#1 - GUNA YALA (PANAMA, CENTRAL AMERICA)
Guna Yala, formerly known as San Blas, is an indigenous province in northeast Panama; it is
the Territory of the indigenous group known as the Gunas...and it's capital is El Porvenir.
The governmental structure of Guna Yala is defined in Law 16 of 1953.
The Guna General Congress is the highest political authority of Guna Yala and consists of representatives of the Guna Tribal Nation from all of the communities in Guna Yala and meets twice a year.
Votes are taken by each Chief of the community, and each Guna community has 3 Chiefs to
ensure governance by democratic consensus.
The Guna have their own Flag, and the District of Guna Yala has an area of 2,306 km ².
It consists of a narrow strip of land of 373-kilometer (232 mi) long on the east coast of
Caribbean Panama, bordering the province of Darién and Colombia.
The Guna Tribal Nation also governs an archipelago of 365 islands around the Caribbean coast, of which only 36 are inhabited.
The District of Guna Yala has a population of 31,557 inhabitants, virtually all
members of the Guna Tribal Nation.
Panamanian Police have no constitutional authority to enter Guna Yala territory or arrest anyone in the territory - without the consent of the Guna Tribal Government.
Since 1925 the Gunas with the support of the Panamanian government, created an
autonomous territory called the Guna Yala district for the indigenous inhabitants which they
would rule themselves - and they still do, having just celebrated 90 years of Autonomy which
I was present to witness and attend in person.
* Has the Republic of Panama ceased to exist because they officially recognized AND
enshrined into their National Constitution - the autonomy of the Guna Tribal Nation?
Obviously NOT! High ranking Panamanian Government Officials were present in their official
capacities at every event I attended, to show their full support for the Autonomy of the Guna
# 2 - NAVAJO NATION (USA)
The Navajo Nation was established since 1868 and is a semi-autonomous Native American governed
territory covering 27,425 square miles (71,000 km2), occupying portions of northeastern Arizona, southeastern Utah, and northwestern New Mexico.
It is the largest land area retained by a US Tribe and is managed via agreements with the United States Congress as a Sovereign Indian Nation.
It has a population of 300,000 and about 180,000 are Navajo Tribal members, they also have
their own President (since 1991) and Vice-President, the Navajo Nation also has control over
the natural resources found on/in/under it's land - and the Navajo Nation's extensive mineral
resources are among the most valuable held by Native American nations within the United
Such a significant income from having control over their own natural resources (as is
enshrined in International Law such as ILO 169) was experienced by the Navajo Tribal Nation
that it enabled a middle class to emerge that remains to this day.
The Navajo Nation is one of the largest tribal governments of the North American Indian
Tribes, it's institutions include a judicial system, a large law enforcement and social service
apparatus, as well as a University and other local educational trusts.
It also has it's own flag and Seal (the American version of a 'coat of arms basically), the
Navajo Nation even has it's own Embassy in Washington DC (which I have visited in person - see photo below) where it deals with the Government of the United States of America in the Federal Capital of the USA - on a Government to Government basis.
They even have their own government website at: http://www.navajo-nsn.gov/
Video of Navajo Nation Board of Tourism - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-qcPiJvTqE
* I ask you - did the United States of America disintegrate into anarchy because they
recognized the autonomy of the Navajo Tribal Nation? Of course not - the USA (like Mexico,
Venezuela, Brazil etc.) was ALWAYS a country comprised of 'States within the state' - so this
talk from Caribbean Politicians about 'not allowing Amerindians to exercise autonomy in
CARICOM countries because it would result in a state within a state' (as if this is some unprecedented
phenomenon in the Americas) - and it only exposes how deeply ignorant of
the decades-old status of Indigenous Human Rights under International Laws that our so called
political leaders and alleged men and women of 'vision' truly are.
# 3 NUNAVUUT (CANADA)
Nunavut is the largest, northernmost and newest territory of Canada. It has it's own flag and
coat of arms.
It was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act
and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, though the boundaries had been drawn since
The creation of Nunavut resulted in the first major change to Canada's political map since the
incorporation of the new province of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1949.
