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Posted on Mar 24, 2017 in International Uranium Issues, MASE in the News

UN testimony reflects on human rights toll

UN testimony reflects on human rights toll

UN testimony reflects on human rights toll

By Kathy Helms March 6, 2017

Cibola County Bureau cibola@gallupindependent.com

ALBUQUERQUE — Although the focus of U.N. Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz’s recent trip to the United States focused on energy development and its impact on indigenous peoples, she welcomed testimony that would give her a wider range of views.

Maria-Fernanda Samida Straits, the youngest in a room full of adults, sat in her mother’s lap and shyly spoke into the microphone at the University of New Mexico School of Law during the Feb. 25 consultation in Albuquerque.

“Hello, my name is Maria-Fernanda, and I see how people are hurt by taking drugs, and I don’t want them to have car accidents,” she said. “It affects me because my family used to drink and take drugs and it made me feel scared.”

Kee Straits, a psychologist, followed up on her daughter’s words regarding alcoholism in Native communities and its genesis.

“My daughter is adopted from Peru, and I also am adopted from Peru,” she said. “My daughter was taken from her original community, as was I, and we see that all over the world with indigenous people. We are losing the most precious resource to them, which is our children.”

Straits believes alcoholism is actually a point of resistance to the atrocities, oppression and colonization suffered by indigenous nations.

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