Monday, January 16, 2017

Arthur Manuel: Open Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau



November 25, 2016

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON KIA 0A2, Canada 
Fax: (613) 941-6900

Dear Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

OPEN LETTER regarding the: Proposed Kinder Morgan Transmountain Pipeline Expansion through Secwepemc Territory

I am writing you as the Spokesperson of the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade (INET) and a member of the Secwepemc Nation in regard to the Kinder Morgan Expansion through Secwepemc Territory. Secwepemcul’ecw, the land on which we live, eat, sustain our culture, practice our ceremonies, and exercise our rights, is the largest Indigenous territory that the Kinder Morgan Trans-mountain Pipeline expansion would cross, passing through 518 km of our territory.

I would like to remind you that this pipeline requires the consent of the Secwepemc people. We do not accept that the federal government can make this decision unilaterally and without the prior informed consent of the Secwepemc people as the rightful titleholders. Kinder Morgan has signed deals with a few Indian Band Councils’1 but neither the band councils nor Kinder Morgan have engaged with the Secwepemc people as the rightful titleholders. These agreements can only be made on behalf of their status as federal Indian Bands and do not represent the rightful titleholders. In fact, the agreements are made with Bands whose reserves cover less than 1% of the Secwepemc Territory along the existing Kinder Morgan Pipeline and they appear to be little more than cynical attempts to divide and conquer our people – as we have seen on so many other occasions.2

In response, INET, along with a group of concerned Secwepemc people, has undertaken to organize a broad based action we are calling STOP for “Secwepemc Trans-mountain Oversight Plenary”. The purpose of this Plenary is to gather on the land in the spring of 2017 to discuss and decide on Kinder Morgan expansion through the Secwepemc Territory and then to collectively determine on a course of action.

It deeply concerns us that the Kinder Morgan Expansion would be along the North Thompson River Valley and would pass under the winding Thompson River at several points. Any leakage would immediately threaten the pacific salmon who spawn in the Thompson and Fraser River basins. It is not surprising that most Secwepemc people are in complete solidarity with the Water Protectors from Standing Rock North Dakota. Our waters are also sacred. The salmon and the rivers they inhabit have taken care of our people for centuries and we are obligated as Secwepemc people to protect the Thompson River system for future generations.

We also take seriously the issue of climate change and wonder how you could possibly give approval to this pipeline if you yourself are serious about transition to a low carbon industry. Canada cannot afford and does not need any expansion in pipeline capacity and further GHG emissions if we hope to reduce the current damage to the planet.

I am attaching a map outlining the boundaries of Secwepemc Territory which the existing Kinder Morgan pipeline bisects, with the proposed Kinder Morgan Trans-mountain Expansion along the same route. It is important to point out that the first Kinder Morgan pipeline was not approved by the Secwepemc people because we were outlawed under the Indian Act from organizing around our land rights from 1926-1951. Canada appears to want to ignore us again. Nevertheless, Canada is obliged to seek the consent of Indigenous Peoples on the Kinder Morgan Trans-mountain Expansion under its international human and Indigenous rights obligations.

The Secwepemc people convening the Plenary on Kinder Morgan Trans-mountain Expansion will keep your office apprised of our decision after we gather together on the land in the spring of 2017. We expect Canada not to proceed with any approvals or decisions regarding the proposed Kinder Morgan Trans-mountain Expansion until hearing from the Secwepemc people on this matter.

Yours truly,
Arthur Manuel


c.c. Chairman Dave Archambault II, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Union of BC Indian Chiefs
Shuswap Nation Tribal Council (SNTC)
Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw (NStQ)
Secwepemc People
National Chief Perry Bellegrade, Assembly of First Nations
Regional Chief Shane Gottfriedson, BC Assembly of First Nations
Defenders of the Land
Treaty Alliance
Aboriginal Title Alliance
Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust





1 With the of: the Simpcw, the Tk’emlups to Secwepemc and Whispering Pines Indian Bands. The only consultations with the Secwepemc people have been through the NEB process and the ministerial panel, both fatally flawed processes that failed to properly take into account our collectively held Aboriginal Title and Rights

2 This tactic that has been condemned by the world. Most recently, Anastasia Crickley, Chair of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) who questioned Canada in a October 3, 2016 letter about using “divide and rule strategies” within the Secwepemc Nation when attempting to negotiate a land claims agreement through the British Columbia Treaty Process.


Vancouver Sun 

January 15, 2017
Daphne Bramham: Pipeline protest inevitable, but how big will it get?

The primary site of the high-stakes fight will undoubtedly be in Burnaby, which protesters (including Tsleil-Waututh) will be able to walk, paddle, drive, take public transit or car-share to get to.

