The pounding of drums have been thundering in my head recently. Why? I recently learned of the Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Network… What is the fascination with this Network? It represents the underserved population of those having some type of disability. Their stories and insights have been powerful. When I introduced myself, I received a warm welcome and did not hesitate to share my useful resources with them.

The pounding of drums have been thundering in my head recently. Why? I recently learned of the Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Network.  It is a group of Indigenous Persons with Disabilities who are from Australia, New Zealand, Kosovo, Africa, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and many Native American tribes. Aborigines are one group that had a different story and purpose.  This Network of professionals have created a resource for others to learn about there tribes and about each other.  Some of the tribe members have taken offense with the ways that their stories have been publically presented.

What is the fascination with this Network?  It represents the underserved population of those having some type of disability. Their stories and insights have been powerful.  When I introduced myself, I received a warm welcome and did not hesitate to share my useful resources with them.

Through email, I have established a very good relationship with colleagues who have opened up the world of this disability community.  They are aware of the Indigenous Rights of Indigenous Peoples established by the United Nations in 2010.  This quote from Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Ottawa, Ontario sets the tone for what has happened in the past and what they are working on now:

“We cannot undo the mistakes of the past, but we can learn from them and affirm that they will not be repeated.  In this year, the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and with next year being the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, it serves as an appropriate time to reinvigorate the Crown-First Nation relationships.  There have been indicators in recent times that Canada is moving inexorably in the right direction, including repeal of the law that barred registered Indians from voting in federal elections in 1960 by the Diefenbaker government; the recognition and affirmation of Aboriginal and Treaty rights in the Constitution Act, 1982; the historic Indian Residential School apology in 2008; and the endorsement of United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2010.”

The Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Network is a wonderful, unique group.  They are linked with the International Disability Alliance.  They post documents and resources on other countries around the world are doing to support the indigenous persons with disability on an international level.  Our Pineda Foundation for Youth has learned a great deal about this Network and hopes to establish more partnerships in the near future.

For more information about the Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Network, please visit:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IINPWD/

To subscribe to the Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Network, email:

IINPWD-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or contact the list owner at IINPWD-owner@yahoogroups.com.


Featured Image Credit: CBM.org

Written by Elizabeth Pope

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