Indigenous World Water Day: March 22
HONOR THE WATER, RESPECT THE WATER, BE THANKFUL FOR THE WATER, PROTECT THE WATER
A CALL TO ACTION
INDIGENOUS WORLD WATER DAY MARCH 22, 2007
INDIGENOUS BROTHERS AND SISTERS STRUGGLING TO DEFEND THE ANCESTRAL LANDS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
Free Trade Agreements and neo-liberalism have brought about a rapid expansion in economic globalisation in recent decades. We now see how poor and indebted countries look to the exploitation of natural resources as the solution to their economic problems. The wealthy and industrialized nations continue this resource exploitation within their own countries as well as continuing the resource incursions into other people’s lands in other parts of the world. In many cases, these resources are found on the ancestral lands of Indigenous Peoples. Mining, oil, gas, corporation agriculture, and water extraction, water privatisation and pollution are at the heart of many resource conflicts on and around Indigenous Lands throughout this Western Hemisphere. In the past, we have been marginalized in the decision-making processes that end up harming our People and the land we care for.
WE ARE NOT INVISIBLE
Our Indigenous Peoples and communities have known and demonstrated
that we have the knowledge and capacity to take care of the Earth and various cultural and natural resources that we have been given.
Governments and corporations have sought our Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge that may be beneficial to their interests. When Indigenous and corporate interests collide, governments politically, socially, and economically isolate us into geo-political paradigms where we are forced to make decisions about the sanctioning exploitation of mineral and fossil fuel resources. In other situations, water and air pollution come from sources outside of our territories. This exploitation, privatisation and contamination upset the balance of cultural resources and sacred sites. As Indigenous Peoples and communities come to better understand the risks associated to resource exploitation, there is an increasing amount of resistance to project proposals and/or a growing demand for remediation of existing problems. This has had the effect of forcing governments and corporations to respond to our concerns.
WE HAVE THE POWER TO BRING CHANGE
INDIGENOUS WORLD WATER DAY is March 22. This is an invitation to your community to participate in an international event that will raise the Indigenous Voice in defence of Sacred Water. It consists of organizing in each community a public event according to your traditions and according to the unique forms of your people. We must illustrate to the national and international audience, and the media, that Indigenous Peoples are united to defend water in all places where it is threatened. We must demand clean up where it is polluted. We must promote laws that recognize the sacredness of water and inherent customary rights to water, by Indigenous Peoples. As these events take place in all regions of the Americas, we will remind the world of the role and responsibilities as Guardians and Protectors of Water that we, as the Original Peoples have played since the beginning of time. The world is out of balance; this is the moment to act on behalf of our Mother Earth, and the water that sustains all life.
It is important to invite the press to witness your event. We must speak individually and collectively to protect the water. Together let’s make an Indigenous Movement to protect water by forming a human chain holding containers of water or other types of ceremonies and celebrations throughout the Americas on Indigenous World Water Day.
NO MORE MINE WASTE, AGRICULTURAL WASTE, HUMAN WASTE, OR INDUSTRIAL WASTE IN OUR WATER
The Indigenous Environmental Network (www.ienearth.org), along with many elders and others who care about the legacy we leave for future generations bring this invitation to you. To add your voice to an international press release or more information about the event, and to inform us about the event to be held in your community, please communicate with:
Robert Shimek toll free US and Canada 877-436-2121 (218-751-4967) email email@example.com
Or in Spanish Tamara@sextosol.org