Far from putting their lives on hold to get to a remote location or enduring frigid temperatures like at Standing Rock and the Site C construction site, protesters will be able to drop in before and after work, school or yoga class.

And, considering that residents Metro Vancouver and British Columbia are divided into almost equal-sized camps over pipelines and substantially increased tanker traffic, that’s a lot of people.


Interview with Arthur Manuel at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 2016 

SWAP meet at UN: System Wide Action Plan introduced to subvert and reduce the Right of Self Determination of Indigenous Peoples (EQUAL TO ALL OTHER PEOPLES per UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007) to a bureaucratic mechanism to Manufacture Consent under the domestic rubrics of the states of the Westphalian System of State Sovereignty (1648), now known as the UN system since 1945, per instructions of the High Level Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly 2014, AKA the UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Continental Summit of Indigenous Peoples and Organizations 2005

Continental Summit of Indigenous Peoples and Organizations 

November 2-4, 2005 

Mar del Plata, Argentina

The population of Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala--the (American) continent in the language of the Kuna of Panama—consists of about 50 million people (about 10% of the total population of so-called Latin America). There are hundreds of Indigenous nations throughout the continent.

For hundreds of years Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala have fought to regain their freedom and their ancestral territories. The states, created after independence and dominated by the elite of European ancestry, have continued to exert a policy of exploitation, oppression, and denial not only fundamental rights of first nations but even of their very existence.
The first international agreement concerning Indigenous Peoples, Covenant 107 of the United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO), was established in 1957, and had as its primary objective that of integrating and assimilating Indigenous Peoples to the so-called national societies of the different states.

In the 1960s and ‘70s, faced with relentless efforts by states to penetrate their territories in search of more resources to exploit, Indigenous Peoples had to organize politically and adopt different means of struggle to defend their ancestral territories and fundamental rights.

In 1977, at the height of repression by military dictatorships in Latin America, the First International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Peoples was held at the United Nations in Geneva, organized by Non-Government Organizations. This conference marked a milestone not only in the relationship established between Indigenous Peoples and the states in the American continent, but also in their relation with the states of other continents, and with non-government organizations and European society in general.

In 1981, the Second International Conference on Indigenous Peoples was held at the United Nations in Geneva: the Conference of Indigenous Land Rights. At the conference, participants expressed the need for the ratification of international agreements by the United Nations for the recognition of Indigenous Rights, and called for the modification of pre-existing agreements that were considered obsolete, such as Convention 107 of the International Labor Organization.

In 1983 the Indigenous Peoples’ Working Group of was created within the United Nations with the goal of discussing Indigenous issues and adopting a declaration that would recognize their rights. The representatives of Indigenous Peoples and organizations were allowed to participate in the Working Group, even though they did not have a consultative status within the U.N.

The ratified declaration has not yet been approved because of the negative attitude of some states. They have refused to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ ancestral rights, such as the rights to their land and territories, self-determination and autonomy, and to control natural resources within their territories.

Convention 107 also became an item of discussion within the ILO. It was updated and adapted to the social and political realities faced by Indigenous Peoples, and the recognition of Indigenous Rights was guaranteed. Convention 107 was voided by agreement, and with the participation and contribution of Indigenous delegates a new convention was ratified in 1989—Convention 169.

Convention 169 of the ILO is the most advanced convention ever ratified for its recognition of Indigenous Rights. It has been ratified by a majority of Latin America countries, with a few significant exceptions (Chile being one). Yet the Convention is rarely applied, a fact which we will return to later.

In preparation for 1992--the five hundred year anniversary of the Spanish and Anglo-Saxon invasion of Abya Yala--the Indigenous Peoples of the continent mobilized en masse to exert political pressure and propose measures to change the situation of oppression and marginalization they had endured for 500 years. As many protests and local, regional and international meetings were organized, Indigenous Peoples strengthened their ties of solidarity with other Indigenous Peoples in the fight for their ancestral rights. At the same time they forged alliances with different sectors of society, especially with the mestizo (mixed blood) population and workers, who, like Indigenous Peoples, suffer oppression from an unjust system which imposes an unfair distribution of resources and opportunities and thus denies them a dignified living.

The Indigenous Peoples declared the following as their inalienable rights:
• Self-determination,
• Recognition of ancestral territories (above and under ground)
• Indigenous identity
• Official recognition of Indigenous languages and of
• Indigenous education
• Respect of the environment and of
• Indigenous spiritual life and Indigenous ways of administering justice.

