The Permanent Forum is comprised of sixteen independent experts, functioning in their personal capacity, who serve for a term of three years as Members and may be re-elected or re-appointed for one additional term.
Eight of the Members are nominated by governments and eight are nominated directly by indigenous organizations in their regions.
The Members nominated by governments are elected by ECOSOC based on the five regional groupings of States normally used at the United Nations (Africa; Asia; Eastern Europe; Latin America and the Caribbean; and Western Europe and Other States).
The Members nominated by indigenous organizations are appointed by the President of ECOSOC and represent the seven socio-cultural regions determined to give broad representation to the world’s indigenous peoples.
The regions are Africa; Asia; Central and South America and the Caribbean; the Arctic; Central and Eastern Europe, Russian Federation, Central Asia and Transcaucasia; North America; and the Pacific—with one additional rotating seat among the three first listed above. The rotating seat is taken by Asia during the 2014-2016 term.
Álvaro Esteban Pop (Maya Q'eqchi, Guatemala)
Álvaro Esteban Pop Ac, Maya Q’eqchi. Independent expert and Vice Chair of the PFII in 2012 and 2015. Autodidact. Political Science and international relations URL-Guatemala.
Mr. Pop led the First global assessment of the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Guatemala (2012). He prepared the Report on the reality of indigenous children in Mesoamerica (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua), the Report on the study on democracy and indigenous peoples in Latin America (Mexico, Guatemala and Ecuador) and the Report on Truth Commissions and indigenous peoples in America (Guatemala, Peru and Canada).
Mr. Pop developed the Institutional Policy Proposal for Cultural Relevance 2014 for the Supreme Court of Guatemala. Prepared a study for the Organization of American States (OAS) on Indigenous peoples in the electoral observation in Latin America 2014. Member of the Global Dialogue Forum with Indigenous Peoples of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Professor of Interculturality, Multiculturality and Indigenous Peoples of the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy.
Mr. Pop is a president of the Naleb Organization. Head of the Indigenous Electoral Observation Mission in Guatemala 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011. OAS Ecuador electoral observer. Has been host of the TV Maya talk show Espacio Público con Álvaro Pop (2011 -2013). He has conducted radio programmes, has been print media columnist, editorial director of the magazine BAQ’TUN and columnist of the magazine CHRONICLE.
Aisa Mukabenova (Russian Federation)
Dalee Sambo Dorough (Inuit, United States)
Dr. Dalee Sambo Dorough (Inuit-Alaska) holds a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law (2002) and a Master of Arts in Law & Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University (1991). Dr. Dorough is currently an Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Alaska Anchorage; Alaska Member of the Inuit Circumpolar Council Advisory Committee on UN Issues; and Member of the International Law Association Committee on Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Dr. Dorough has a long history of direct involvement in the discussion, debate, and negotiation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). She was an active participant in this work from 1985 up to adoption of the UNDRIP by the UN General Assembly on September 13, 2007. Dr. Dorough was also a direct participant in the two-year revision process of International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No. 107, which resulted in the adoption of C169 Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries on June 27, 1989 by the ILO. She specialises in public international law, international human rights law, international relations, and Alaska Native self-determination. In addition, she has experience in the administration, management and coordination of statewide, national and international organizations as well as estimating and oversight of federal, state and private construction contracts.
In the summer of 1977, Dr. Dorough assisted in the organising of the first Inuit Circumpolar Conference, which took place in Barrow, Alaska and was hosted by the North Slope Borough. During her tenure at the ICC, Dr. Dorough was responsible for not only the international human rights standard setting work but also for the coordination of the Alaska Native Review Commission (ANRC), which is regarded as one of the most important, comprehensive reviews of the impact of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. The Commission’s work was led by former British Columbia Supreme Court Justice, Thomas R. Berger, who published his findings in the volume entitled Village Journey: The Report of the Alaska Native Review Commission.
Devasish Roy (Chakma, Bangladesh)
Raja Devasish Roy earned a BA from Rangamati Government College, University of Chittagong in 1981 and a BA (Hons) in Law from the University of Kent at Canterbury, Kent, UK, in 1985. In 1986, he received the degree of Barrister-at-Law from the Inns of Court School of Law, London. In 1991, he obtained a Diploma in Legal Studies at the La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia.
