Annual Panel, Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
As Delivered by Catherine Peters
Human Rights Council – 51th Session
Thank you, Madam Vice President and thank you panelists for your presentations.
As part of our commitment to advancing human rights and equity both at home and globally, the United States recognizes the importance of working with indigenous communities to eliminate obstacles to their full enjoyment of human rights. Unfortunately, in the United States, poverty, unemployment, environmental degradation, healthcare disparities, violent crime, and discrimination of all types disproportionately affect Native Americans. The November 2021 White House Fact Sheet on “Building a New Era of Nation-To-Nation Engagement” outlines U.S. government agency policies and programs to address these.
On COVID-19, the United States partners with tribal leaders and indigenous peoples’ organizations to address the pandemic holistically. The CARES Act, the American Rescue Plan, and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act all dedicate funding to tribes, tribal organizations, and their health service providers. The American Rescue Plan includes $32 billion for tribal nations, the most significant financial investment for U.S. indigenous communities in our nation’s history.
Funds are used for medical expenses and supplies, communications, and providing economic support, including grants for small businesses and unemployment insurance. They build public health capacities to control infection and to prevent injury and violence, focusing on suicide, adverse childhood experiences, and intimate partner violence.
Last November, the United States announced $785 million in American Rescue Plan funding to support community-based organizations in communities of color, rural areas, and low-income populations. This includes funding includes to build capacities in tribal communities; hire and support school nurses; and recruit and retain health care professionals throughout indigenous communities. The $785 million augments the significant investments already made in equity-focused programs and initiatives since the Administration assumed office.
I thank you.