The Earth Summit organized by the United Nations and held in Brazil in 1992 was used by Indigenous Peoples to make an appeal to humanity about the dangers of contamination of the planet and the irrational use of so-called natural resources. Indigenous Peoples were also able to form alliances with many organizations which adopted the Indigenous agenda of fighting for a healthy environment, free of pollution, not only for the sake of Indigenous Peoples but for the sake of all of humanity.

Thanks to the Earth Summit, a Convention on Biological Biodiversity (CBB) was created within the Environment Division of the United Nations. Indigenous Peoples have a very important role to play in this Convention, since they have lived in a harmonious relationship with the natural environment for thousands of years, and since this natural environment is now threatened by the disrespect of the ancestral rights of Indigenous people by transnational corporations in collusion with national governments.
1994 was declared Indigenous Peoples’ Decade by the United Nations. This was extended for ten more years in 2004. But in spite of this, and the agreements, no significant advances were made that could change our Peoples’ situation of poverty, discrimination and opression.

In 1995 the Working Group for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was formed within the Organization of American States (OAS). This Working Group, comprised of states’ and Indigenous representatives, has the objectives of approving a declaration similar to that of the United Nations, yet for the same reasons discussed above, many states have refused to adopt a declaration that recognizes the aspirations of Indigenous Peoples.

In 2000 the Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues was formed in the United Nations. This Forum meets every year in the United Nations in New York to discuss problems and proposals concerning Indigenous Peoples.
We must acknowledge that there have been some advances in the international arena and in different countries’ laws on Indigenous Peoples. For example, the constitutions of Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Guatemala and Argentina recognize the existence and, in some cases, the pre-existence of Indigenous Peoples before the arrival of Europeans. There is also limited recognition of ancestral lands in some regions.

The Problem:
In general, these agreements and national legislations are very seldom enforced. Even if there is some recognition of Indigenous ancestral lands and territories, it is far from sufficient. Furthermore, Indigenous rights to underground resources as well as to territorial space are not recognized, nor is the right to restitution of the lands that were usurped, in the course of history or recently. The reality is that today most of the ancestral lands claimed by Indigenous Peoples have not been recognized by the states.

The adoption of Convention 169 of the ILO ratified by a majority of states has been an advance in the international recognition of Indigenous rights. Yet, in practice it is seldom applied, leaving Indigenous Peoples unprotected and at the mercy of arbitrary and discriminatory laws, which in many cases are in contradiction with international laws and also obsolete.

The Latin American states have for decades been affected by a growing dependence on the industrialized countries of the North, such as the United States and Europe. Because of the unequal terms of exchange between raw materials and technologies, and because of all the money borrowed to support military and political elites, debt and dependency have continued to increase.

The dependency/illegitimacy/ingovernability equation is getting worse with the weight of a practically impossible foreign debt. What results is that the peoples’ just demands are met with repression. The rich of the different countries have benefited from economic globalization since their profits have gone up with the loss of workers’ benefits. Further, they have completely neglected their responsibility in the face of the current social and economic crises and the situation of poverty and oppression that the majority of the people live in.

With economic and political globalization, states have signed international agreements with other governments and have agreed to be part of structures such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), which is managed and controlled by industrialized countries like the United States and Europe.
Through these agreements, states have signed the handing over of so-called natural resources to transnational corporations, to the detriment of the environment and the health of the population. These states’ measures are irresponsible acts to the people, since the corporations have as their only objective monetary gain, and do not take the peoples’ wellbeing into account.

Many of the resources turned over to corporations are found in Indigenous territories, and this is the main reason why the states refuse to acknowledge the ancestral rights of Indigenous Peoples to their land, territories, and natural resources. The majority of Latin American governments and states, in order to maintain their own privileges and those of local elites, have become corrupt and dependent on wealthy countries.

The social services which governments should provide to their citizens have instead been privatized, leaving the population without any protection for their rights to basic necessities, and requiring of them to purchase essential resources at market rates. Water, for example, an essential element of life, is first contaminated by mining, oil and damns, and then sold to the people as a commodity.

Many Indigenous communities have been contaminated by oil drilling and mining, as well as the construction of roads which have caused death and diseases such as cancer.
At the same time, workers are completely unprotected, as social benefits have been eliminated due to the pressure of transnational companies.

Indigenous Peoples have had their most fundamental rights threatened and have had to organize to defend themselves. They have faced brutal repression of their governments, which have killed, imprisoned, and intimidated their leaders.
In Colombia hundreds of Indigenous leaders have been assassinated by the paramilitary forces, by the military and by the guerillas. In Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Bolivia and Brazil, targeted assassinations of Indigenous People are a constant occurrence. In Chile, Mapuche leaders have been repressed imprisoned, and some have been murdered by the military police who were defending the interests of logging companies. These companies take advantage of the antiterrorist laws of the previous military dictatorship, which are still in place today.

