Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock on Wednesday, October 30 2013 as she talks with Charmaine White Face, or Zumila Wobaga. White Face is an Oglala Tetuwan. She is a Lakota language speaker from the Oceti Sakowin (Great Sioux Nation) in North America. She is known for her work in support of Native American rights, in particular as coordinator of the Defenders of the Black Hills, a volunteer organization centered around efforts to make the U.S. government honor the Fort Laramie Treaties of 1851 and 1868.
She recently authored the book Indigenous Nations' Rights in the Balance: An Analysis of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (LivingJustice Press, St. Paul, 2013). In it, she provides the reader with a point by point analysis of changes among the three different versions within the United Nations which culminated in the 2007 passage of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that deeply affected the position of Indigenous Peoples in the world community.
Charmaine White Face works in support of recognition of human rights of indigenous peoples all over the world. She is the spokesperson for the Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council. She was a participant in the prayer fast/hunger strike held in December 2004 in Geneva, Switzerland at the final meeting of the Intersessional Working Group on the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (WGDD). She has worked to preserve Bear Butte, the monitoring of abandoned uranium mines, the environmental mediation of hazardous waste ponds, and in the anti-nuclear movement. In Jan. 2013, she raised concerns about radiation exposure of South Dakota National Guard members in the Buffalo Gap National Grassland.
She is a columnist and freelance writer who has written for Indian Country Today, the Rapid City Journal, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, and The Lakota Journal.