Monday, March 5, 2012


date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 14:07:35 -0500
from: Tony Socci <> (by way of \(Mike MacCracken\))

FYI--This declaration was prepared by Native Peoples participating in the
Albuquerque workshop. It has been forwarded to the COP-4 meeting in Buenos


>>Global climate change and warming issue. Indigenous voice.

>>The Indigenous Peoples of the Turtle Island of North America recently
>completed a four day gathering, "Circles of Wisdom," Native Peoples/Native
>Homelands Climate Change Workshop held in Albuquerque, New Mexico within
>what is known as the United States. The Indigenous Peoples of North America
>sent over 180 delegates to share ideas on the impact of climate change and
>climate variability on Indigenous Peoples and all life on Mother Earth. The
>Indigenous Peoples worked together to offer solutions to reduce global
>warming and contribute to the restoration of sustainable economies on Native
>homelands for our future generations.
>>This gathering was a historic gathering that enabled a meeting between the
>Indigenous elders, governmental, environmental, educators and many other
>community leaders and United States scientists involved in identifying the
>impacts of climate change. Both advice and action were offered from
>spiritual and scientific perspectives to restore balance to Mother Earth.
>The gathering provided a teaching and reminder to the scientists working on
>climate change issues that these things were foreseeen and global warming is
>being caused by unsustainable technologies and developments throughout the
>>>We have been delegated as an ad hoc group of the Indigenous Peoples in
>attendance at this gathering to prepare and send the following ALBUQUERQUE
>DECLARATION to appropriate contacts in attendance at the Conference of the
>Parties Four (COPs-4) at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
>Change (FCCC) being held in Buenos Aries, Argentina, November 2-13, 1998.
>We are requesting the FCCC allow a voice for Indigenous Peoples be added to
>the global discussions on the impacts of climate imbalance to all life on
>the sacred Mother Earth.
>>On behalf of the delegates at this Albuquerque gathering (partial list of
>delagates attached), we are sending this ALBUQUERQUE DECLARATION throughout
>the world for global dissemination. The words within the PREAMBLE and other
>parts of this declaration is a CALL FOR ACTION that the people of the world
>must open their eyes to the dangerous situation ALL humans are in - if we
>continue this path of unsustainable developments - we may not have a future
>for our children.
>>Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper, Chief, Onondaga Nation
>>Tom "Mato Awanyankapi" Goldtooth, National Coordinator, Indigenous
>Environmental Network (IEN)
>>Patrick Spears, President, and Bob Gough, Secreatary, Intertribal Council
>on Utility Policy (ICOUP)
>>Jackie Warledo, Field Representative, International Indian Treaty Council
>>As Indigenous Peoples, we begin each day with a prayer, bringing our minds
>together in thanks for every part of the natural world. We are grateful
>that each part of our natural world continues to fulfill the
>responsibilities that have been set for it by our Creator, in an unbreakable
>relationship to each other. As the roles and responsibilities are fulfilled,
>we are allowed to live our lives in peace. We are grateful for the natural
>order put in place and regulated by natural laws.
>>Most of our ceremonies are about giving thanks, at the right time and in
>the right way. They are what was given to us, what makes us who we are. They
>enable us to speak about life itself. Maintaining our ceremonies is an
>important part of our life. There is nothing more important than preserving
>life, celebrating life, and that is what the ceremonies do. Our instruction
>tells us that we are to maintain our ceremonies, however few of us there
>are, so that we can fulfil the spiritual responsibilities given to us by the
>>The balance of men and women is the leading principle of our wisdom. This
>balance is the creative principle of Father Sky and Mother Earth that
>fosters life. In our traditions, it is women who carry the seeds, both of
>our own future generations and of the plant life. It is women who plant and
>tend the gardens, and women who bear and raise the children. The women
>remind us of our connection to the earth, for it is from the earth that life
>>We draw no line between what is political and what is spiritual. Our
>leaders are also our spiritual leaders. In making any law, our leaders must
>consider three things: the effect of their decisions on peace; the effect on
>the natural order and law; and the effect on future generations. The natural
>order and laws are self-evident and do not need scientific proof. We believe
>that all lawmakers should be required to think this way, that all
>constitutions should contain these principles.
>>Our prophecies and teachings tell us that life on earth is in danger of
>coming to an end. We have accepted the responsibility designated by our
>prophecies to tell the world that we must live in peace and harmony and
>ensure balance with the rest of Creation. The destruction of the rest of
>Creation must not be allowed to continue, for if it does, Mother Earth will
>react in such a way that almost all people will suffer the end of life as we
>know it.