The global war on terrorism launched by President Bush after September 11, 2001 has been used by Latin American government as an excuse to criminalize the peaceful demands of Indigenous communities, as Indigenous leaders have been accused of incitement to terrorist activities.

Regional and international agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), bilateral agreements between the Latin American states and the United States, and the planned Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) have had very negative effects on the life and rights of Indigenous Peoples and the majority of the population. Through these agreements transnational corporations have been given the power and the right to exploit the resources found in Indigenous territories, leading to contamination and poverty, and in many cases to the loss of ancestral lands.

We are concerned that in the next Presidential Summit of the Americas, new agreements will be signed which will have a negative impact on Indigenous Peoples. That is why our organizations find it necessary to call for the Continental Summit of the Indigenous People in Mar del Plata, to be held before the Presidential Summit. Our Summit will allow us to produce documents that will communicate to the presidents our concerns about the human rights violations carried out in our communities. At the same time we will elaborate working strategies of solidarity with other Indigenous Peoples of the continent, and we will build alliances with other sectors of society which also are suffering from the effects of political and economic globalization. We are proposing a new relationship between Indigenous Peoples and states, in which the latter commit to respect and apply the existing agreements, and recognize the ancestral rights that historically belong to us as original Peoples.

General Objective:
To organize a Continental Summit from the 30th of October to the 2nd of November 2004 in Mar del Plata, Argentina, with the participation of seventy delegates from twenty three countries and belonging to the major indigenous organizations of the continent. The meeting will take place before the meeting of the presidents of the Americas.

Specific Objectives:
1.. To elaborate by consensus amongst Indigenous Organizations a broad document which will reflect the aspirations of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, This document will be send to the governments one month before to the Summit for their consideration. Also that document will be expanded in the Indigenous Summit and distributed widely in the media and general public.
2. To actively participate in the International Forum of Civil Society and the peoples’ Summit. Those meetings will take in Mar del Plata from November 1st to the 5th.
3. To develop strategies of communication using modern technology in order to strengthen the International Indigenous Network and be able to increase the participation in the international communities in the struggle for democracy and justice.
4. To publish and disseminate to the national and international media and society in general the documents produced by the Continental Indigenous Summit.

Planned Activities:
Duration of the Project: Four months, from the first of September to the 31st of December 2005.
a) Elaboration of a preliminary document by the International Indigenous Committee. This document will need to be approved and finalized by the middle of September to be sent to all the presidents of the respective countries and to the organizing country (Argentina) so that it can be presented to the presidents at their summit. This document will reflect on the political, social and cultural situation of Indigenous Peoples, and will contain proposals for the acknowledgement of the fundamental rights of Indigenous Peoples.
b) Coordination of activities with the Forum of Civil Society and with the Peoples’ Summit for the production of a document that will reflect the aspirations of different sectors of society, based on respect of diversity.
c) The indigenous organizations in each country will lobby so that the respective governments will agree to include in the Indigenous proposals the agenda.
Continental Summit of Indigenous Peoples and Organizations 

November 2-4, 2005

Mar del Plata, Argentina

History and context: 

From November 2-5, 2005 in Mar de Plata, Argentina over 250 delegates from across the continent joined with the host organizations of Argentina and the Mapuche Nation to convene an independent Continental Indigenous Summit of Indigenous Nations Pueblos and Organizations.  In defense of the integrity of our Territories and Peoples, the Indigenous Nations of Abya Yala, acting in the spirit of Self Determination, gathered to challenge the agenda of the States meeting simultaneously at the Summit of the Presidents of the Organization of American States (OAS). 

In spite of limited resources and overcoming many obstacles, the Continental Indigenous Summit of Mar de Plata was a critical and necessary act of independence, a clarification of political position and organizational stand against the overt manipulation, cooptation and control by the States, perpetrators of over 500 years of colonization.

Beginning in Ottawa, 2001 with a continental gathering financed entirely by the Canadian government, the process of blatant cooptation, manipulation, and control of the Indigenous Peoples continental movement for Self Determination was exposed when Canada attempted to utilize the Ottawa event to legitimize the promotion of the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA). 

The strategy to place all opposition to the neo-liberal globalization agreements such as the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) within a pre-packaged and manageable framework was given continuity by the Canadian government in late October 2005.  At Buenos Aires, Argentina a “Continental Indigenous Summit” was organized a week before and at a safe distance away from the Mar de Plata Summit of the heads of state of the Americas.

