The delegation to the UN Permanent Forum in May, 2011, included Clyde Bellecourt, co-founder of American Indian Movement, Antonio Gonzales, Len Foster, William "Jimbo" Simmons and Lamoine La Pointe.
During AIM's presentation to the Permanent Forum, Bellecourt described the history of the American Indian Movement, the International Indian Treaty Council, and the efforts in Geneva which led to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
Bellecourt told the Forum that President Obama should issue an apology for the misuse of Geronimo's name during the assault on Osama bin Laden. Further, Bellecourt said the struggle continues in Indian country for justice, human rights and the protection of natural resources.
"We demand that President Barack Obama as the 'commander and chief' and his war council recognize and issue a public apology for the continued attack on Indian people, for comparing one of our greatest leaders, Geronimo, to one of the most notorious terrorists known to the world, Osama Bin Laden. It’s time for North America to get rid of the frontier mentality, and the myth that ‘the only good Indian is a dead Indian.’"
Bellecourt introduced himself as Nee Gon Nway Wee Dung, founder and national director of the American Indian Movement and executive director Heart of the Earth Inc. Bellecourt is also cofounder of the International Indian Treaty Council.
"My brothers and sisters, the battle to protect the land continues, when seventy five percent of the all energy resources in North America are still on Indian lands. Most importantly, water –our most precious medicine- is still being stolen by governments and greedy corporation," Bellecourt said.
"We must stand together in total solidarity to fight these monstrous acts for the survival of our children. We must continue to think like our grandfathers and grandmothers, chiefs and great leaders before us, who envisioned what it would be like for their children seven generations from now."
AIM and El Salvador
AIM West also accompanied Mayor Roberto A.A. Barrientos of Izalco, Sonsonate, El Salvado, at the UN Permanent Forum. Barrientos brought a message from his community to New York.
"We are taking advantage of this opportunity at the Permanent Forum to denounce before the peoples of the world the genocide committed by the Salvadorian State against our Indigenous brothers through the massacres of our peoples, especially the massacre of 1932, when more than 35,000 Indigenous persons died in the Western zone of the country, and that of 1944, when Indigenous leaders were selectively assassinated throughout the country," Barrientos told the UN Forum.
Read more at AIM West: http://www.aimwest.info/