>>A growing body of western scientific evidence now suggests what Indigenous
>Peoples have expressed for a long time: life as we know it is in danger. We
>can no longer afford to ignore the consequences of this evidence. We must
>learn to live with this shadow, and always strive towards the light that
>will restore the natural order. How western science and technology is being
>used needs to be examined in order for Mother Earth to sustain life.
>>Our Peoples and lands are a scattering of islands within a sea of our
>neighbors, the richest material nations in the world. The world is beginning
>to recognize that today's market driven economies are not sustainable and
>place in jeopardy the existence of future generations. It is upsetting the
>natural order and laws created for all our benefit. The continued
>extraction and destruction of natural resources is unsustainable.
>>There is a direct relationship between the denial of Indigenous Peoples
>land and water rights, along with the appropriation without consent of
>Indigenous Peoples' natural resources, and the causes of global climate
>change today. Examples include deforestation, contamination of land and
>water by pesticides and industrial waste, toxic and radioactive poisoning,
>military and mining impacts.
>>The four elements of fire, water, earth and air sustain all life. These
>elements of life are being destroyed and misused by the modern world. Fire
>gives life and understanding, but is being disrespected by technology of the
>industrialized world that allows it to take life such as the fire in the
>coal-fired powered plants, the toxic waste incinerators, the fossil-fuel
>combustion engine and other polluting technologies that add to greenhouse
>gases. Coal extraction from sacred earth is being used to fuel the
>greenhouse gases that are causing global climate warming.
>>Because of our relationship with our lands, waters and natural surroundings
>which has sustained us since time immemorial, we carry the knowledge and
>ideas that the world needs today. We know how to live with this land: we
>have done so for thousands of years. We are a powerful spiritual people. It
>is this spiritual connection to Mother Earth, Father Sky, and all Creation
>that is lacking in the rest of the world.
>>Our extended family includes our Mother Earth, Father Sky, and our brothers
>and sisters, the animal and plant life. We must speak for the plants, for
>the animals, for the rest of Creation. It is our responsibility, given to us
>by our Creator, to speak on their behalf to the rest of the world.
>>For the future of all the children, for the future of Mother Earth and
>Father Sky, we call upon the leaders of the world, at all levels of
>governments, to accept responsibility for the welfare of future generations.
>Their decisions must reflect their consciousness of this responsibility and
>they must act on it. We demand a place at the table in discussions that
>involve and effect our future and the natural order and natural laws that
>govern us.
>>We, the participants in the "Circles of Wisdom" Native Peoples / Native
>Homelands Climate Change Workshop, held in Albuquerque, New Mexico of the
>United States, in the traditional territory of the Pueblo Peoples, express
>profound concern for the well being of our sacred Mother Earth and Father
>Sky and the potential consequences of climate imbalance for our Indigenous
>Peoples and the significance of these consequences for our communities, our
>environment, our economies, our culture and our relationships to the natural
>order and laws.
>>Indigenous prophecy now meets scientific prediction. What we have known and
>believed, you also now know: The Earth is out of balance. The plants are
>disappearing, the animals are dying, and the very weather --rain, wind, fire
>itself -- reacts against the actions of the human being. For the future of
>the children, for the health of our Mother Earth, Father Sky, and rest of
>Creation, we call upon the people of the world to hold your leaders
>>We submit this declaration to the Fourth Conference of the Parties (COP-4)
>to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) being
>held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 2-13, 1998. We wish to add our
>voices to ongoing global discussions regarding the impact of climate
>imbalance on forests, oceans, plants, animals, fish, humans and biodiversity.
>>The following principles are self-evident and guide our beliefs and actions.
>>� Mother Earth, Father Sky, and all of Creation, from microorganisms to
>human, plant, trees, fish, bird, and animal relatives are part of the
>natural order and regulated by natural laws. Each has a unique role and is
>a critical part of the whole that is Creation. Each is sacred, respected,
>and a unique living being with its own right to survive, and each plays an
>essential role in the survival and health of the natural world.
>>� As sovereign Peoples and Nations, we have an inherent right to
>self-determination, protected through inherent rights and upheld through
>treaties and other binding agreements. As Indigenous Peoples, our consent
>and approval are necessary in all negotiations and activities that have
>direct and indirect impact on our lands, ecosystems, waters, other natural
>resources and our human bodies.