Nunavut comprises a major portion of Northern Canada, and most of the Canadian Arctic
Archipelago, and it's vast territory makes it the fifth largest country subdivision in the world; as
well as the second-largest in North America after Greenland.
The capital Iqaluit (formerly "Frobisher Bay") on Baffin Island, in the east, was chosen by the
1995 capital plebiscite.
Nunavut is both the least populous and the largest in area of the provinces and territories of
Canada. One of the most remote, sparsely settled regions in the world, it has a population of
31,906, mostly of the Inuit Tribal Nation, spread over a land area the size of Western Europe.
It also has it's own government website: http://www.gov.nu.ca/
Video of Nunavut Board of Tourism - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyXOWOkjYKM
recognizing the Autonomy of this Indigenous Territory? On the contrary, Canada made a bold
and Internationally praised step FORWARD in the recognition to this high degree - of the
Internationally enshrined human rights of the indigenous Inuit Tribal Nation of Canada.
#4 KALAALLIT NUNAAT (GREENLAND)
Greenland is the world's largest non-continental island and the third largest country in North
It has it's own flag, and it's own coat of arms; and it is an autonomous COUNTRY within the
Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian
In 2008, the people of Greenland (89% are indigenous people of the Inuit Tribal Nation) voted
in a democratic referendum for greater autonomy, 75% of votes cast were in favor.
With a population of about 56,370 (2013), it is the least densely populated country in the
world. Greenland also has it's own native Prime Minister.
On 21 June 2009, Greenland was officially recognized as a self-ruling country with provisions
for assuming responsibility for self-government of judicial affairs, policing, and natural
resources; also - Greenlanders were recognized as a separate people under international
law. It also has it's own Government website here: http://naalakkersuisut.gl/kl-GL/English/International_relations.aspx
Denmark maintains control of Foreign Affairs and defense matters for now, and Denmark
upholds the annual block grant of 3.2 billion Danish kroner, but as Greenland begins to collect
revenues of its own natural resources, the grant will gradually be diminished. It is considered
by most to be a step toward eventual full independence from Denmark...a supremely
important step that will eventually make Greenland one of the first Indigenous Politically
Sovereign States in the western world; as all peoples have an inherent and undeniable right
to sovereignty under International Human Rights Laws - as the Government of the Kingdom
of Denmark knows and supports.
Me at far left with our late friend Ingmar Egede and Mayor Herman Berthelsen of the town of Sisimiut, Greenland, with brother Roberto Borrero - President of the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) at far right.
The Six Nations (Haudenosaunee) Confederacy of the Mohawk, Seneca, Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga & Tuscarora Tribal Nations of North Eastern North America - even print and USE their own Passports when travelling abroad!
In my own small way and in a demonstration of direct action towards implementing the Sovereign rights of my own Lokono-Arawak Tribal Nation - I created and issued the first I.D cards my people ever had, and these Pan-Tribal Confederacy Identification cards have been accepted as a valid for official personal identification by the Security Services of:
- United Nations Headquarters, New York City, New York; USA
- The Organization of American States Headquarters, Washington DC, USA
- The World Bank Headquarters, Washington DC, USA.
- The Presidential Palace in Brasilia, Brazil.
- The United States Department of the Interior, Washington DC, USA.
- The Presidential Palace, La Paz; Bolivia.
I also designed this flag for my people to fly proudly over our locally autonomous territory.
The question myself and other younger progressive thinkers who are active in the human
rights struggle are left with is this....why are all of our so-called regional 'indigenous rights
NGO's' in CARICOM (who have all been on the scene for decades already)...NOT doing any of these things and NOT informing our people that THESE examples are what we should aspire to - so we can begin to implement and exercise our superior Internationally Recognized legal rights as indigenous
Tribal Nations still resident in our own lands and territories; instead of being perpetually
conditioned to remain content to exist as second-class citizens with the inferior rights
contained in Colonial & Neo-Colonial spirited National Laws of the persistent and malignant
Damon Gerard Corrie
Founder & Chairman of the Defence Committee
Indigenous Democracy Defence Organization (IDDO)
FB site - https://www.facebook.com/IndigenousDemocracyDefenseOrganization?ref=hl