Skip to main content

2007-2017: The First Decade of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)

Date: October 5, 2017

Place: Kiva Classroom

El Centro de la Raza, through [Our] Community Voices initiative and Timekeepers, in collaboration with Native American Studies Department is coordinating an Academia-Community forum to discuss the First Decade of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, UNDRIP was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on September 13, 2007 after approximately 30 years of work and several meetings and negotiations among the states and Indigenous Peoples from across the globe with a strong participation of Indigenous Peoples from Abya Yala,[i] the US, and Canada.

During its adoption, Indigenous representatives said that the Declaration is a contribution to justice and humanity. It is the most comprehensive international instrument addressing integrally the rights of Indigenous Peoples who have been suffering with marginalization and injustice for centuries. UNDRIP is an instrument that empowers Indigenous Peoples to have another kind of relationship between states and Indigenous Peoples throughout the world without exploitation, exclusion and discrimination.

         “…..[UNDRIP] is an international instrument to be used to defend our lives, our ways of being, our lands, territories, waters, resources and traditional knowledge…our right of self- determination, our right to free, prior and informed consent, among others” (Vicky Tauli-Corpuz, 2007)

The Declaration is a living document for the common future of humanity and its effective implementation will benefit 370 million of Indigenous Peoples across the world. Ten years after the adoption of UNDRIP, Indigenous Peoples are still facing challenges to have their human rights understood, accepted and respected. On 10th anniversary of the adoption of this important document, we are proposing to reflect on the achievements Indigenous Peoples have had by using the provisions of the declaration to advance human rights.  We will also encourage a dialogue about the obstacles Indigenous Peoples have faced to extend the protections of Mother Earth from extractive industries and accelerated Western development.  The purpose of this forum is to have a dialogue and understanding about the use of this document to safeguard the well being of our future generations.  To do this, we plan to invite Shannon Rivers, member of the Tohono O'odham nation who has been involved in issues related to the human rights of indigenous people.  Shannon Rivers is currently in the process of obtaining a Master degree in Law studies at the University of California at Los Angeles.  He continues to be involved with indigenous groups in Latin America.  The budget will cover travel flight to bring Mr. Rivers from UCLA, food for the event, lodging for Mr. Rivers, an honorarium, and incidentals, which will cover food and any other related expenses. 

In addition to inviting Mr. Rivers, we plan to also invite Prof. Christine Zuni so she can give an overview about the legal provisions of the document.


  1. To Educate the UNM community, and our local and indigenous communities about the provisions of UNDRIP
  2. To engage students, both undergraduate and graduate students, to share the learning that will ensue from this forum
  3. To coordinate an interdepartmental coordination to outreach to faculty and students from various academic departments

For more information contact:

Dr. Yolanda Teran –

Jorge Garcia –

[i] The Latin American Region