PREPARATORY DOCUMENTS FOR THE
DRAFT AMERICAN DECLARATION OF THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
DOCUMENT 7. IACHR PRESENTATION TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF ITS DRAFT AMERICAN DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS (MARCH 1997)
PREPARATION OF A JURIDICAL INSTRUMENT ON INDIGENOUS RIGHTS
SECOND ROUND OF CONSULTATIONS
At its 95th Regular Session, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights approved the proposed American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, pursuant to a recommendation of the General Assembly to that end (AG/RES. 1022 (XIX-0/89). This proposal includes suggestions and comments from the governments, indigenous and intergovernmental organizations, experts, and special meetings of consultation that were held between October of 1995 and February of 1997, based on a draft consultation approved by the IACHR at its 90th Regular Session. It takes also in account the work being done by the United Nations (AG/RES. 1404 (XXVI-O/96).
As specified in Recommendation 8 of Chapter VII in this Annual Report, this proposal is being submitted to the General Assembly and to its Permanent Council, and it is being made public by the Commission so that it can be considered at the next General Assembly and, in detail, by the governments, peoples and interested organizations, so that it can be approved by the member countries at the 1998 General Assembly, in commemoration of the Organization's 50th anniversary.
BACKGROUND OF THE SECOND ROUND OF CONSULTATIONS
In October of 1995, the Commission embarked on a broad round of consultations concerning the questionnaire which it had drawn up and approved at that time, based on previous consultations, national constitutions and legislation, international instruments and statements on this subject. The questionnaire was widely circulated to governments and to hundreds of indigenous organizations, experts and other entities which were asked to present their comments. The text was also disseminated by news media.
A number of different mechanisms were used for the purpose of this consultation: a) direct consultation by correspondence, as noted above; b) presentation and discussion of the questionnaire at specialized technical meetings; c) consultation of indigenous population at a national and multinational level; and d) regional meetings.
The draft was presented and examined at various technical meetings: in Arequipa, Peru, at the "First World Meeting of Indigenous Peoples" which was organized by the World Council of Indigenous Peoples in October of 1955; in Ottawa at the "Widening the Circle" on February 27, 1996, meeting organized by FOCAL, the University of Ottawa and the World Council of Indigenous Peoples, attended by more than 100 delegates from the entire Hemisphere; in Guatemala City, organized by the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights in March of 1996; at the General Kuna Congress in Ogubscun, Panama, in 1996; and at the 1996 Sovereignty Symposium, held in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
NATIONAL AND REGIONAL CONSULTATIONS
For the national and regional consultations, the IACHR acted as coordinator, with assistance from the Inter-American Indian Institute; the Unit for the Promotion of Democracy; the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights; and the Inter-American Fund for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (whose headquarters are in Bolivia) and with cooperation from the Inter-American Development Bank.
The following national consultations were held:
Organization Responsible: ORIANA (The Andean Indigenous Regional Organization of Northern Argentina). Coverage: Nationwide. The participants consisted of fourteen delegates, who represented the country's eighteen indigenous peoples. Held in Buenos Aires, from October 20 through October 23, 1996.
Two parallel consultations took place. I. Organizations Responsible: CIDOB (Organizations of the Lowlands) and SUTCB (Organizations of the Highlands). They were sponsored by the National Secretariat on Ethnic Matters, which published the IACHR Draft Survey in newspapers to ensure the widest possible dissemination. The results of the consultation were endorsed by the National Government. Coverage: Nationwide. Two workshops were held, one in the city of Santa Cruz for the Oriente, Chaco and Amazonia region and the other in Oruro for the Andean region. II. Organization Responsible: the Indigenous Parliament of Bolivia (the Honorable Chamber of Deputies).
Coverage: The consultation was attended by ten indigenous deputies to the National Parliament of Bolivia.
