Caring for Mother Earth
The Indigenous Peoples of the Americas have lived for over 500 years in confrontation with an immigrant society that holds an opposing world view. As a result, we are now facing an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of all natural life.
We join with others to heal the earth, but we do this in a way that acknowledges Traditional Natural Law, protects Indigenous rights, and ensures environmental and economic justice for the Nations and the generations.
These are some of the issues we agree are critical to address:
- Toxic contaminants, agricultural pesticides and other industrial chemicals that disproportionately impact Indigenous peoples, especially subsistence and livestock cultures.
- Inadequate governmental environment and health standards and regulations.
- Clean up of contaminated lands from mining, military, and other industry activities.
- Toxic incinerators and landfills on and near Indigenous lands.
- Inadequate solid and hazardous waste and wastewater management capacity of Indigenous communities and tribes.
- Unsustainable mining and oil development on and near Indigenous lands.
- National energy policies at the expense of the rights of Indigenous peoples.
- Climate change and global warming.
- Coal mining and coal-fired power plants resulting in mercury contamination, water depletion, destruction of sacred sites and environmental degradation.
- Uranium mining developments and struggles to obtain victim compensation to Indigenous uranium miners, millers, processors and Downwinders of past nuclear testing experiments.
- Nuclear waste dumping in Indigenous lands.
- Water rights, water quantity and privatization of water.
- Economic globalization putting stress on Indigenous peoples and local ecosystems.
- Border justice, trade agreements and transboundary waste and contamination along the US/Mexico/Canada borders and other Indigenous lands worldwide.
- Failure of the US government to fulfill its mandated responsibility to provide funding to tribes and Alaska villages to develop and implement environmental protection infrastructures.
- Backlash from US state governments giving in to the lobbying pressures of industry and corporations against the right of tribes to implement their own water and air quality standards.
- Protection of sacred, historical and cultural significant areas.
- Biological diversity and endangered species.
- Genetically modified organisms impacting the environment, traditional plants and seeds and intellectual rights of Indigenous peoples – bio-colonialism.
- Economic blackmail and lack of sustainable economic and community development resources.
- Just transition of workers and communities impacted by industry on and near Indigenous lands.
- Urban sprawl and growth on and near Indigenous lands.
- Failure of colonial governments and their programs to adequately consult with or address environmental protection, natural resource conservation, environmental health, and sacred/historical site issues affecting traditional Indigenous lands and its Indigenous peoples.
- De-colonization and symptoms of internalized oppression/racism/tribalism.
- And many others.