The primary goal of the Buenos Aires conference which was bought and paid for by the Canadian government, was to define the context of the debate regarding the political and economic future of the continent exclusively within the framework of the agenda of the States.

''The United Nations, in the last session of Human Rights in Geneva, recommended to the Canadian government to make efforts to improve the lives of Native peoples who are the poorest of the poor. Yet, the Canadian government has been successful in co-opting the indigenous leadership by creating a well-paid Canadian Aboriginals bureaucracy and is now trying to export this model to Latin America.''
Arthur Manuel, Shushwap Nation British Columbia, Canada: Indigenous Network for Economies and Trade - INET

Statement to the Continental Indigenous Summit
Mar de Plata, Argentina November 2-5, 2005

And so on the 4th of November at Mar de Plata over 300 Indigenous Peoples of the hemisphere joined with the 60 thousand participants of the Peoples Summit of the Americas marching to protest the neo-liberal globalization policies and presence of US President George W. Bush. 

Calling for the implementation of the specific and applicable procedures under international law for DECOLONIZATION of the hemisphere, the independent Summit of the Indigenous Nations Pueblos gathered at Mar de Plata, Argentina, and acting upon the principle that self definition is the precept of self-determination, proclaimed to the world the following declaration:


November 2-4, 2005


We the Indigenous Peoples and Organizations of the Continent of Abya Yala [America], meeting in the ancestral territory of the Mapuche People at Mar del Plata, Argentina from the second to the fourth of November, first invoking the cosmovision of our elders and following the path drawn by them, in a framework of unity and harmony among us and with our mother nature, we emit the following words:

We are the representatives of more than 50 million Indigenous women and men of this continent; we are Nations that predate the existing States, and therefore we claim the recognition of our Right of Self-determination as Peoples that we may decide our own independent forms of political organization and define our own processes of economic, social and cultural development.

For 500 years the Indigenous Peoples have been victims of the assault of genocide, colonization, and discrimination that are the instruments of imperial ideologies and policies that have systematically violated our fundamental rights. Across the hemisphere, any meaningful dialogue between Indigenous Peoples and the States and national society must take into account the collective and historic nature of these our inherent rights as Indigenous Peoples.

At this time we are witnesses to the ways in which domination and repression toward our peoples continues through tactics of political and economic globalization. In these times, economic exploitation and pillaging of our territories and resources continue in benefit of both national and transnational companies and bureaucratic elites.

Under the imposition of antiterrorist laws of some States repression has increased, as has murder and incarceration of our traditional authorities and leaders with the aim of impeding the recognition and the exercise of our fundamental rights. We condemn the political and judicial persecution of the States and national and transnational corporations intended to silence the voice of our Indigenous Peoples who are demanding their right to a life with dignity.

Without any legitimate justification vast areas of the continent are being militarized, especially by the United States of America, with the aim of politically controlling natural resources, many of which are in Indigenous territories.

The creation of the multilateral organizations of the States in our hemisphere, such as the United Nations and the Organization of American States, are carried out without the participation of the Indigenous Peoples, and that therefore these organizations have a moral, material, and historical obligation and debt to the Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala and the entire world.

For the Indigenous Peoples, our territories, lands and resources are fundamental for the continued development of our cultures; they represent and are interrelated with our spirituality, culture, customs, traditions, medicines, food security, and the very life itself of our Peoples.

Indigenous Peoples are the first affected by the policies that the States are pushing to promote supposed “development”. Yet these policies, such as the push for agrarian reform, mining, hydroelectric projects, oil, and infrastructure construction industries have not produced development but have instead promoted the invasion of our territories, the destruction of our forests, the predatory extraction of our soil and subsoil resources, the pollution of the environment, resulting in the impoverishment and genocide of our people. At the same time, we must recognize that the borders and territorial limits imposed by the States have divided our families, communities, Nations and Peoples, attacking our collective and individual integrity as preexisting Nations and Pueblos.

Contrary to improving the situation of our peoples of Abya Yala, the representatives of the States gathered in the IV Summit of the Americas continue to discuss economic policies that will deepen the existing systematic marginalization and discrimination through agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Puebla-Panama plan (PPP), the South American Regional Initiative, and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (ALCA), among others.  These economic agreements are instruments to benefit powerful States as well as national and transnational corporations, to the detriment of our Indigenous Peoples and society as a whole. Further, such agreements decided by the States are contrary to regional and international legal instruments of Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights that these same States themselves are committed to protecting and guaranteeing but yet systematically break.

