About IITC

Our Mission

The International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) is an organization of Indigenous Peoples from North, Central, South America, the Caribbean and the Pacific working for the Sovereignty and Self Determination of Indigenous Peoples and the recognition and protection of Indigenous Rights, Treaties, Traditional Cultures and Sacred Lands.

Guiding Principles

In carrying out IITC’s mission and objectives, all aspects of the work of the IITC as well as the actions of its leadership, staff and representatives will be guided by the following principles.

  1. The IITC will reflect and support the values inherent in Traditional Indigenous cultures, including respect for the sacredness of all life and our Mother Earth, the wisdom of our elders, and the power of our traditional teachings and spiritual practices.
  2. The IITC recognizes that while sharing much in common, each Indigenous culture is also unique and each struggle reflects diverse historical conditions.  Therefore in keeping with the principles of self-determination, the IITC respects the right of each member Nation, community and organization to define and pursue the objectives and strategies best suited to its specific situation, history and culture.
  3. The IITC respects and seeks the participation of both men and women in all aspects and levels of the organizations.
  4. The IITC will continue to seek the advice of our traditional elders and spiritual leaders, and will make efforts to increase the participation and develop the leadership of Indigenous youth.
  5. The IITC believes that Indigenous Peoples should speak for and represent themselves before the world community.
  6. The IITC believes in the consensus process as the means to building unity, based on mutual understanding and shared commitment, and will employ this process in its proceedings whenever possible.
  7. The IITC expects that its representatives, staff and leadership will demonstrate the highest level of respect and regard in their interactions with one another, and will resolve any difficulties or disagreements that may arise according to agreed upon internal procedures.
  8. The IITC expects that its staff, Board members and representatives will conduct themselves in accordance with the above principles as well as the highest level of accountability, diplomacy and ethical standards, and will keep the best interests of the IITC and the Peoples it represents foremost while representing the IITC in any capacity.

A Voice for Indigenous Peoples

The IITC was founded in June 1974 at a gathering on the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota attended by more than 5000 representatives from 98 Indigenous Nations. The symbol of the sacred pipe uniting the hemisphere was chosen by the elders to represent the common bonds of spirituality, relationship to the land and traditional culture shared by all Indigenous Peoples.

The IITC supports Indigenous Peoples’ struggles for human and Treaty rights, self-determination, food sovereignty, environmental health and justice through information dissemination, coalition building, advocacy, training and technical assistance. The IITC builds the direct, effective participation of Indigenous Peoples in regional, national and international events, gatherings and policy discussions addressing their rights, ways of life and survival.

In 1977 IITC became the first Indigenous Peoples’ organization to be recognized as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with Consultative Status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council. In 2011, IITC was the first to be upgraded to General Consultation Status in recognition of its active participation in a wide range of international bodies and processes to ensure that the rights of Indigenous Peoples are recognized, respected and upheld.

The IITC carries out trainings for Indigenous Peoples, Tribal Nations and Communities to build their capacity to use international human rights processes to defend their rights, respond to urgent threats and hold countries and corporations accountable for violations. IITC also maintains an electronic communications network, including a web page, e-news and social media, to share updates and opportunities for involvement, and build awareness and support for Indigenous Peoples’ struggles.

IITC does not receive any state or federal funding. Instead, we rely on the generous support of foundation grants, Indigenous Nations and Tribes, and contributions from private donors, friends and allies to sustain our work. Please consider contributing to support the work of IITC. Whether it be monthly giving or a one time donation, any amount helps and all are tax deductible.