July 31, 2020
Christina Leza, author of Divided Peoples: Policy, Activism, and Indigenous Identities on the U.S.-Mexico Border, recently asked in an essay published in Yes!, ‘What is the U.S.-Mexico border to indigenous peoples who have lived there?’ especially during this latest border wall construction.
An excerpt from the essay:
The Indigenous Alliance has long advocated for the development of comprehensive legislation that would address Indigenous border rights at both the Canada-U.S. and U.S.-Mexico borders, and has envisioned summits that include both tribal government and grassroots community leaders. Recent tribal border summits in Tucson, Arizona, organized by the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, the Tohono O’odham Nation, and the National Congress of American Indians are building toward this vision. The Indigenous Alliance has also advocated for the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by U.S. tribal governments on the U.S.-Mexico border to help build a common reference for Indigenous border rights.
While Indigenous leaders work to address issues they face with U.S.-Mexico border policy, Indigenous members must continue to grapple with the everyday impacts of increasing border enforcement, including the growing presence of Border Patrol and surveillance technology on reservation lands, as well as the disruption of their lands by border barrier construction.
Read the entire essay in Yes! here.