Raja Devasish Roy is a traditional Circle Chief – known as the Chakma Raja or Chakma Chief, in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region of Bangladesh since 1977. As Chief he is directly responsible for land and revenue administration, administration of justice and for advising several CHT-related statutory governmental institutions, as an ex-officio adviser or member, including the (i) district civil and revenue administrations of Rangamati and Khagrachari districts of the CHT; (ii) the Rangamati and Khagrachari hill district councils; (iii) the CHT Development Board, (iv) the advisory committee of the Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs and (v) the CHT Land Disputes Resolution Commission.
He has been practising law in the Dhaka District Court since 1988 and in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh (High Court Division) since 1991. He has taught English law to London University LL.B students at Bhuiyan Academy, Dhaka, and Constitutional Law at Rangamati Law College.
In January, 2008 he was appointed as a Special Assistant to the Chief Adviser (Minister of State), Caretaker Government of Bangladesh. He was in charge of the Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs and the Ministry of Environment & Forests and held these posts until January, 2009, when an elected government resumed office in Dhaka after the caretaker administration of fourteen advisers facilitated one of the fairest elections in the history of Bangladesh.
Raja Devasish Roy holds membership of many international, national and local voluntary organizations dealing with indigenous peoples’ rights, human rights, development and environment. These include the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, London, UK, the Supreme Court Bar Association, Dhaka, Kreddha: Peace Council for States; Minorities and Indigenous Peoples; South Asia People’s Commission on the Rights of Minorities (SAPCROM); Bangladesh Legal Aid & Services Trust (BLAST); Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD); Arannayk Foundation, Maleya Foundation, Australian Adivasi Association of Bangladesh, Taungya and Dhaka Club Limited.
Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine (Tuareg, Mali)
Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine is a medical doctor from Tombouctou in Mali. She holds a degree from University of Tizi-Ouzou (Algeria) with several researches in ophthalmology, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics and general medicine. She also holds a Masters in Humanitarian Action from the University of Geneva, focusing on interventions in crisis: armed conflict, marginalization/exclusion and natural disasters. The latter part of her studies focused on “The role of traditional medicine in Tuareg Mali. Mariam is a member of Tin Hinan, a women association working for the defence, promotion and development of indigenous peoples in Africa, in particular the Tuareg. Mariam has been a very active member of this organization since she was young and has worked on many issues related to health such as nutrition, malaria prevention, and education on sexual and reproductive health among the Tuareg. She participated in training on ILO Convention 169 and several times in the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. She also volunteered with African NGOs for advocacy on Human Rights at the regular sessions of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations and the Universal Periodic Review in Africa. She is also an independent consultant on gender issues, health, and conflict resolution / peace agreement in indigenous communities.
Oliver Loode (Estonia)
Oliver Loode is a tourism development consultant and an activist of the international Finno-Ugric movement that unites indigenous Finno-Ugric peoples in the EU and Russia.
Mr. Loode was born in Tallinn, Estonia. He studied at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1997 with a Bachelor of Sciences in Economics degree (Magna Cum Laude).
After returning to Estonia in 2001, Mr. Loode established Consumetric, a market research consultancy that starting from 2005 specialized in the tourism industry. Since then, Mr. Loode has implemented over 50 tourism development, training and research projects in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia, focusing on cultural and sustainable tourism.
Since 2009, Mr. Loode joined the international Finno-Ugric movement in an activist capacity via Estonian NGO U-Turn (U-Pööre MTÜ) where he serves as Member of Board. During 2010-2012, Mr. Loode worked closely with the Youth Association of the Finno-Ugric Peoples (MAFUN), developing and implementing several strategic projects for the Finno-Ugric movement that aims to preserve and develop the cultural heritage of over 20 Finno-Ugric peoples, most of whom are indigenous. Jointly with MAFUN, Mr. Loode Initiated the programme of Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture. As head of the programme bureau of Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture, Mr. Loode oversees the planning, preparation and implementation of the programme.
Since 2012, Mr. Loode has been a Member of Board of Fenno-Ugria NPO, the leading Estonian organization dedicated to developing relations with kindred Finno-Ugric peoples. Mr. Loode is a native speaker of Estonian, and is fluent in English, Russian and German.
