Section Four: Organizational and Political Rights

Article XIX: Rights of Association, Assembly, and Freedom of Expression and Thought

1. Indigenous peoples and their members have rights of association, assembly, organization, and expression, without interference and in accordance with their values, usages, customs, ancestral traditions, beliefs, and spirituality. 2. Indigenous peoples have the right to assembly and to make use of their sacred and ceremonial areas.

3. Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain full contact, bonds, and common activities with their members who inhabit the territory of neighboring States.

4. The States shall adopt measures aimed at facilitating the exercise of the rights recognized in this article, mindful of the rights of third persons.

Article XX. Right to Self Government

1. Indigenous peoples, in the exercise of the right to self-determination within the States, have the right to autonomy or self-government with respect to, inter alia, culture, language, spirituality, education, information, means of communication, health, housing, employment, social well-being, maintenance of community security, family relations, economic activities, administration of land and resources, environment and entry of non-members; and to determine the ways and means of financing these autonomous functions.

2. Indigenous peoples have the right to participate without discrimination in decision-making at all levels, in relation to matters that may directly affect their rights, lives, and destiny. They may do so either directly or through their representatives elected by them in accordance with their own procedures. They also have the right to maintain and develop their own indigenous decision-making institutions; and to equal opportunity for gaining access to and participating in all national institutions and fora.

Article XXI. Indigenous Law and Jurisdiction

1. Indigenous law shall be recognized as part of the legal system and of the States’ framework for social and economic development.

2. Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their legal systems for addressing internal matters in their communities, and to apply them in accordance with their own rules and procedures, including matters related to the resolution of conflicts within and between indigenous peoples, and to the preservation of peace and harmony.

3. The matters referring to indigenous persons or to their interests in the jurisdiction of each State shall be conducted so as to provide for the right of the indigenous to full representation with dignity and equality before the law, and, if necessary, the use of interpreters.

4. The States shall take measures to reinforce the judicial capacity of the indigenous peoples, to establish their jurisdiction, and to coordinate it with all other national jurisdictions, as appropriate. In addition, the States shall take measures to ensure that the judiciary is knowledgeable of and applies indigenous law and custom, and to ensure that it is taught in the law schools.

Article XXII. Contributions of the Indigenous Legal and Organizational Systems

1. The States shall facilitate the inclusion, within their national organizational structures, as appropriate, of the traditional institutions and practices of the indigenous peoples, in consultation with and with the consent of said peoples.

2. The relevant institutions of each State that serve the indigenous peoples, as well as their respective public policies, shall be designed in consultation with and with the participation of the peoples concerned to reinforce and promote the identity, culture, traditions, organization, and values of those peoples.

Article XXIII. Treaties, Agreements, and Constructive Arrangements

Indigenous peoples have the right to the recognition, observance, and application of the treaties, conventions, and other arrangements that the States or their successors may have concluded, in keeping with their spirit and intent, and to have the same be respected and observed by the States.

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