FLASHBACK | Nations are Governing Authorities, Not NGOs

Photo: Rebecca Sommer

Center for World Indigenous Studies

Fourth World Eye Blog

Feb 6, 2009 by
“The world’s first nations are not non-governing organizations.  They are governing authorities that exercise political and policing powers over nearly 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity. They also govern nations that make up the bulk of about 3 billion people. Non-governmental organizations are a class of civil organization that ranks as a subordinate entity to the state.”
On 13 September 2007 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Like other UN declarations adopted in the past, the UNDRIP elevated an obscure…no invisible…matter of domestic concern to the level of international concern. In the forty years it took to achieve the UNDRIP the world’s original nations rose from invisibility to the status of “non-governmental organizations” or “indigenous groups.” Sometimes estimated to comprise nearly half the world’s population, the world’s original nations have been relegated to the status of mere advocacy groups from “civil society.”

The world’s original nations have laws, cultures and governing authorities.  They are not incorporated under the authority of a state. They draw their authority from their inherent powers as distinct peoples.