The United States is the last country to endorse the U.N. Declaration, which was ratified by 143 countries in 2007. Only four countries, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States, voted against it.
President Obama stated that “The aspirations [the Declaration] affirms – including the respect for the institutions and rich cultures of Native peoples - are one we must always seek to fulfill.”
The news of the U.S. position on the Declaration is being commended by Indigenous leaders in the United States and beyond.
The United Confederation of Taino People’s Office of International Relations and Regional Coordination issued a brief statement welcoming the decision as it ‘potentially benefits not only U.S. federally recognized Tribal Nations” but others like the Taíno who reside in U.S. Territorial possessions.
The official White House statement notes that the decision to support the Declaration is a “response to the many calls from Native Americans throughout this country” and an effort to “further U.S. policy on indigenous issues.”