Edward John (Tl’azt’en, Canada)
Grand Chief Edward John (Akile Ch’oh) is a Hereditary Chief of Tl’azt’en Nation located in northern British Columbia (BC). He is an Indigenous leader who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of social and economic justice for Canada’s Indigenous people, having worked as a leader in Indigenous politics, business and community development.
Grand Chief John has been a lawyer for over 30 years. He holds a B.A. from the University of Victoria (UVIC), an LL.B from the University of British Columbia and Honorary Degrees from UVIC and the University of Northern BC.
Grand Chief John has served in many leadership roles at the local, provincial, national and international levels. He is a long serving elected member of the First Nations Summit political executive, which is mandated to carry out specific tasks related to Aboriginal Title and Rights negotiations with the governments of BC and Canada and other issues of common concern to First Nations in BC. He participated in the development of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2007. He is currently serving a second three-year term as a North American Representative to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII).
Gervais Nzoa (Cameroon)
Mr. Gervais Nzoa
Mr. Gervais NZOA brings 25 years of professional experience on indigenous issues. He has master’s degree in public law of the former University of Yaoundé (Cameroon), a degree in technical development framework, a Diploma of Specialized Studies and certificates from the Pan African Institute for Development, Central Africa, Douala Cameroon.
He is a strong advocate of indigenous capabilities; consolidating social and community cohesion through unified projects; and designs, and support indigenous development programs.
Mr. NZOA has been intensely following the implementation of the final document of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Convention 169 of the ILO as well as the jurisprudence of UN bodies on the rights of indigenous peoples;
He studied economic, social and cultural status of indigenous peoples and published research works on indigenous issues.
Joan Carling (Kankana-ey Igorot, Philippines)
Ms. Joan Carling
Joan Carling is an indigenous activist from the Cordillera, Philippines. She has been working on indigenous issues at the grassroots to international levels for more than 20 years. Her field of expertise includes human rights, sustainable development, environment, and climate change, as well as on the principles and application of Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). She has been also been actively engaging in international bodies, processes and mechanisms such as with International Financial Institutions, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), REDD+ related mechanisms, UN agencies, and mechanisms relating to human rights and sustainable development in advancing the issues and concerns of indigenous peoples in Asia.
Ms Carling also works as a policy advocacy officer at the AIPP for its engagements with UN agencies, the World Bank, Asia Development Bank and other bilateral funding and development agencies and regional bodies (ASEAN) or the promotion and protection on Indigenous Peoples (IP) rights, welfare and concerns. Concurrently, Ms Carling works as an advisory board member at organizations such as the UNDP- Regional Programme for Indigenous Peoples, IFAD Grants for Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Communities Support Organization – Cambodia the Cordillera Peoples Alliance – Philippines.
She has been elected twice as the Secretary General of the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), starting in 2008 and has been representing AIPP’s 47 member-organizations in 14 countries. Ms. Carling also wrote and edited several AIPP publications and materials relating to human rights, climate change and REDD+, sustainable development, indigenous women among others.
Ms. Carling was appointed by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as an indigenous expert- member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) for 2014-16.
Ms. Joan U. Carling holds a Social Science Degree from the University of the Philippines majoring in Sociology with a minor in Economics.
Joseph Goko Mutangah (Kenya)
Dr. Joseph Goko Mutangah holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wales, a MSc in Plant Ecology from the University of Nairobi, Kenya and a BSc. in Botany (Hons) from Panjab University, India.
Joseph Goko Mutangah initially became involved in biodiversity conservation during the course of his research when he grew concerned about the deliberate degradation of natural habitats and loss of biodiversity in many Kenyan natural habitats, particularly indigenous forests. With other research scientists, he formed Habitat Restoration Initiative for Eastern Africa in 1998 with the objective of restoring degraded habitats in the region. The initiative later became a committee of Nature-Kenya, which operates under the umbrella of the East African Natural History Society. For the last 10 years, Mutangah has been in charge of the Kenya Resource Center for Indigenous Knowledge.
Dr. Mutangah considers the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples a victory in legislative achievement for Indigenous Peoples. On the local level, he points to Kenya’s new constitution (2010) in which the rights of Indigenous people in Kenya are enshrined. “This is one of the greatest tools Indigenous communities can use to claim and protect their rights,” he says, adding that pushing for writing of the policies regarding the rights and issues affecting the minority and marginalized people (Indigenous people) is currently going on through the National Gender and Equality Commission of Kenya, which is mandated to look after the welfare of the minority and marginalized communities in Kenya.