Any true, pluralistic and inclusive democracy must first undergo the recognition of the collective rights of the Indigenous Peoples at a national and international level; to be valid, the full and effective participation in all development plans must be submitted to our Nation-Pueblos for free, previous and informed consent. 

In terms of the objectives of the Fourth Summit of the Americas which focus only on job creation as a way to eliminate poverty and strengthen effective governance, we now manifest our concern and rejection to this policy as being contrary to the pluricultural, multiethnic, and multilingual nature of our societies in violation of our right to economic self-determination.

In order to promote the so-called democracy and effective governance of the continent, the States of Abya Yala should commit to eliminating the external debt and reject all economic policies and structures that oppress Indigenous Peoples for being the cause of our Peoples’ current situation of poverty and marginalization.

Based on the text of the Sub-commission, we call for the prompt adoption by the OAS and the UN of the Declaration of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights as being absolutely necessary. This demand was recently adopted by the Heads of State and Government during the High Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations in its fifty-ninth session, in which it consolidates the term Indigenous Peoples and reaffirms “… our commitment to continue making progress in the advancement of the human rights of the world’s Indigenous Peoples at the local, national, regional and international levels, including through consultation and collaboration with them, and to present for adoption a final draft United Nations declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples as soon as possible.”

1.   We Indigenous Peoples have our own vision of development that is based on criteria of solidarity among human beings and a profound respect for mother earth. We are not in agreement with the dominant concept and economic model, which is based on exploitation of humans by humans and of nature in general. Therefore, we reject the vision and the economic model currently promoted by the States, in which they only aspire to create employment in order to fight poverty and strengthen democratic governance, while violating human rights and destroying our environment and ecosystems. Such a vision will only continue to worsen the pillaging of our territories and natural resources, leading to more aggression against our rights of autonomy.

2.  We reject the concept of poverty promoted by the summit of the OAS States, because it does not take into account our cosmovision and Ways of Life. For the Indigenous Peoples, the concept of poverty does not focus only on an economic perspective, but rather takes on an integral and holistic dimension. For our peoples, maintaining out territorial rights, rights to land and resources, guarantees our continuance as Peoples and our integral and sustained development. This has been reaffirmed by the States in the 59th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations: “To recognize that the sustainable development of Indigenous Peoples and their communities is crucial in our fight against hunger and poverty.”

3.  We categorically reject the opening and commodification of our territories, lands, and natural resources to national and international markets as a way to fight poverty. Currently, these types of development projects translate into the heartless exploitation of our resources. As a consequence, the States must recognize the negative impact that such projects and actions of supposed development generate in the lives and cultures of our Peoples.

4.  The States and national and multi-national corporations continue to deprive us of our means and resources for subsistence; there must be an embargo of allocating concessions for the existing natural resources in our traditional lands and territories without our free, previous, and informed consent.

5.  The proposals to strengthen democratic governance in our continent with only partial and discriminatory measures in violation of the Human rights of Indigenous Peoples makes the so called “free market” an instrument of oppression in favor of national and transnational corporations.


FIRST: That the States recognize the Indigenous Peoples’ Right of Self-Determination and that, in virtue of this right, we can freely and independently decide our own Political Condition and likewise promote our own Economic, Social and Cultural Development.

SECOND: That the States officially recognize the pluri-cultural, multiethnic, and multilingual character of their societies, in order to combat institutionalized discrimination, racism, intolerance and exclusion.

THIRD: That the States fully recognize, respect and guarantee the property rights of our Indigenous Peoples over our territories, lands, and natural resources which we have traditionally and historically used, occupied or possessed, or acquired by other means, as inherent collective rights of the Indigenous Peoples which are undeniable, inalienable, and undiminished and indomitable.

FOURTH: That the States, together with Indigenous Peoples, delimit, demarcate and establish title for the lands territories and resources of the Indigenous Peoples, fully respecting the Indigenous normative systems of jurisprudence within a framework of international judicial pluralism.

FIFTH: That the government organisms of the Inter-american system recognize, respect and protect the cultural patrimony and intellectual property of the Indigenous Peoples, with full respect for the Indigenous normative systems.

SIXTH: That the States recognize, respect and support Indigenous Peoples’ medicinal and traditional health practices, including the right to the protection of plants, animals and minerals that are of vital interest, from the medical point of view. Also, the States must guarantee access, without any discrimination, to all of the health institutions, services and medical attention, with particular attention to the needs of Indigenous People who may be disabled.

SEVENTH: That the States recognize and effectively comply in their constitutions, laws and institutions, the Rights of our Indigenous Peoples, in particular our ways of living, as an effective mechanism for eradicating poverty, marginalization, and social, economic, and political exclusion.

