[Editor's Note: Two activists for indigenous rights, who have asked the city to give back land they say belongs to the Ohlone people, and requested that the city sign on in support of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, shared this open letter to Albany officials with Albany Patch. A video of some of their remarks to Albany officials, at meetings in July, is attached to this post.]
Recognize and endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in respect to returning the land to be used for the University Village Mixed Use Project to the Ohlone People, and send a letter to United States Secretary of the Interior, Kenneth Lee Salazar.
On June 29, 2006, the United Nations Human Council adopted the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Declaration respects the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination and recognizes subsistence rights and rights to land, territories and resources.
The city of Albany is the homeland to the Ohlone People, whose ancestors have lived for over 10,000 years. The University Village Mixed Use Project requires land that traditionally belongs to the Ohlone People to be used for economic development. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) would enable the Ohlone People to engage the City of Albany and the University of California, Berkeley, in a way that "promotes their full and effective participation in all matters that concern them and their right to remain distinct and to pursue their own visions of economic and social development." The UNDRIP is in the same spirit with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and UN Charter, which all members must reflect in their national laws.
We also request the City of Albany send a letter to Secretary of Interior Kenneth Lee Salazar.
Write, email and call Mayor Farid Javandel and Councilmember Robert Lieber and request the City Council endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, and return 100 acres of land to the Ohlone People. The University of California, Berkeley, should collaborate with the Ohlone People in returning the 100 acres to the original inhabitants of the East Bay. The next council meeting will be Sept. 4, 2012.
Mayor Farid Javandel
Voice Mailbox: 510-559-7250
Fax: 1-510-528-5797 (City Hall)
Councilmember Robert Lieber
Attend a City Council Meeting
Council Chambers, City Hall
1000 San Pablo Avenue
Albany, CA 94706
--Quanah Parker Brightman, United Native Americans Inc., President, and Hinhanska Haney, United Native Americans Inc., Ambassador