Gonnella-Frichner to discuss work for indigenous populations

Nov. 17, 2008 3:26 p.m.

"Indigenous Peoples: A Global Historical Overview for the 21st Century" is the topic of a lecture at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, in 101 McCormick Hall.

Tonya Gonnella-Frichner, North American representative to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, will speak on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2007. She will discuss how the declaration can be implemented, and what non-indigenous people can do to be advocates.

In 1987, Gonnella-Frichner became a delegate of, and legal counsel to, the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy at the U.N. Sub-Commission on Human Rights' Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva, Switzerland, which was then drawing up the U.N. Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. At the same time she founded the American Indian Law Alliance, one of the few indigenous organizations in North America that enjoys special consultative status with the U.N. Economic and Social Council.

A lawyer, diplomat, activist and Onondaga daughter, Gonnella-Frichner works closely with elders from the Haudenosaunee Confederacy as well as the Onondaga, Mohawk and Lakota nations, among others.

The event is sponsored by the Fields Center, the Department of Anthropology, the Center for African American Studies, the Davis International Center, the Department of History, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center, Native Americans at Princeton, the Program in Latin American Studies, the Pace Center, the Women's Center and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.