Organization Responsible: CAPOIB (Joint Council of Indigenous Peoples and Organizations in Brazil). Coverage: Nationwide. The participants included directors of the organizations most directly involved in COIAB, COR, UNI, AC and CAPOIB, in addition to the legal counsel of the two last-named. Held in Brasilia in October of 1996.
Organization Responsible: ONIC (National Indigenous Organization of Colombia).
Coverage: Nationwide. Held in Bogota in October of 1996.
Took place in San Jose, on 11-14 December, 1996, organized by the "National Indigenous Round Table" -affiliated with CICA. In the process two regional meetings, two national meetings and some local meetings were completed.
Organization Responsible: The representative of the indigenous peoples of Chile to the Fund. Coverage: Two consultations were held, one among the Aymaras peoples and the other among the Atacameño (in the northern part of Chile).
Organization Responsible: the Secretariat of Ethnic Affairs and a commission, consisting of an equal number of representatives from the indigenous and the Afro-Ecuadorian peoples. Coverage: Nationwide. A three-day national seminar was held in Quito from October 7 through October 9, 1996.
A Workshop Seminar was organized by the "Indigenous Round Table" of El Salvador, with Indian representatives from all the country, in December 1996.
Held in "Ruinas de Copán" on November 9 and 10, 1996 by the Confederation of Auctochtonous Peoples of Honduras CONPAH, with approximately 100 delegates from the Miskito, Garifuna, Pech, Talupanes O-Xroquaz, Incas, Black anglophones, and Chortis.
Direct consultations and a Workshop Seminar in Tuxtepec, Oaxaca, on December 7 and 8, 1996, with 19 delegates of 15 national and regional organizations.
Organization Responsible: COONAPIP (National Coordination Office for the Indigenous Peoples of Panama). Coverage: Nationwide, representing the Ngobe-Bugle, the Kuna of Mandugandi, the Embera Wounan and the Kuna Takarkunyala.
Organizations responsible: Fifteen indigenous organizations of Paraguay. Coverage: Nationwide. The participants were the heads of the 15 organizations. The meeting took place in the city of Benjamin Aceval, on November 15, 1996.
Organizations Responsible: UNCA (Union of Aymara Communities) and CAH (the Aguaruna Huambisa Council). Coverage: Nationwide. Six national agencies were convened (AIDESEP, CONAP, CNA, CCP, COICAP, and the Andean Council of Coca Leaf Producers) along with regional organizations from the whole country. The participants were 26 national-level leaders. The seminar was held in Lima, in November of 1996.
CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES
In addition to the presentation at the various technical meetings cited above, answers were received from centers that represent indigenous rights, and a meeting was sponsored by the Center for Energy Resources Tribes (U.S.A.) and the International Organization of Indigenous Resources Development (IORD) and the Grand Council of the Crees (Canada) was held in Denver, Colorado, at which a revised text was prepared with the help of representatives of 140 indigenous peoples of North America. This version was then approved by acclamation by the Grand Council of the Crees and the Hobemas, and thereafter presented at the Conference on Amerindian peoples organized by UNESCO in Paris, in June of 1996.
Consejo Nacional de Centro América (CICA). Meeting in Guatemala City, on October 18, 1996.
Coordinadora de Pueblos Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica (COICA). Held a special meeting on October 1-4, 1996 in Quito, with 11 representatives of CONFENIAE (Ecuador), OPIAC (Colombia), COIAB (Brazil), APA (Guyana), OIS (Suriname) and COICA (Peru).
The regional meetings for South America in Quito, Ecuador; and those for Central America and the Caribbean, in Guatemala City were held in November of 1996. The delegates of the national consultations and other experts and representatives of governments presented the results of their surveys and discussed the preparation procedures.
