OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A United Nations official focusing on the rights of indigenous people is calling on state, federal and tribal authorities to ensure that the rights of a nearly 4-year-old girl in the middle of a custody dispute are considered.
James Anaya is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples. He says in a statement released Tuesday that authorities should consider Veronica's rights to maintain her "cultural identity" as a member of the Cherokee Nation.
Veronica's father, Dusten Brown, has been fighting for custody of the girl with a South Carolina couple who adopted her.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled than Brown, a member of the Cherokee Nation, can't use a federal law meant to keep Native American tribes together to press his case.