NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief

Protecting freedom of thought and conscience within the international community of nations in New York City.

Special Event: “Indigenous Peoples and Freedom of Religion”

The NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief and the NGO Committee on the UN International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples will hold an event titled “Indigenous Peoples and Freedom of Religion,” on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, from 1:15 to 3 p.m., in the office of the Bahá’í International Community, located at 866 UN Plaza (Suite 120).

The discussion is planned to coincide with the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which will take place May 20 through 31 at the UN Headquarters in New York City.

Featured speakers at the May 22 event include:

  • Roberto Múkaro Borrero, chairperson of the NGO Committee on the UN International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, and a consultant for the International Indian Treaty Council.
  • Chief Ronald Yonaguska Holloway, Principal Chief of the Sand Hill Indians and member of the UN NGO Committee of the Indigenous Forum.
  • Steven Gonzales, professor of constitutional law and co-founder of the Phoenix School of Law, where he teaches constitutional law, conflict resolution, and federal Indian law.

This event is open to the public. To attend, please RSVP to mdedora@centerforinquiry.net.

More information on the speakers:

Roberto Múkaro Borrero is an internationally respected advocate on the rights of indigenous peoples. He is a traditionally sanctioned chief of the Guainia Taino community and one of only a handful of actual Taíno descendants in the world considered leading authorities on ancient Taíno Indian culture. He serves as chairperson of the NGO Committee on the United Nations International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, president of the United Confederation of Taino People, consultant for the International Indian Treaty Council, board member of the Tribal Link Foundation, and a representative of the Wittenberg Center of Alternative Resources. He recently served as a consultant for UNESCO producing a substantive report on Indigenous Peoples and Information and Communications Technologies. Borrero was on staff at the American Museum of Natural History’s Department of Education from 2000 to 2011.

Chief Ronald Yonaguska Holloway  is Principal Chief of the Sand Hill Indians, succeeding his retiring father in in 2011. He was previously  a Council Member and Chairman. He also serves on the UN NGO Committee of the Indigenous Forum. Chief Holloway graduated from Mt. San Antonio College in Pomona, California, with a degree in liberal arts. He served in the United States Marine Corps, as well as a police officer in Culver City, Los Angeles County. He has also been a guest lecturer at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Fairleigh Dickenson University, and Saint Elizabeth’s College on numerous occasions on issues related to Indian Affairs and renewable energy. Chief Holloway has also addressed the United Nations from the floor.

Steven Gonzales is a professor of constitutional law and co-founder of the Phoenix School of Law, in Phoenix, Arizona, where he teaches constitutional law, conflict resolution, and federal Indian law. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State University in Michigan. Gonzales was recently selected by the Botswana industrial and labor courts as one of three U.S. law professors on a five-person panel to address from six African countries at a judicial legal conference in July 2013 in Botswana. He previously served as the Chief Judge of the Mohegan Tribe, legal counsel to the Navajo Nation, and Director of Legal Services for the Fort McDowell Yavapai Tribe. He is the national vice-chair of the American Bar Association’s Committee on International Legal Education and International Certification. He has also served as a representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for many years.

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