OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON, April 1 – Harvard Doctor of Anthropology and Director of the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies (CIS), Dr. Bernard Perley, has been appointed to the Security Commission of the Congress of Nations and States (CNS).
Dr. Perley is helping guide the University of British Columbia as it seeks to fulfill its goal of meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous communities. He has organized academic panels on issues related to Indigenous assertions of linguistic, cultural, and political sovereignty, conducted ethnographic fieldwork in his home community of Tobique, and has advocated on behalf of Indigenous linguistic sovereignty in his public lectures and publications.
“I have observed how Indigenous and Settler state relations have been in constant tension over
rights, respect, and our common humanity. These are the areas of interest that I’ve worked on over decades, and I want to continue that work with CNS colleagues dedicated to peaceful and mutually respectful relations,” said Dr. Perley.
On the relevance of CNS in global peace operations, Dr. Perley argued, “we are living in a time where divisive politics stand in the way of peace and common visions of empowerment and fulfillment. We need to find other structures to fill the void created by these entrenched discourses of hate and intolerance. Too many of the institutional and bureaucratic apparatus are locked into standoffs in zero-sum games. CNS is poised to offer another vision that breaks those zero-sum games into mutual win-win scenarios.”
”The people at CNS who gather together to work toward mutual goals of fairness, justice, and a sustainable future for all, offer our best hope of surviving the threats of State intractability and the looming disasters of climate change.”
As the Security Commissioners held their first mandate session and crafted resolutions, Dr. Perley observed, “this work is daunting, the prospects of success are hard to estimate, but a vision for a fair and equitable world are worth the effort.”
The six CNS Specialized Commissions – Economic, Environmental, Culture and Society, Political, Security and Justice – have been drafting Protocol Resolutions since February 26, 2021, and will continue to do so until July 2022. The Congress is expected to convene in September 2022.
Congratulations and good luck to newly-appointed Security Commissioner, Dr. Perley!