There is no such thing as privileged human being, whether by race, gender, or economic
fortune. Recently, and entirely to my own surprise, I was elected vice chief for our self-governing Cherokee nation. Whether in respect to software or sovereignty, my core
principles have always been about freedom and dignity for all people on
an equal basis. For me this is especially true for the captive nations
of North America, including ours, all of whom wish to have the basic
right to raise our families in our culture, to speak and teach our
children our languages, and to live in relationship with our lands.
Our sovereign rights exist as our birthright as American Indians, as our peoples once lived free. They are also affirmed by the United States government itself through ratified international treaties, and in British Canada by similar treaty with the Crown. These sovereign rights, that both governments yet openly violate, are also affirmed by the United States through their own constitution itself, which makes such treaties "the law of the land", and by binding international law. The right to freedom and self determination for all captive peoples are also promised and affirmed by the United Nations charter.
Yet, starting long ago, many of our people were placed in concentration camps called reservations, where so many do continue to live to this day. Our children, in both the United States and British Canada, have often been stolen, whether to be sold for adoption to foreign families, or to be openly killed and discarded in mass graves at government sponsored boarding schools. Even to this day, Indian child removal remains a common and widespread practice in open violation of both the 1948 convention on genocide and the US own's Indian child welfare act.
We are survivors of the longest continual genocide in human history, and one that remains ongoing. We are peoples who have experienced and continue to re-experience intergenerational trauma. We seek to live in peace and dignity like all human beings do. We also seek redress, with the help of all the nations of the world through international solidarity, and through such institutions as the world peace council, the International Court of Justice, and the United Nations general assembly. It is long past time for the United States and British Canada to live to their existing binding agreements, and to finally end the stain of colonialism and cultural genocide that continues in North America.