Maya Human Rights Program
The mission of this program is to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in collaboration with academic institutions, indigenous peoples governments and contemporary states governments.
International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples
We regularly organize conferences in Omaha, Nebraska to commemorate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. These conferences bring together indigenous and non-indigenous academics, spiritual leaders, healers, students and other community members to discuss how to advance the rights of indigenous peoples, foster collaborative relationships and celebrate Maya and other indigenous cultures.
We frequently provide expert witness testimony to Maya community members seeking asylum in the United States. These testimonies and other legal support we provide have prevented the deportations of several members of our community and helped many gain legal status within the United States.
Indigenous Nation to Nation Relationship Building
We have connected and continue to foster diplomatic and collaborative relationships between the traditional ancestral government of the Akateko, Chuj, Popti and Q’anjob’al Maya people with the American Indian Omaha Nation. This nation to nation relationship is grounded in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Article 36.
Maya and Omaha Indigenous Nations Summit
In September of 2018, leaders of the Omaha Nation traveled to Maya territory for a historic summit between indigenous governments. Their objectives were to commemorate and spread awareness of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; witness the ceremonial visits of elders of the Q’anjob’al Maya government to sacred sites; continue to mark Maya territory by visiting, praying at and consulting sacred sites on the future of the Q’anjob’al Maya Nation; and further intergovernmental dialogue on how to implement indigenous peoples’ human rights for the benefit of the Q’anjob’al Maya on Omaha Nations Territory with emphasis on immigration and economic development programs.
We are seeking funding to establish a transnational collective legal defense strategy for Maya people in our traditional homeland and in the United States. This would allow us to:
- Provide legal defense for Maya people criminalized in Maya territory for their defense of land, territory, sovereignty and natural resources.
- Bring to justice the state of Guatemala for committing genocide and other crimes against the Akateko, Chuj, Popti and Q’anjob’al people during the internal armed conflict and seek legally binding agreements on collective compensation for victims in our traditional homeland and the US.
- Provide legal representation, documentation and collective litigation to support Akateko, Chuj, Popti and Q’anjob’al people seeking asylum in the US.