I. Regional Meeting for Central America and the Caribbean
Site: the Central American Parliament in Guatemala City, November 14-16, 1996. Government sponsor: the Ministry of Culture and Sports. Participants: 67 persons, 28 of whom were representatives of indigenous organizations in Guatemala; 17 were representatives of indigenous organizations in El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Belize and Suriname; 6 represented the Governments of Belize, Canada, Guatemala and Mexico; and 16 were representatives and/or experts from Minugua, Flacso, the UNDP, the I.I.I., the IIDH and the Central American Parliament. Delegates from the IACHR, the I.I.I., the UPD, the Indigenous Fund, and Guatemala's Ministry of Culture and Sports also took part.
II. Regional Meeting of Consultation for South America
Site: Hotel Quito, in Quito, Ecuador. November 21-23, 1996. Government Sponsor: the Secretariat of Ethnic Affairs at the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs. Participants: 165 in number, 77 of whom were indigenous and Afro-Ecuadorean representatives and 20 were indigenous representatives from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru; 19 were diplomatic and technical representatives accredited to the meeting by the Governments of Argentina, Bolivia (the Undersecretary of Technical Affairs), Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay; and four were executive staff of regional organizations (COICA, the World Council on Indigenous Peoples and the IIDH). Officials from the IACHR, the UPD and the I.I.I. also took part.
In Mexico City in December, the Inter-American Indigenous Institute held the First Indigenous Forum of the Americas, in the presence of eighteen indigenous leaders from the region. The Forum's main objective was to discuss the inter-American instrument on indigenous rights. The Forum supported the initiative and recommended that the range of consultation be broadened.
COMMENTS FROM GOVERNMENTS
Comments were received from the Governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, the United States, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, and Venezuela. The Government of Bolivia endorsed the observations of the national consultation.
COMMENTS FROM INSTITUTIONS AND EXPERTS
Responses and comments were also received from the International Labor Organization (ILO) and from the United Nations Mission in Guatemala (Minugua). Also from the Indian Law Resource Center (USA); the Inter-American Dialogue, the Child Rights International Research Institute, the International Indian Treaty Council (US), of Hutchins, Soroka, Dionne (Ottawa, Canada). From experts: Augusto Willemsen Díaz (of Guatemala), Aureliano Turpo Choquehuanca (World Council on Indigenous Peoples), Professor Fernand de Varennes (Murdoch University, Australia); Prof. Joe Palacio (UWI, Belice), and Hugo Mondragón (Colombia).
IACHR TECHNICAL REVIEW MEETING
Taking into account all of the responses and conclusions of the meetings, in January of 1997, the IACHR held a Technical Meeting to review the draft text of the questionnaire and to propose a revised version, for consideration by the IACHR at its 95th Regular Session. The participants at the meeting included rapporteur members Dr. Carlos Ayala Corao and Ambassador John Donaldson, and the contract experts Dr. Magdalena Gómez Rivera (Director of Legal Prosecution at the National Indigenous Institute of Mexico); Dr. Patrick Robinson (a former member of the Commission and rapporteur on the topic); and Wilton Littlechild, Q.C. (indigenous lawyer and member of the Canadian Parliament), with the collaboration of IACHR principal specialist lawyer, Dr. Osvaldo Kreimer.
THE COMMISSION'S PROPOSAL
The Commission approved the text which is transcribed as the proposed American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to be presented to the General Assembly in response to the recommendation contained in resolution AG/RES. 1022 (XIX-O/89). The IACHR also proposes that the General Assembly, when it considers the Declaration at its June 1997 meeting, conduct the consultations and adopt the measures necessary to approve the declaration at its annual session in 1998, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Organization.
 Published by Inter-American Commission on Human Rights 1996 Annual Report.
 This resolution was repeated in subsequent years by resolutions AG/RES. 1044 (XX-O/90); AG/RES. 1169 (XXII-O/92); AG/RES. 1269 (XXII-O/94); and AG/RES. 1331 (XXV-O/95).
 A first round of consultations to seek opinions as regarding the topics and approach used in the instrument was carried out by the Commission between 1991 and 1993. The findings were published in the 1992-1993 IACHR Annual Report, pp. 263-310 (281-330 in the Spanish version).