Indigenous Peoples are Rising Up in Solidarity to defend our Rights as Indigenous Peoples; to protect the Sacredness of, the Territorial Integrity of, and Rights of (Grandmother) Mother Earth; and the Rights of Future Generations. We are building solidarity from the Global South to the North to fulfill our sacred duties, listening to the teachings of our elders and the voices of our youth and women, to act wisely to carry out our responsibilities to enhance the health and respect the sacredness of Mother Earth, and to demand climate justice now. Indigenous Peoples will not stand idle as we tell the world the Earth is the source of life to be protected, not merely a resource to be exploited.

Our Prophecies and Teachings tell us that Life as we know it is in danger.

The four elements of fire, water, earth and air sustain all life. These elements of life are being destroyed and misused by the modern world. Fire gives life and understanding, but is being disrespected by technologies of the industrialized world that allows it to take life such as the fire in the coal-fired powered plants, the toxic waste incinerators, the fossil-fuel combustion engine and other polluting technologies that add to greenhouse gases. Water and air are being polluted, privatized, commodified by corporations and bought and sold. Despite governments and corporations negotiating the next round of an international treaty for mitigating climate change, we continue to face the onslaught of business-as-usual within the homeland of Indigenous Peoples’ where oil drilling, tar sands, hydraulic fracturing, coal extraction and the combustion of dirty fossil fuels continues and is expanding.

Climate justice demands that the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples to our forests, land, territories, water, and resources be respected, protected and fulfilled consistent with our cosmovision (world view), as required by international standards and instruments such as United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and ILO Convention 169. There is a direct relationship between global climate change and the denial of Indigenous Peoples’ inherent rights, self-determination and permanent sovereignty over our territories including the right of free, prior and informed consent.

We call an End to CO2lonialism. Indigenous Peoples are demanding Systems Change – Not Climate Change.

– There is a need for a Just Transition to a new Economy. The climate crisis is a symptom of a deeper problem. Mother Earth and her natural resources cannot sustain the consumption and production needs of this modern industrialized society and its dominant economic paradigm, which places value on rapid economic growth, the quest for corporate and individual accumulation of wealth, and a race to exploit natural resources. We demand a Just Transition away from an economy dependent on fossil fuels extraction and other dirty industries, towards clean local energy and to be free from profit-hungry energy corporations and create democratic renewable energy, zero waste, local food systems and food sovereignty.

– Keep fossil fuels in the ground. Keep oil in the soil. Keep the tar sands in the land. Keep the coal in the hole. Ban all new exploration and exploitation of oil, tar sands, oil shale, coal, uranium, and natural gas.

– We pray for world leaders in UN climate summits and treaty making negotiations to give Mother Earth time to heal by making binding commitments to leave more than 80% of known fossil fuel reserves under the soil and beneath the ocean floor. We are demanding the UN climate treaty agreements make immediate binding commitments, not voluntary pledges, to control planetary temperature rise to no more than 1.5ºC [2.7 ºF]this century by reducing global greenhouse gas emissions per year to 38 Gigatons by 2020.

– We reject techno-fix “solutions” like geo-engineering, genetically modified organisms, agrofuels, industrial bioenergy, synthetic biology, nanotechnology, hydraulic fracturing, nuclear power, waste-to-energy generation based on incineration, and others.

– Mother Earth is the source of life which needs to be protected, not a resource to be exploited and commodified as a ‘natural capital.’ Climate, energy and economic development policies that treat the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation is wrong and must be rejected.

– We will not allow a global economy that treats Life as property; whose laws of jurisprudence places property rights above all; recognize corporate rights as the most important of property rights; subordinates human rights and the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples. We call for a new paradigm that recognizes the Jurisprudence of Mother Earth – Mother Earth’s Rights.

– We Reject Carbon Markets and Offset Regimes such as REDD. Just as historically the Doctrine of Discovery was used to justify the first wave of colonialism by alleging that Indigenous Peoples did not have souls, and that our territories were “terra nullius,” land of nobody, now climate false solutions such as carbon trading and REDD (Reducing Emissions through Deforestation and Degradation) offsets are inventing similarly dishonest premises to justify this new wave of colonialization and privatization of nature. We reject REDD+ and the grabbing of the forests, farmlands, soils, mangroves, marine algae and oceans of the world as sponges for greenhouse gas pollution. REDD and its potential expansion constitutes a worldwide counter-agrarian reform which perverts and twists the task of growing food into a process of “farming carbon” called Climate Smart Agriculture.

The Need for a New Paradigm

Many proposals already contain key elements needed to build new systemic alternatives. Some examples include: Buen Vivir (living well); recognition of Indigenous territories, tenure ship and title to land; the rights of Mother Earth – rights of Nature; food sovereignty; rights to Water and rights of Water; prosperity without growth; de-globalization; and the duties to and rights of future generations.

This inseparable relationship between humans and the Earth must be respected for the sake of all Life, future generations and people of the world. We urge all humanity to join with us in transforming the social structures, institutions and power relations that underpin our deprivation, oppression and exploitation.

We only have One Mother Earth and One Father Sky