An Indigenous Peoples Declaration for Action
October 15, 2015
While many well-intended words have been written and spoken in many languages in support of our Indigenous survival, it is through action that those words will have meaning and become reality. Words without action has the effect of a ceremony without purpose.
From the traditional lands of the peoples of the Goshute and Shoshone sovereign nations of the Great Basin region of Turtle Island, which encompasses much of what is now called the State of Utah, we stand together with many Indigenous Brothers and Sisters of Mother Earth who have gathered here for the 2015 Parliament of World Religions and speak with one voice this Declaration for Action. We do not do this only for our wellbeing, but also for the very survival and good of all humanity and the life of our Mother. With good hearts we look to all of you who have gathered here at this place and at this time to move these words out from your hearts and minds into action.
“Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity,” therefore, will rest upon our collective actions. We can achieve the goals of this Declaration by creative action, direct interaction, and strong encouragement in partnership with our local, regional, national, and international religious organizations, political leaders, committed workers, educators, and, most importantly, our families.
Led by this intent and power of the Creator, we call upon our Brothers and Sisters of conscience to declare with us these commitments to action:
Recognition and Respect of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights to Exist: We, Mother Earth's Medicine People, call for an end to proselytization by the monotheistic religions and claim our equal status with the major religions of the world. We refuse to be subjected to attempts to convert us away from the ways of our ancestors through evangelism, non-recognition of our rights to exist, limited access to resources, the continuing dispossession of lands, and acts of terrorism.
An End to the Desecration of Sacred Sites: We hold the Ancestors, the Mother Earth, Forces of Nature, mountains, rivers, oceans, streams, trees, winds, storms, and all living beings as sacred and worthy of reverence. This worldview is the key to reversing the path of disaster on which all inhabitants of our sacred Mother Earth tread. We invite all Brothers and Sisters of the Creator to invoke and respect the divine spirits of the natural world, thereby ending their desecration.
Love our Earth Mother: We declare that all people need to love the Earth Mother, for her beauty is reflected in our mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, and all women. Also, we believe that all people need to behave in a manner that demonstrates and expresses thanksgiving for all the gifts our Mother Earth has provided. On behalf of all those who believe, without foundation, in the original ancient Faith Traditions of the Great Basin, which teaches that they have a guide to knowledge of the future, we plead and beg all God’s children to make life here upon the Mother, Heaven! We welcome and encourage all Brothers and Sisters from faith traditions to convert all of humankind to love our Mother Earth for we are one with her. By reclaiming this love, we reclaim our hearts and our humanity.
Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery: We call upon Pope Francis and the Vatican publicly to acknowledge and repudiate the papal decrees that legitimated the original explorations that have evolved into the dehumanizing Doctrine of Christian Discovery and dominion in laws and policies.
End of Violence against Indigenous Women: We honor Indigenous Women, indeed all women, as the Earth’s expression of herself and her beauty of creation made manifest among us. Women are life-givers, healers, leaders, and so much more that is central to the wellbeing of any nation. Violence against women is violence against us all and our collective future.
The End of Violence against Indigenous Peoples: We call for an end to all forms of violence against all Indigenouspeoples and their descendants. This includes institutional violence, cultural oppression, colonialism, subjugation, murder, and lack of access to basic human rights.
© Copyright 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions
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