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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Proclamation: International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

Proclamation of Indigenous Peoples and Nations
gathered at Pascua Yaqui Pueblo, Arizona August 6th, 2011
for the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

We, representatives of Indigenous Tribal Nation Governments, Peoples, organizations and communities from Arizona, New Mexico, Sonora Mexico, Australia and California, gathered on the lands of the Pascua Yaqui Nation of Arizona on August 6th in honor of this year’s International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples, August 9th 2011.

We discussed strategies for the full implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other International Human Rights standards. We also shared examples of the ongoing violations of our human rights in Arizona, throughout the US, in Mexico and around the world. Nearly 8 months after the United States became the last country in the world to express its support for the UN Declaration, we continue to experience violations of our Treaty rights, cultural and spiritual rights, rights to our traditional lands, water, food sovereignty and traditional economies, contamination of our environment through mining and the export of banned pesticides from the US to Mexico and other countries, disproportionate rates of incarceration and denial of freedom of religion for Indigenous prisoners, destruction of our sacred sites and the imposition of colonial borders and racist immigration policies that target Indigenous Peoples in Arizona and throughout this continent.

We affirm article 43 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which states that “the rights recognized herein constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world.” We recognize that all of the human rights violations and threats that we continue to confront are also violations of the rights affirmed in the Declaration, which is now universally supported, but not implemented, by the States (countries) of the world. We agree that full and unqualified implementation by the US and all other States is the challenge and the goal. We will continue to hold them to their commitments and obligations in this regard.

On the 11th commemoration of the Day of the Worlds Indigenous Peoples we make the following affirmations and recommendations:

1) We call upon the United States, Mexico, Australia and all other States and Nations to fully implement the UNDRIP and to abandon any attempts to qualify the inherent rights it recognizes, including but not limited to the rights to free, prior and informed consent and self-determination.

2) We affirm that UN Declaration does not distinguish between “recognized” and “unrecognized” Indigenous Peoples, or give the discretion to States to discriminate in the implementation of the rights it contains based on this or any other form of legal status; in fact it affirms non-discrimination as a core right and principle in a number of its provisions.

3) We call upon and encourage Tribal Nation governments to endorse the UN Declaration and call upon all Indigenous Peoples, Nations, Tribes and organizations to use it, cite it, assert it, and insist on full compliance and implementation in all of our interactions with federal governments and all of their subsidiaries (states/provinces and local governments as well as corporations licensed under the laws of these governments).

4) We call for the establishment of just and effective mechanisms and processes in the US and other States to ensure oversight and implementation of their human rights obligations, including the Nation-to-Nation Treaties and Agreements they concluded with Indigenous Peoples, and that these mechanisms and processes be created and implemented in full partnership with Indigenous Peoples.

5) We affirm that we are Indigenous Peoples without borders. We strongly condemn current State border and immigration policies which violate the rights affirmed in Article 36 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and other international standards, and we call for a study by the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and a focused investigation by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to address these violations. We also reaffirm our adamant rejection of AZ SB1070, HB 2281 and all other measures that promote racial profiling and cultural genocide.

6) We support the call for regional hearings on the impacts of the Doctrine of Discovery to be held before the 11th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

7) We endorse the work of the North-South Indigenous Network against Pesticides and call for a halt to all forms of toxic contamination impacting the health of Indigenous Peoples and the full implementation of Article 29 of the UNDRIP. We call upon the US to immediately halt production and export of pesticides that have been banned for use in the US.

8) We call for, and insist upon as essential to our collective survival, the protection of our sacred sites, areas and places, as well as our traditional cultural knowledge in accordance with Articles 14, 25, 26, 31 and others in the UN Declaration; we express in particular our support for the Indigenous Nations working for the protection of the sacred of sites and areas presented at this gathering. In addition we fully support Indigenous Peoples’ work to reclaim, restore and heal the sacred places which have been jeopardized by unwanted development, laws and policies, and the restoration and repatriation of our sacred objects and ancestral remains.

9) We look forward to presenting the issues and concerns we have discussed during this gathering to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples during his upcoming US Country visit and Consultation on the Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the United States. We offer our full support to his work in this regard.

10) We thank the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona for their generous hospitality, the Yoemem Tekia Foundation for the traditional meal they provided, and the International Indian Treaty Council and the Indigenous Alliance Without Borders for their coordination of this important gathering.

11) Finally, we express our continued solidarity and firm support for each other’s struggles and achievements. As Indigenous Peoples, we commit to stand together, and to continue coalition-building between our Peoples, organizations and Nations.

We affirm our sacred inherent rights to live as who we are. For our ancestors, our Nations and our future generations, our sacred Mother Earth and for all members of the human family we make this proclamation by consensus,

August 6th 2011, Pascua Yaqui Pueblo, Arizona

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