CUAUHYOTL ABYA YALA
Message to President Obama and the US Congress
Hopi Message at the House of Mica
To create and sustain a
That will support local-global and holistic indigenous community development initiatives in education, culture, and economic development in accord with the principles of
November 5, 2009
The Honorable Barack Obama
The President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500-0004
Dear Mr. President,
Greetings. Upon this historical event, we wish to thank you for your commitment and dedication to bring forth meaningful change for our Peoples. On behalf of the Timbisha Shoshone of the Western Shoshone Nation and the many other Nations and Pueblos of Indigenous Peoples of North America, we call upon the government of the United States of America (USA) to act in due haste to adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which was adopted by the UN General Assembly Resolution #61/295 at its 107th plenary on September 13, 2007.
We are confident that through your leadership and peacemaking goals as exemplified in your membership on the UN Human Rights Council, you will adopt this historic human rights instrument. We ask for this action immediately.
Mr. President, we write this in recognition of what we believe is your sincere commitment to uphold and strengthen the relationships with the US government and American Indian Nations. In keeping with your invitation to meet leaders of the Nations and Pueblos of Indigenous Peoples of North America which brings us to Washington DC, we offer our greetings to you and extend our hands in the spirit of a renewed and re-visioned expression of this relationship. A critical part of this relationship is recognizing that the time has come to break the chains from centuries of racism, colonization and ongoing oppression across North America. This can begin to be accomplished by the US adopting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
We have entered a new age – a time of reflection and correcting the wrongs of previous eras. Let us set forth on a positive pathway together. As you know, thousands of Indigenous Peoples here in the US, and indeed throughout the world, stood up with trust and faith in your message of equity and justice for all, during your campaign. As Indigenous Peoples are equal to all other Peoples, it is time that the relationship of our Nations and Pueblos with the US must be redefined. This is more than a matter of honor. It is a matter of doing what is right and it is critical to our continuing and ever evolving relationship with the US federal government.
Mr. President, we believe in your commitment for real and systemic change that can imprint upon our future generations and lead the world in a good and honorable way. This can be accomplished by finally and for the first time ever, fully recognizing the rights of the Indigenous Nations.??
Although an apology for the oppression of US policies that brutalized our homelands and have devastated our peoples, cultures and ecosystems, is well in order and in fact long overdue, it is not enough. Adopting the UNDRIP is a meaningful and responsible step toward long-term reconciliation that can resonate across the globe with Indigenous Peoples of the World.
The implementation of the UNDRIP institutes a new systemic standard that calls for complementary readjustment among entities of the government states and the Nations of the Indigenous Peoples, normalizing peaceful relations and creating partnerships based on mutual respect and cooperation.??
Hopefully, this letter prompts the United States’ immediate attention to and adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We know this will produce a positive and constructive diplomatic venue to advance the recognition, respect, and protection of the Human Rights and Self-Determination of Indigenous Peoples, both within the domestic and international arenas.
Chairman, Timbisha Shoshone of the Western Shoshone Nation
On October 12, 2007 at the Arizona State Capitol in the chambers of the House of Representatives, a group of Native American Veterans conducted a signing ceremony during which they affirmed the United Nations Declaration on the the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, acting in Self Determination and defiance of the policy of the US State Department and the Bush Administration. Here is a copy of the the Signature Page from that historic event. The Native American veterans stated that if the United States of America didn't have the guts to sign the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, they would do it for them, and if the US didn't like it then let them just try to stop the ceremony. Now over two years later, the Native American Veterans still await the response from the Obama administration to their call for recogntiton, respect, and justice.
After more than three decades of struggle at the international levels of UN diplomacy and centuries of outright genocide and forced assimilation programs, the Indigenous Peoples of the world are now finally acknowledged as full members of global society with inherent rights of Self Determination under international law. The passage of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the UN General Assembly on September 13, 2007 addresses both individual and collective rights, cultural rights and identity, rights to education, health, employment, language and Treaty Rights.
A new day is upon us, the Indigenous Peoples Day - Nican Tlacah Ilhuitl.
Each one of us, as members of the great and humble family of the Indigenous Nations and Pueblos of this continent Abya Yala, have a story to tell in the long battle to achieve recognition, respect and protection for the rights of our Indigenous Peoples. Many of the stories are told with sadness and even pain, as we recall the sufferings and trauma that our peoples and the land itself have endured as the result of centuries of colonization. In this sense we are all veterans of the wars of colonization. The battle is still long from over; centuries of trauma will take generations to fully heal, yet we have arrived at the dawn of the day which was foretold by our traditions and prophecies.
And how long is this day? How long shall it last? This day - the Nican Tlacah Ilhuitl - began with the first rays of the original light of creation, when Life Giver made known the message and meaning of life itself, among all of our relations of the natural world. We, as Indigenous Peoples of the entire world continue to carry the meaning of this message in our hearts and endeavor to pass this sacred tradition on to our future generations.
May our signatures here be a sign, of our continued commitment to encounter one another and all of our brothers and sisters of the Family of Humanity along the good road of Self Respect and Self Determination.
How long is this day? As long as the Light….
Nation(s) of Indigenous Peoples_____________________________________________
Date: October 12, 2007
Arizona State Capitol
Land of the Braves
Embajada de los Pueblos Indígenas
Embassy of the Indigenous Peoples
Contacto: Tupac Enrique Acosta PO Box 24009 Phoenix, AZ 85074
Tel: (602) 254-5230 Correo electrónico: firstname.lastname@example.org