2014 (Age 13)
United Nations Permanent Forum of Indigenous Issues (PFII) Intervention Topic: Establishing a Native Children’s Survival Indigenous Children's Fund (NCSICF)
Sponsored by Native Children's Survival and American Indian Law and the Seventh Generation Fund
What is an Intervention?
Interventions are typically 5 minutes long, and presented in front of the Permanent Forum of Indigenous Issues (PFII) assembly. The intervener must find sponsors, and present on the day’s topic, which is taken from the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights. The text of the speech, recommendations, in addition to further comments, are submitted to the PFII. The PFII then decides which recommendations they will act upon.
Ta’Kaiya, Youth Ambassador for Native Children’s Survival delivered the Intervention Establishing a Native Children’s Survival Indigenous Children's Fund (NCSICF). At 13, she is the youngest person to deliver an intervention. The Intervention was written by herself on behalf of the visionary and founder of the fund’s proposal, Robby Romero, of Native Children’s Survival (NCS). NCS is a 501©(3) non-profit organization founded by musician Robby Romero in 1989, is dedicated to raising awareness about critical issues facing Mother Earth, her children, and the seventh generation to come. “Our mission is achieved through the international language of music and film, and sustainable product development.”
Excerpt from her speech:
A Native Survival Indigenous Children’s Fund with the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues should be established to ensure the survival and well-being of we, the Indigenous children and youth now and for the generations to come. Children under 18 account for 61% of indigenous population; the true majority and foundation of indigenous societies.
For centuries, our Nations have sustained the familiar cycles of poverty and cultural extinguishment, as well as their ensuing counterparts, inadequate healthcare and education, infant mortality, drug abuse, language loss, distance from self-sustaining traditional practices and suicide. Due to the continuation of historic exclusion, cultural genocide, and discrimination, we the Indigenous youth are subjected to colonization and the devastating effects of residential and boarding schools.
These ingredients of genocide have become an integral part of indigenous communities. Indigenous youth are a product of our communities, and so these negative factors become parts of our identity and discriminate against our human rights.
Excerpt from the United Nations Economic and Social Council Meetings Coverage 05/2014
In Sombre Depiction of Indigenous Children Caught in Bitter Land Disputes, Speakers in Permanent Forum Describe Myriad Threats, Urge Solutions
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Thirteenth Session. 8th Meeting (AM)
Against a backdrop pockmarked by cultural disintegration, “suicide clusters” and family displacements from extractive industries, speakers today in the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples urged prompt and concerted action to reverse those trends and improve the lives of indigenous children and youth worldwide.
As the Permanent Forum drew down the first of its two-week session, Ta’Kaiya Blaney, a 13-year-old from the Sliammon Nation in Canada, speaking on behalf of Native Children’s Survival, American Indian Law Alliance and Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples, urged the Forum to establish an Indigenous Children’s Fund to “ensure the survival and well-being of we, the indigenous children and youth, now and for the generations to come."
During the half-day discussion on children and youth, Ms. Blaney described poverty-stricken communities, noting that some lacked access to clean water. Suicide was rampant, as “every month there is at least one funeral in my community”, she said, adding that “suicide and death is such a frequent visitor that in the heart of our reservation there is a death-bell that tolls the number of times in accordance to the deceased age, whether they were an elder or child”.
Describing a childhood caught in a bitter land struggle between her nation and the Canadian Government — which had resulted in the loss of 97.7 per cent of Sliammon Nation territory — she said indigenous youth were products of communities that had for centuries faced poverty, cultural extinction, inadequate health care and education, infant mortality, drug abuse, language loss and suicide.