chapter  17
Indigenous mobilization and activism in the UN system
BySheryl R. Lightfoot
Pages 15

This chapter argues that Indigenous rights activism at the United Nations (UN), from its earliest beginnings, formed a particular path of Indigenous resistance and transformative politics. It examines how the Indigenous rights movement at the UN has operated and continues to function as a site of resistance and transformational politics. The chapter traces the historical highlights of the Indigenous rights movement's work at the UN. It presents and discusses the dynamics and strategies of Indigenous rights mobilization at the UN that enabled a movement with such little economic and material power to achieve such heady international change. Indigenous delegates drafted a consensus document called the Declaration of Principles. This Declaration of Principles, described as 'the fundamental political document of the international Indigenous movement' was the first attempt to articulate an international rights standard for Indigenous peoples that was based not only on anti-discrimination but also on self-determination.