Peoples Movement Assembly: Indigenous Sovereignty
US Social Forum 2010, Detroit, MI
As older brothers and sisters of this land, we do not want another U.S.; but the return of our Ancestral homelands and the right to self-determination. We want others to understand our unique history as the first recipients of systematic oppression & institutional racism in this hemisphere, to understand the colonization of our homelands and the exploitation of the natural resources of Turtle Island. In order to work together, we need non-Indigenous entities to become educated on our history and issues from our perspectives, to RESPECT and HONOR our identity, spirituality, traditional ceremonies and related protocol. We ask that together we work toward the well-being of our communities, our children, future generations, other life forms, the plant and animal nations and Sacred Sites. We want others, to RESPECT and HONOR our expertise in all areas of this land from North to South, and that of Indigenous peoples respectively on other continents. We want to see more representation of Indigenous peoples in the USSF planning process and more Indigenous participation. We want an opening plenary at the next USSF to set the context of our struggles from our perspectives. We will take the lead on our own issues as decision makers and we ask for support on our work in Environmental, Social, and Economic Justice dealing with issues of: energy development (specifically: TARSANDS, coal, uranium, gold, gas & oil, and other extractive industries); green jobs; disparities due to income, environment, and substance abuse; the banning of ethnic studies programs; preservation of Indigenous languages and life-ways; funding for health-care; imposed political borders and immigration issues; food-sovereignty; protection of Sacred Sites and WATER; repatriation; privatization of natural resources & life-forms; commodification & tokenization of Indigenous images & knowledge; continuity of spiritual & healing practices; and the unrestricted access to and use of our traditional medicines and healing practices. We ask you to support us by connecting your work to the local Indigenous communities’ struggles in your area. We call for an annual international day of action between October 11-15 to unite against dirty energy projects and to celebrate our living Indigenous cultures, languages, spiritual practices, sovereignty, and nations. As the caretakers of the land we have a responsibility to honor, love, and give back to our Mother Earth, therefore WE DEMAND that the governments of the U.S. and Canada fully adopt the U.N. Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples without qualifications. We support the existing actions and policies that promote our work by other entities, such as Bolivia’s Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth. We will move forward by working together collaboratively, involving Youth and Elders, to heal from external and internalized oppression to restore BALANCE and to build healthy relationships around the world.