United Nations Delegation
The National Indian Youth Coucil, Inc. has been working with the United Nations since the 1970s and the early 1980s. Back then, NIYC worked with its World Council of Indigenous Peoples. In 1984, NIYC was granted Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status with the United Nations' Economic and Social Council (UNESCO) and presently retains that membership.
As an NGO, NIYC is involved with the United Nations on issues and matters that are related to indigenous peoples in the United States and throughout the world. Over the years, NIYC has written and delivered many white papers on various topics submitted to various United Nations' bodies. It has been and remains involved with several UN Committees focused on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the Implementation of the Indigenous Rights Act. Currently, NIYC sends representatives to the United Nations' Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) and its Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) sessions annually. At these sessions, they deliver reports and offer testimony, as needed, to insure that the Native American/Alaskan Native voice is heard.
The Permanent Forum and the Expert Mechanism are two of the three UN bodies that are mandated to deal specifically with indigenous peoples' issues. The third is the Special Rapporteur Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The United Nations' Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
One of the most important UN efforts NIYC was involved with (and continues to be engaged with) is the United Nations' Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). In fact, NIYC was one of the 13 original organizations that was instrumental in the effort to develop the UNDRIP. This Declaration was finally adopted on September 13, 2007, and it establishes the framework of standards for the survival, dignity, well-being, and rights of the work's Indigenous Peoples.
Click here to view the United Nations' Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.