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A Declaration of the Rights of the Peoples and the Earth
An indigenous call to action, the Redstone Statement, was signed on May 1st, at the conclusion of the first International Summit on Indigenous Environmental Philosophy. Twenty-two participants came from Australia, Canada, Chile (Mapuche), Guatemala (Maya), India, Kenya, Mexico (Toltec), New Zealand, Russia, Siberia, Swaziland, Taiwan, Thailand, and American Indian communities in the United States.
The summit took place in the Anadarko Kiowa community of Redstone, Oklahoma. The main themes of the conference were environment and culture, especially the issue of how communities are dealing with global climate change. The role and importance of young people, the next generation, was an important theme. The summit benefited from the guidance of a circle of elders and American Indian students.
The statement is available at:
1 May 2010
“Leave Us A Future!”
We are Indigenous environmental philosophers who have come from the four corners of the earth to Redstone, Oklahoma, to discuss the future of the planet.
Indigenous environmental philosophy respects a mutually supportive network of interconnected physical and spiritual entities that is sustainably maintained, and which connects the ancestral past with the distant future. The vision of our Indigenous peoples is to reach spiritual and material well-being through conscious action. Mother Earth is a living, dynamic being with inherent value, and her principles must be actively embodied in order to remain in harmony and balance.
Today, we are at a tipping point at which humanity is in danger of being removed from the cycles of Mother Earth. We bring this urgent message in response to Indigenous women, youth and children from around the world who have consistently asked us to leave them a more balanced planet.
We come as individuals from cultures whose authority originates from our unique relationships with nature and the environment. Our ways of living, and very existence, are threatened by the resistance of nation- states to include our institutions as part of the solutions that can save our planet. Consequently, we issue this call to the world.
Environmental, social, economic, and political conflicts over natural resources and access rights, climate change concerns, and other significant issues threatening international and local communities did not suddenly erupt on the global landscape. Rather, they are an outcome of the historical process that today affects every area of creation. Spiritual, cultural, social, economic, and political structures and values lost their connections to the communities and now focus exclusively on the individual. The world shifted from the circle of community to the ascendancy of the individual, resulting in a dangerous environmental imbalance with significant spiritual and health consequences. Balance must be restored in order to heal the earth, and it must include the participation of all ages, races, genders and cultures.
Effective mechanisms necessary for restoring balance include implementing the following:
1) Recognition of the interdependence of all things;
2) Indigenous self-determination;
3) Indigenous land, air, water, territory, and natural resource management;
4) Protection and preservation of Indigenous traditional knowledge, lifeways and languages, cultures, sacred sites, and folklores/oral traditions;
5) Indigenous authority over allactions impacting Indigenous communities;
6) Respect for, and protection of, traditional agricultures and genetic resources;
7) Seed sovereignty and food security;
8. Rights of movement, rights of access, rights of participation and communication in the exchange of environmental knowledge and culture.
We must assure the well-being of both humanity and nature. This requires a unification of diverse people who are open to ideas; people who are wise, clear, and profoundly human; and people who can transcend the self-imposed limits of their minds, reaching deep into their conscience and spirit for solutions.
All governments, communities, leaders, individuals, industries, and corporations must immediately act together to restore the balance that is essential for continued existence.
We call for a review of existing commercial practices and an end to any further non-sustainable exploitation and degradation of natural resources- for all generations to come. We also call for a portion of profits to be invested in the development of renewable energy resources.
We as Indigenous environmental philosophers breathe life into this statement and commit to implementing the provisions contained in it.
Unanimously agreed upon by 22 Delegates.
About the author
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