In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Rapa Nui
  • Forrest Wade Young (bio)

"¡Fuera la Schiess! ¡Fuera! ¡Fuera Platovsky! ¡Fuera! ¡Fuera Chilenos! ¡Fuera! ¿Cuándo Immigracion? ¡Ahora! ¡Horo te henua! ¡Horo te henua! ¡Horo te vaikava! ¡Horo te vaikava!" (Get out Schiess [family]! Get out! Get out Platovsky! Get out! Get out Chileans! Get out! When immigration [laws]? Now! Demand the island! Demand the island! Demand the ocean! Demand the ocean!) These exclamations, first yelled by leaders and then collectively yelled by more than a hundred Rapa Nui people in cars and on foot, were repeated, with some variation, over and over for more than an hour during a march along the main streets of Hanga Roa town on 23 July 2011. They are symbolic of many of the sociocultural and political concerns articulated in Rapa Nui during the year under review.

On the first and second days of August 2011, international and national organizations concerned with indigenous peoples and local groups met at the auditorium of the public school Lorenzo Baeza in Rapa Nui for two days to discuss indigenous human rights issues and social problems confronting the Rapa Nui people. The majority of the Rapa Nui community was in attendance. The meetings, officially entitled "Indigenous Peoples' Human Rights: Implications for the Rapa Nui People," were sponsored locally, independently of the Chilean state-organized municipality and governor's office, by leaders of Rapa Nui hua'ai (clans/extended families), Parlamento Rapa Nui, Consejero Nacional Indígena Pueblo Rapa Nui (CONADI), and Makenu Re'o Rapa Nui Women's Organization. At the request of the local sponsors, two nongovernmental organizations helped facilitate and develop the proceedings: Observatorio Ciudadano (which is concerned with Chile's indigenous peoples) and the Indian Law Resource Center of Washington DC (which provides legal representation for indigenous groups throughout the Americas). Jose Alywin, Consuelo Labra, and Nancy Yañez were the leading representatives of Observatorio Ciudadano. The Indian Law Resource Center was represented by its founder and executive director, attorney Robert "Tim" Coulter, and by Leonardo Crippa, the center's attorney who filed precautionary measures at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights amid the 2010-2011 occupations and political demonstrations of Rapa Nui against Chile. In addition to myself, there were three official international observers of the proceedings: Clem Chartier, president of the National Council of Mètis Aboriginal Peoples of Canada; Alberto Chirif, a Peruvian [End Page 172] anthropologist affiliated with the Indigenous Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA); and Dr Nin Thomas, a Māori professor of law at the University of Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand. Following the meetings in Hanga Roa, members of the local, national, and international organizations continued the discussion of the plight of Rapa Nui with Chilean state officials in Santiago and Valparaiso. The delegation ended with a public discussion at the Universidad de Chile.

As stated in various program documents, the meetings were held in support of "Rapa Nui's efforts to re-claim their ancestral lands and as a response to the criminalization of members of the Rapa Nui clans who reoccupied their lands." The fundamental goal of the meetings was to provide "the members of the Rapa Nui clans with legal and political tools to enable them to advocate for the full recognition of their collective human rights." The proceedings were officially focused on four major topics: "land rights, self-government, the island autonomy bill and control over migration to the island by the Rapa Nui people." The topics were discussed in a context in which leaders reviewed inter national law on the rights of indigenous peoples to self-determination that are recognized in United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) human rights agreements such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; UNGA Resolutions 1514 and 1541; and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as rights to autonomy recognized by the International Labour Organization Convention 169. Representatives also discussed methods for accessing the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights; mechanisms available to indigenous peoples (site visits, thematic hearings, injunctions, cases); and ways to encourage involvement on the part of the Inter-American Commission with the Rapa Nui...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9464
Print ISSN
1043-898X
Pages
pp. 172-183
Launched on MUSE
2013-03-27
Open Access
No
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