainstream media’s] radar – maybe for Indian mascots, but for police brutality? Barely, if at all.”
Now, James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, has concluded that there is no way justice will ever be possible in the United States, as long as the government continues to hold illegally-seized Native American land.