Tuesday, May 21, 2013

UNPFIP 2013: Education and the Declaration of Abya Yala

United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples

12th Session May 18-31, 2013
Collective Statement by TONATIERRA, Maya Vision, Centro Cultural Techantit, Seventh Generation Fund, Abya Yala Caucus


Good Greetings members of the Permanent Forum, and congratulations once again to you Mr. Chairman for your nomination.   I join with the voices of many who are especially pleased to see a representative of the Indigenous Peoples of Africa to direct the agenda of our conversation among states, Indigenous Peoples, and the global community which is not only being realized here on floor of the Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples, but broadcast across the planet with the communication technologies now at our disposal.


Implementation of a planetary system of geo-spatial capacity and interactivity that would bring to effectiveness the necessary mechanisms of geographic and cosmetric mapping systems of the Natural World, beyond the intellectual constraints of colonialism (The Doctrine of Discovery) and the derivative regimes of domination, in order to serve as a platform of exchange, cognition, and education with purpose: To defend and protect the Human Rights of the Future Generations and the Integrity of Mother Earth and the Traditional Territories of the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples.

As you note, I do determine and chose to identify this conversation as a dialogue with dual mandate, that of the member States of the UN system and the voice of the Nations of Indigenous Peoples who birthed this initiative forty years ago when the Chiefs of Wounded Knee, the Independent Oglala Nation where sent here, to this very institution of global governance in order to remind the conscience of humanity of our continued existence as Nations of Indigenous Peoples with Treaties of International import that bring evidence of the Nationhood of our Indigenous Peoples, treaties which continue to provide the fundamental context for this dialogue.

In review, it is with this very purpose, and under this very same context, with which we deliver this message today.

In terms of Honor, Respect and Education, may I also say that it would greatly please my people of the Izkaloteka, to be able to be assured that in addressing the diverse representatives of Indigenous Peoples here assembled from around the world, that we may become educated to the actual name of their homelands and continents of Mother Earth, as we exchange with each other in our interventions and dialogue.  Is Africa the Indigenous geographic term for the homeland of humanity, the continent of origin whose cultural roots precedes by millennia the impositions of colonialism? With the adoption of UN GA1514 in 1960 and the adoption in 2007 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and in terms of the dual mandates regarding Education which brings us together here today, these geographic concepts and systems of knowledge must now once again be re-evaluated in terms of cognitive sciences and the Right of Self Determination of Indigenous Peoples, Equal to all other Peoples.

It is said that the power to name is the power to destroy, and it was also said “Language is the perfect instrument of Empire.”  In the Age of Abya Yala, today - may we now say that as we move forward out of the Age of Colonialism and through the dawn of 144,000 days of accountability that began once again on December 21, 2012 (Gregorian), as Nations of Indigenous Peoples of this continent Abya Yala upon which this building stands: We greet you once again as relatives who meet together in the House of Mica.

This message is to the purpose of review.  The need for a comprehensive International Study on the Impact of the Doctrine of Discovery remains as an unfulfilled mandate that must be addressed and corrected.  We continue to support the call made to move forward into an international study on this issue with a Special Rapporteur to be assigned and a full report with recommendations to be produced by the UN Permanent Forum. Additionally Among other actions regarding the Special Theme of the Doctrine of Discovery specified at last year’s session of the Permanent Forum, the recommendation was made in the report of that session that “States include in all education curricula, in particular the school system, a discussion of the doctrine of discovery/dispossession and its contemporary manifestations, including land laws and policies of removal.”

Mr. President and members of the Permanent Forum,

I am here now presenting to the this body the digital archive of the two day International Conference realized in the Akimel O’otham Territories last April 19-20, 2013 which was themed “DISMANTLING the Doctrine of Discovery” and which actually implemented the recommendation made by this body last year on this subject.  This event was organized by a Continental Alliance of Indigenous Nations of Abya Yala and was hosted by the Human Rights and Social Justice Program of the University of Arizona. As the local-regional, continental-global process of DISMANTLING of the Doctrine of Discovery moves forward, may we recommend that the Permanent Forum recognize the establishment of this Abya Yala Caucus as a necessary decolonization structure in terms of Education as referred to in previous sessions of this body.  In review, the dissemination of this unique development as a practice that may best hope to foster new forms and ways to further education and dissemination of information concerning the Indigenous Peoples communities and organizations, using radio programmes, publications and other appropriate cultural and educational media is called for by the mandate of the Permanent Forum.

We also now remind the Permanent Forum, in the same manner that we also reminded the entire United Nations system in 1973, of the Forum recommendation that funds, programmes and organizations of the United Nations system assign appropriate resources and funds to achieve these objectives.

The Doctrine of Discovery
Ana Maria Guacho Orozco Kichwa Puruha


The willful and premeditated crime against Humanity and the Rights of

Mother Earth that results in the destruction of the capacity of Earth to

be a Mother to the Future Generations.
Tupac Enrique Acosta