Authors: Susan E. Rice
Publication Year: 2009
Last Updated: 2010-09-03 13:54:53
Keywords: Susan E. Rice, UN, United nations, permenant forum on indigenous issues, Indigenous, IHCIA, Indian health Care Improvement Act
Remarks by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, April 20, 2010
In his Presidential Proclamation last fall honoring Native American Heritage Month, President Obama recognized that the indigenous peoples of North Americathe First Americanhave woven rich and diverse threads into the tapestry of our Nations heritage. What is true in the Americas is true around the world. There is no true history that does not take into account the story of indigenous populationstheir proud traditions, their rich cultures, and their contributions to our shared heritage and identity.
But in the United States and many other parts of the world, indigenous communities continue to feel the heavy hand of history. Our first nations face serious challenges: disproportionate and dire poverty, unemployment, environmental degradation, health care gaps, violent crime, and bitter discrimination. Far more must be doneat home and abroadto tackle these challenges, expand the circle of opportunity, and work with our Native communities to ensure they enjoy the security and dignity that all citizens deserve.