Saturday, February 15, 2014

Just say NO to Keith Harper for Human Rights Ambassador.

INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY has a terrific article on KEITH HARPER, the Obama nominee for human rights ambassador to the United Nations, read all of it at the link below.  
The conventional wisdom of many Native American-focused policy officials is that Keith Harper, a Cherokee Nation citizen and a lawyer with Kilpatrick Stockton who helped settle the long-runningCobelllawsuit, should be confirmed by the Senate as a human rights ambassador to the United Nations as quickly as possible.
“Keith Harper—we really need to have [him] at the State Department as we plan for the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples,” said Jackie Johnson-Pata, director of the National Congress of American Indians, to a gathering of the United South and Eastern Tribes on February 5 in Arlington, Virginia. Her view is common among Harper’s lobbyist and lawyer friends in Washington, D.C., as well as among tribal leaders who have had positive interactions with him and his firm. Several of these tribal leaders sent letters of support for Harper to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in recent months as the committee twice considered his nomination – first last September, then in February – and approved it both times narrowly along party lines.
There is a counter narrative, too—one that senatorial supporters and detractors of the Indian lawyer may have missed thus far, and one that has implications as to whether Harper should be confirmed by the full Senate: With his nomination now awaiting consideration by the upper chamber, some Native Americans say he should be held accountable for his lack of positions on a number of Indian human rights issues over his long legal career.
“I’ve personally never heard Keith saying anything substantial about Indian civil rights,” says Richard Monette, a law professor with the University of Wisconsin and former chairman of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. “Besides theCobell case, which made him and his firm very rich, he has been absent on most Indian issues—frankly, I’ve never even heard him even be a proponent of tribal sovereignty. Where has he been on Native voting rights and racism in the states toward Indians?”
While John Page, director of communications with Kilpatrick Stockton, has said Harper is not allowed to comment publicly on any matters during his nomination process, Harper’s continuing silence does not sit well with indigenous advocates who have questions about his views on meaty Indian-focused human rights topics, including tribal disenrollment and due process issues, limited tribal immunity from U.S. constitutional restrictions on political power, the Cherokee Freedmen citizenship controversy, and tribal-federal complexities surrounding the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.



Anonymous said...

Tricky dick monette espousing ethics, give me a break, nothing but a tribal government ambulance chaser IMO, do your homework before excepting any of his opinions about Keith Harper.

Just another washed up wan-na-be.

Anonymous said...

Or an angry jealous disgruntled crab stuck in a bucket, more like it.

for ALL nations...for ALL chukchansi people said...

keith harper's record on tribal disenrollment--or rather, lack of despite repeated requests--speaks for itself...

i believe someone such as dr. david wilkins or attorney gabe galanda, both of whom are NOT afraid to take a position against these horrific disenrollments at the hands of corrupt tribal governments, would be much more appropriate and effective ambassadors for human rights!