EIGHTH: That the American States adopt, together with the Indigenous representatives and delegates, the American Declaration of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in the context of the organization of American States (OAS) as a way to strengthen peace and coexistence between Peoples on this continent.

NINTH: That the States of the Americas and the world promptly approve the Universal Declaration of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights within the framework of the United Nations (UN), based on the text approved by the sub-commission.

TENTH: That the States ratify and effectively comply with International Labor Organization - ILO Convention 169 as it concerns the rights of Indigenous and Tribal peoples in independent countries.

ELEVENTH: That the States implement measures and effective actions to end the systematic violations of the human rights of Indigenous women, boys and girls, especially in situations where there is armed conflict.

TWELFTH: That the States implement measures and effective actions to avoid militarization and to demilitarize the lands and territories of the Indigenous Peoples, as well as the application of effective sanctions to punish illegal armed groups, paramilitary units, and other entities that have been used by the States to attack our communities.

THIRTEENTH: That the States guarantee and respect the free transit of the Indigenous Persons and families of the Indigenous lands and territories traversed by state and national borders.

FOURTEENTH: That the States of the Americas and their appropriate organisms implement concrete measures and actions to resolve and to put an end to judicial and political processes of oppression initiated against the Indigenous community and civil society authorities and leaders.

FIFTEENTH: That the States of the Americas, together with the Indigenous Peoples, formulate and implement fora and instances for dialogue and interaction with Indigenous Peoples within a framework of the Inter-american systems of governance.

SIXTEENTH: We call on the Indigenous Peoples and organizations of Abya Yala to go forward in a spirit of union and solidarity. In this context, we manifest our special solidarity with all of the Indigenous Peoples that are fighting to defend and implement their collective and historic rights, such as is the case of our Zapatista brothers and sisters in Mexico and others whose traditional lives, cultures and borders are under assault by external forces.

SEVENTEENTH: In order to strengthen and cultivate brotherly relationships, cooperation and solidarity among us, we make a special appeal for the creation of a Network of Indigenous Peoples and Organizations of Abya Yala for Indigenous Rights that will allow us to have permanent systematic and effective interaction and relationship on a continental level.
Issued from Mapuche Territories, Mar del Plata, Argentina, November 2, 2005
! Another America is Possible !
 ! Never again an America without the Indigenous Peoples !

Actions of Implementation

Continental Indigenous Summit
Mar de Plata, Argentina  November 2-3-4, 2005


The United Nations and the Organization of American States - OAS

ACTION: To implement the initiatives of DECOLONIZATION, at the dimension of our continent Abya Yala, obligated the procedures under international law indicated by resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly 1514 and 1541, among others.


ACTION:  To call for the commitment of support from the social justice movements of the continent for the global campaign of the Indigenous Peoples in demand of annulment of the Papal Bull Inter Cetera of 1493 (Doctrine of Discovery)

ISSUE:   CONTINENTAL UNION of Indigenous Nations

ACTION:  Historical Clarification

The Continental Indigenous Summit Mar de Plata 2005 is the continuation of a process and millennial tradition of Continental Union of Indigenous Nations, the Confederation of the Eagle and the Condor, which was regenerated at Quito, Ecuador in 1990 at the First Continental Encounter of Indigenous Peoples.  The Second Continental Encounter of Indigenous Nations, Pueblos and Organizations was hosted in México at Temoaya, in 1993.  These two continental encounters served as the foundation for the First International Indigenous Summit realized at Teotihuacan, México in 2000.  The Second Continental Summit Abya Yala took place in 2004, once again at Quito, Ecuador.

ACTION:  Call to Cultural Uprising

It is proclaimed from this Continental Indigenous Summit a call for a movement of CULTURAL UPRISING by the Indigenous Peoples of all urban areas of the continent, in accord with the principles of the Declaration of Mar De Plata, 2005.


To the Secretariat of the Continental Indigenous Summit
Mar de Plata, Argentina  November 2, 2005

The Legend of Truth and the Doctrines of Power
Amixpanzinco, Amixtlamatqueh,
Good greetings.  We take this opportunity to deliver the attached documentation regarding the agenda of responsibilities which are of priority to the Indigenous Nation Pueblos gathered in Summit in Mar de Plata, Argentina November 1-4, 2005.

We stood by the Sacred Fire in Quito, Ecuador in 1990 at the First Continental Encounter of Indigenous Pueblos and Nations and recall the mutual commitments made under the principles embodied under our ancient ethics of International Indigenous Law. These are the traditional systems of jurisprudence, of tradition and liberation, which emerge from the essential fundamentals of the sacred inter-relationship of all life, and the obligations of we who are the earth children of the Continental Confederation of the Eagle and the Condor.