>>� Human beings are part of the natural order. Our role and responsibility,
>as human beings, is to live peacefully and in a harmonious balance with all
>life. Our cultures are based on this harmony, peace and ecological balance
>which ensures long term sustainability for future generations. This concept
>of sustainability must be the basis of the decisions and negotiations
>underway on national and international levels.
>>� The Creator has entrusted us a sacred responsibility to protect and care
>for the land and all of life, as well as to safeguard its well being for
>future generations to come.
>>� Indigenous Peoples have the right and responsibility to control access to
>our traditional knowledge, innovations and practices, which constitute the
>basis for the maintenance of our lifestyles and future [The Draft
>Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples];
>>Indigenous Peoples of North America were invited by neither the United
>States nor Canada to participate in the negotiations of the United Nations
>Convention on Climate Change.
>>In June 1997, more than 2,000 U.S. scientists, from over 150 countries,
>including Nobel Laureates, signed the Scientists Statement on Global Climate
>Disruption which reads, in part, the "accumulation of greenhouses gases
>commits the sacred earth irreversibly to further global climate change and
>consequent ecological, economic, social and spiritual disruption"
>(Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, December 1995). Climate
>imbalance will cause the greatest suffering to the Indigenous peoples and
>most pristine ecosystems globally.
>>The migration of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) through the air and
>water pathways continues from warmer southern climates to the colder
>climates of the Great Lakes and Arctic climates of North America and the
>Arctic Circle. Increased temperatures and persistent organic pollutants
>(POPs) disproportionately impact indigenous Peoples, through their food web
>systems, causing health and ecosystem impacts.
>>Within the next 20 years, temperatures over land areas of North America,
>Europe and Northern Asia will increase as much as 5 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit
>over today's normal temperatures, well in excess of the global average (IPCC
>Report 1998). This increase in temperature will cause the sea level to rise
>(5-25 feet over the next 500 years), drying out North America's soil
>moisture (20 - 50%), and result in major increases in the summer heat index
>(10 - 25 degrees F).
>>The burning of oil, gas, and coal ("fossil fuels") is the primary source of
>human-induced climate change. The increasing demand and use of fossil fuels
>continues to have adverse impacts on natural forests. Natural forests are
>critical parts of the ecosystems that maintain global climate stability. The
>continued large-scale taking of fossil fuels results in numerous impacts on
>these vital areas through deforestation and pollution from drilling
>operations and ultimately forest degradation from the global climate
>imbalance. The mining and drilling for coal, oil, and gas, as well as other
>mineral extractions, results in substantial local environmental
>consequences, including severe degradation of air, forests, rivers, oceans
>and farmlands. Cultural impacts, forced removal, land appropriation,
>destruction of sacred and historical significant areas, breakdown of
>Indigenous social systems, and violence against women and children are too
>often the outcomes of fossil fuel development on Indigenous Peoples. Fossil
>fuel extraction areas are home to some of Mother Earth's last and most
>vulnerable Indigenous populations, resulting in accelerated losses of
>biodiversity, traditional knowledge, and ultimately in ethnocide and genocide.
>>We request that the potential consequences of climate imbalance for
>Indigenous Peoples and our environments, economies, culture, place and role
>in the natural order be addressed by:
>>1. Establishing and funding an Inter-sessional Open-ended Working Group
>for Indigenous Peoples within the Conference of the Parties (COPs) of the UN
>Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC);
>>2. Provisions for case studies be established within the framework of FCCC
>that would allow for assessing how climate changes effect different regions
>of Indigenous Peoples and local communities; assessing climate changes on
>flora and fauna, freshwater and oceans, forestry, traditional agricultural
>practices, medicinal plants and other biodiversity that impact subsistence
>and land-based cultures of Indigenous Peoples; and other case studies that
