Having research acknowledged by the United Nations is an exceptional feat, but being invited to present it there in your own words creates an opportunity to make a global impact. UBC assistant professor Margo Tamez has been invited by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to present research findings on the impacts of borders, walls, militarization, and dispossession on Indigenous peoples and their lands and territories especially those affected by international borders.
“Being selected to participate is an enormous honour,” says Tamez, assistant professor of Indigenous Studies at UBC’s Okanagan campus. “It comes with a significant responsibility to uphold the principles of Indigenous elders, women, families, youth and workers in regions of North America which have been severely marginalized by U.S. domestic policy decisions related to border security.”
At the UN, Tamez and research collaborator Ariel Dulitzky, clinical professor of law and director of the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Texas, have worked steadily to highlight the severity of the social, economic, and political impacts directly tied to the construction of the Texas-Mexico border wall across the lands of the Kickapoo, Tigua, and Lipan Apache Indigenous communities.
“I am thrilled to have the chance to work in collaboration with one of the world’s top human rights experts and to contribute innovatively to Indigenous rights and and the appreciation of Indigenous peoples’ social movements for recognition,” says Tamez. “I look forward to learning more about high-level UN internal mechanisms, as well as building greater awareness about the value and importance of Indigenous women’s contributions as researchers, community advocates and international diplomats who are affecting transformation.”