We were at the Second Continental Encounter of Indigenous Nations and Pueblos in 1993 in Temoaya, Mexico and returned to Teotihuacan, Mexico in the year 2000 for the First Continental Summit of Indigenous Nations, Pueblos and Organizations convened by the Continental Council of Indigenous Nations and Organizations - CONIC.

From July 21-25, 2004 we attended the II Continental Summit Abya Yala in Quito, Ecuador where the accords of the previous First Continental Summit of Teotihuacan 2000 were once again validated and reasserted before the Sacred Fire of the altar of the Continent. These mutual commitments are given expression by the Treaty of Teotihuacan, a mutual commitment at the continental level among the Indigenous Nation Pueblos with four aspects:
Spiritual Alliance

Political Solidarity

Cultural Complementarity

Commercial and Economic Agreements of Exchange and Development - Pochtecayotl

And so we stand today once again among our relatives of the great and humble family of Indigenous Nation Pueblos of our mother continent Abya Yala in summit at Mar de Plata.  May the Creator continue to guide our footsteps, as we leave a trail for the future generations.

The previous assertion of the sequence of continental gatherings from Quito 1990, Temoaya 1993, Teotihuacan 2000, back to Quito in 2004 and now Mar de Plata is not meant to be controversial: it is history. It is our history, related not from within the manipulative context of the government states or the "compra-cumbres" crowd: it is our story, the legend of a continent emerging from centuries of genocide and colonization.

In fulfillment of these sacred obligations and the mutual commitments made under the Treaty of Teotihuacan at the First Continental Indigenous Summit of Indigenous Nations and Pueblos, we now submit the following for discussion and action before the Continental Indigenous Summit Mar de Plata, Argentina.

Issue: Self Determination and Decolonization

A basic issue for the Indigenous Nation Pueblos of the continent Abya Yala (the Americas) continues to be the discrepancy of the eventual outcome of self determination for the Indigenous Peoples as viewed from the perspective of the interests of the government states and from within the cultural based cosmovision of the Nican Tlacah, the Indigenous Peoples themselves.

The elemental issues derive from utterly divergent presentations of the relationship of human society to territory, individually and collectively, as either government states or the reality of the Nican Tlacah Indigenous Peoples and Nations. The jurisdiction of the states is one of dominion and colonization, that of the Nican Tlacah is one of inter-relationship and reciprocity. As evidenced by the Global Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), recently commissioned and completed by the United Nations, the reality of the Indigenous Peoples relationship of territoriality is increasingly recognized scientifically at a global level as being the best hope for humanity to achieve homeostasis within the environment of the world’s ecosystems.

Any political position on self determination, whether by the government states or the Nican Tlacah will inevitably be determined within the context of the sum of global ecological systems as sets of parameters, including humanity itself as a subsystem among all these relationships.

In terms of the continent Abya Yala, (the Americas) a centuries old Doctrine of Denial takes its place among a regime of genocidal policies that is centuries in the making and continues till today. Beginning with the Papal Bull Inter Cetera of 1493, continuing with the present militarily enforced Monroe Doctrine and now projected under the Free Trade Area of the Americas, the Doctrine of Denial is insidious for presenting to the world’s Peoples a denial of the very processes of history in terms of recognition and self determination for the Indigenous Nation Pueblos of our continent.

In view of the above, we now propose that:

A special session of the Decolonization Committee of the United Nations under section 73(e) of the United Nations Charter must be held in order to evaluate the above mentioned Doctrines of Power in light of the Spirit of Truth, and under the criteria of evaluation established by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514 "Right of Self Determination" and GA 1541 which outlines the processes and criteria for identifying and rectifying the crime of colonization under the norms of international law of the member states of the United Nations system. 

And finally, we propose that in the process of undertaking such an initiative, namely the implementation of the processes of DECOLONIZATION for the Indigenous Nation Pueblos and territories of our continent Abya Yala, without which any declaration of self determination would be of only limited rhetorical value in the practical sense of International Law, special attention be given to the establishment by the United Nations of the regional organization of the Organization of American States OAS itself, as yet another example of the usurpation and violation of the Right of Self Determination in our hemisphere by establishing yet another regime of political representation on our territories in our continent without our participation or consent and in violation of GA 1514, as evidenced under GA 1541.

Respectfully submitted,

Tlahtokan Nahuacalli
Izkalotlan, Aztlan

Embassy of the Indigenous Peoples
P.O. Box 24009 Phoenix, AZ 85074

November 2-4, 2005

Mar del Plata, Argentina