Since becoming a member of the Permanent Forum, Mutangah says, “we as members of the Forum have discussed many issues about Indigenous people globally and have passed many resolutions to the United Nations Economic and Social Council—especially resolutions that emanated from presentations and discussions of last year’s conference in April-May 2014.” He has also participated in similarly related local and international conferences and workshops, including the United Nations Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (UNREDD), held in Arusha, Tanzania, and a workshop in Kenya organized by the National Gender and Equality Commission on Marginalized and Minority Communities in Kenya.
Kara-Kys Arakchaa (Tuva, Russian Federation)
Ms. Kara-Kys Arakchaa
Kara-Kys Arakchaa holds a PhD in Chemical Sciences and is a docent at the Faculty of Chemistry in Lomonosov Moscow State University. She has been member of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Federal Assembly (1993 – 1995) and the Counsel of the Assembly of Peoples of Russia (since 1997). She is an honoured worker of science and presently serves as the Scientific Secretary of Scientific Research Institute of Medical and Social Problems and the Management of the Republic of Tyva from 2012 and has held different government positions in the past. She has authored number of publications and works on Policy and Law in Relation to Indigenous Peoples, Arjaanology, History and Ethnography of the Tyvan People and Chemistry and Environment.
Maria Eugenia Choque Quispe (Aymara, Plurinational State of Bolvia)
Maria Eugenia Choque Quispe, member of the Center of Aymara Studies, holds a Master’s degree in Andean History from the Latin American School of Social Sciences in Quito and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She has published research papers on the themes of gender, identity, Ayllu, oral history, indigenous movement, indigenous education and the reconstitution of Ayllus.
She has been consultant on indigenous issues for Education Reform, Oxfam America and the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Paraguay.
Megan Davis (Cobble Cobble, Australia)
Megan Davis (Cobble Cobble – South East Queensland) is currently Associate Professor and Director of the Indigenous Law Centre, Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales and is a Commissioner of the New South Wales Land and Environment Court, and an Australian member of the International Law Association’s Indigenous Rights Committee. Megan has previously held the position of Director, Bill of Rights project, Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, Faculty of Law, UNSW. Megan Davis is from Queensland and has Aboriginal and South Sea Islander background.
Megan has a BA (Australian History), LLB (UQ); Grad. Dip. Leg. Pract., LLM (International Law) ANU and recently completed a PhD in Law (ANU) on the limitations of the right to self-determination for Aboriginal women. Megan is also an admitted solicitor of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory.
Currently Megan teaches, researches and writes in the area of Indigenous peoples in Public Law, particularly Australian constitutional law, democratic theory and governance and international law, especially that concerning the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. She currently lectures in the Faculty of Law, UNSW in Public Law, International Human Rights Law, Indigenous Peoples in International Law and Indigenous Peoples and the Law.
Mohammad Hassani Nejad Pirkouhi (Islamic Republic of Iran)
Mr. Mohammad Hassani Nejad Pirkouhi
Valmaine Toki (Nga Puhi/Ngati Wai/Ngati Rehua, New Zealand)
Valmaine Toki is a senior lecturer in law at Te Piringa Faculty of Law at the University of Waikato (New Zealand). She specializes in international indigenous issues, contemporary Treaty and Maori issues, jurisprudence, and legal methodology. She holds an MBA from the Australian Maritime College at the University of Tasmania, where she focused on marine resource management, strategic planning, and sustainable practices.
Professor Toki has also worked on cases involving Maori fishing rights, aquaculture, and asset allocation. She has acted in cases at the Maori Land Court and the High Court of New Zealand, and as a Treaty negotiator for her hapu or sub-tribe. Beyond New Zealand, Valmaine serves as a Vice Chair on the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and is the Forum’s representative for the World Intellectual Property Organization, United Nations Development Programme as well as other official UN meetings.
Professor Toki’s research interests lie within the area of human and indigenous rights, therapeutic jurisprudence and resource management. Recently, she has undertaken research into ‘therapeutic jurisprudence’ as a vehicle to implement indigenous legal systems and reduce the disproportionate number of Maori criminal offenders. This work envisages a specialist indigenous court that embraces Maori customs, ethics, values, and norms.
Valmaine Toki is of Nga Puhi, Ngati Wai and Ngati Rehua descent.