>would provide a clearer understanding of all effects and impacts of climate
>change and warming upon Indigenous Peoples and local communities;
>>3. Indigenous Peoples have the right, responsibility and expertise to
>participate as equal partners at every level of decision-making including
>needs assessments, case studies, within national and international
>policy-making activities concerning climate change impacts, causes and
>>4. Within the FCCC, establish protocols that would actively promote
>international energy efficient and sustainable forms of development,
>including the widespread use of appropriately scaled solar energy and
>renewable energy technologies as well as sustainable agricultural and
>forestry practice models;
>>5. Mandating a moratorium on new exploration and projects for extraction
>for fossil fuel reserves in pristine areas. Exploration and development in
>the traditional territories of Indigenous Peoples of the world must be done
>with the full consent of Indigenous Peoples, respecting their right to
>decline a project that may adversely impact them;
>>6. Imposing a legally binding obligation to restore all areas already
>affected by oil, gas, and coal exploration and exploitation by the
>corporations or public entities that are responsible. This restoration must
>be done such that Indigenous Peoples can continue traditional uses of their
>>This is a partial list of additional Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups
>signing in support of the Declaration. The following Indigenous Peoples and
>Nations attended this Albuquerque Workshop-Summit and fully endorse this
>>Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force - Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga,
>Seneca and Tuscarora Nations
>>Native Coalition for Cultural Restoration of Mount Shasta and Medicine Lake
>Highlands Defense
>>Columbia River Alliance for Economic and Environmental Education
>>International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism
>>International Indian Treaty Council
>>Intertribal Council on Utility Policy
>>Native American Council of New York City
>>Seventh Generation Fund
>>Roundtable of Institutions of People of Color
>>Sapa Dawn Center
>>Dine' Citizens Against Ruining the Environment (CARE)
>>Anishinabe Niijii
>>North American Indigenous Peoples Biodiversity Project
>>Gwiichin Steering Committee
>>Alaska Council of Indigenous Environmental Network
>>Eastern Cherokee Defense League
>>Great Lakes Regional Indigenous Environmental Network
>>White Clay Society of Gros Ventre
>>Oklahoma Regional Indigenous Environmental Network
>>Shundahai Network
>>American Indian Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico
>>American Indian Law Alliance
>>Traditional and Spiritual Leaders:
>>Oren Lyons, Onondaga
>>Kendall Rice, Potawatomi
>>Arvol Looking Horse, Lakota
>>Marvin Stevens, Kickapoo
>>Tom Stillday Jr., Red Lake Ojibway
>>Johnny Jackson, Yakama Cascade Band
>>Corbin Harney, Western Shoshone
>>Jake Swamp, Mohawk
>>Albert Yazzie, Navajo
>>Richard Dalton Sr, Tlingit
>>Tonya Goubella Frichuer, Onondaga
>>Chuck Crowe, Eastern Band of Cherokee
>>Kent Lebsock, Lakota
>>Fidel Moreno, Yaqui/Huichol
>>Carlon Ami, Hopi/Tewa
>>Mary Defender-Wilson, Dakota/Hidatsa
>>Jan Stevens, Sac & Fox
>>Walt Bresette, Red Cliff Ojibwe
>>Earl Tulley, Dine'
>>Floyd Buckskin, Pitt River
>>Andrew Becenti, Dine'
>>Barbara Bernacik, Laguna Pueblo
>>M.C. Balwin, Dine'
>>Joseph Campbell, Dakota
>>Elena Bautista Sparrow, Yujpik
>>Joseph Chasing Horse, Lakota
>>Charlotte Caldwell, Menominee
>>Tami Soreson, Ojibwe
>>Marylou Stillday, Ojibwe
>>Sarah James, Neestaii Gwichin Athapascan
>>Tom Goldtooth, Dine'/Dakota
>>Michael Sturdevant, Menominee
>>Jose Barrero, Taino
>>James Main, Sr, Gros Ventre
>>Roy Taylor, Pawnee/Choctow
>>Barbara McCloud, Puyallup
>>Valerie Taliman, Dine'
>>Janet McCloud, Tulalip
>>Wilbur Slockish Jr, Yakama Klickitat Band
>>Dana Mitchell, Penobscot
>>James Ransom, Haudenesaunee
>>Robert Shimek, Ojibwe
>>Jimbo Simmons, Choctow
>>Patrick Spears, Lakota
>>Carlos Pelayo, Yoreme
>>Dean Suagee, Oklahoma Band of Cherokee
>>Angel Valencia, Yaqui
>>Mose Walkingstick, Eastern Band of Cherokee
>>Geraldine Warledo, Cheyenne/Arapaho
>>Jackie Warledo, Seminole
>>Debbie Tewa, Hopi
>>This is a partial list.
>>For more information contact:
>Indigenous Environmental Network - National Office
>P.O. Box 485
>Bemidji, Minnesota 56619-0485 USA
>Phone: (218) 751-4967
>Fax: (218) 751-0561
>Web Site:
>"An alliance of Indigenous Peoples protecting the sacredness of Mother Earth
>and building sustainable communities."

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