Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Francisco Cali Tzay
Agenda Item 4
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
As Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
Human Rights Council – 51th Session
Thank you, Mr. President.
The United States recognizes that indigenous peoples’ knowledge is needed to address the current environmental crises, including climate change and the loss of biodiversity. We regularly work with Native American tribes to incorporate indigenous and traditional knowledge, or ITK, into U.S. government actions to address these challenges.
In November 2021, the White House created an Interagency Working Group on ITK. The Working Group consulted with tribes, experts, and the public to develop guidance for Federal agencies on how ITK can inform Federal decision-making. It is preparing a guidance document for release at the White House Tribal Nations Summit later this year.
Climate change and the loss of biodiversity disproportionately affects indigenous peoples’ ecosystems, lands, and subsistence resources. Because indigenous women and girls are often intimately familiar with their communities, customs, and traditions, they are uniquely positioned to develop and implement locally relevant, culturally appropriate sustainable solutions.
Although they are often excluded from formal decision-making processes, indigenous women and girls frequently lead community and grassroots efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change and environmental degradation. They must be empowered as leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs without facing the threat of violence and retaliation.
Question: Are there best practices to strengthen indigenous women and girls’ involvement in decision-making processes?
I thank you.