Petteruti Lounge, Stephen Robert '62 Center, 75 Waterman St, Providence RI 02912
What does it mean to see Indigenous Peoples’ Cultural Heritage as a Human Right and why does it matter? How can we correct the invisibility imposed by a settler colonial system of “the doctrine of discovery” and of “empty lands”? How can we create a true pluricultural democracy, where the identity, culture, traditional knowledge and history of Native Americans and all Indigenous Peoples, and others will be respected and protected, instead of being destroyed by state and non-state actors? In this country, the Bears Ears and Chaco struggles today are linked to Standing Rock, to Wounded Knee and to many previous struggles since the time of colonization that have inspired the Indigenous Movement in this country and around the world. The preservation of Indigenous Peoples’ Cultural heritage is a human rights matter for all.
Elsa Stamatopoulou is the Director of the Indigenous Peoples' Rights Program at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, and Adjunct Professor, Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race & Department of Anthropology at Columbia University.