by Brenda Norrell
Thanks to the kind generosity of our sponsors, Peter and Julie Carter of Canada, we announce a delegation of grassroots American Indian activists attending the Bolivia Climate Summit. The delegation of Navajo, Mohawk and Yaqui will join a larger delegation of Indigenous Peoples from North America at the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba.
The sponsors made possible a powerful coalition of voices of people who live close to the earth and fight for human rights.
American Indians responded immediately to the news.
"Good to see we Indigenous Peoples have such a distinguished delegation to the Bolivia Climate Summit," said Bill Means of the American Indian Movement in Minneapolis, Minn.
Please meet our delegates and send a special measure of love to our sponsors.
Indigenous Grassroots Delegation to Bolivia:
Elouise Brown, Navajo, (photo on left) is director of the grassroots Dooda (NO) Desert Rock, fighting a coal fired power plant in her homeland of Navajoland. It would be the third power plant locally on Navajoland in the Four Corners area. This US "sacrifice zone" on the Navajo Nation is already devastated by Cold War uranium mining, oil and gas wells and power plants. Elouise has just completed a speaking tour of California.
Michelle Cook, Navajo youth activist and scholar, is a former youth ambassador to Iran and currently a scholar in Maori territory, pursuing a masters degree in New Zealand. Michelle, a graduate in Women's Studies and Indigenous Studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson, is a member of the Indigenous Alliance without Borders in Tucson, Arizona, documenting human rights abuses at the border. Michelle participated in Zapatista gatherings in Sonora, Mexico, focused on autonomy, dignity and Indigenous rights.
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Michelle said, "Climate change, unsustainable development, and consumption of earth’s resources, threatens not only earth’s bio-diversity but also human survival. Climate change is therefore, one of the most critical issues facing humanity and indigenous peoples today.
"However, there is hope, for climate change is largely man-made, and with strategic action, and conscious thought it can be un-made. It is a blessing and honor to be given the opportunity to attend this historic meeting. To be counted among some of the finest to protect and defend the sacred rights of our precious Mother Earth. To discuss how we as humanity will move forward, how we will support, uplift, and protect one another, in this time of climate crisis.
"I am confident that this meeting will nourish the spirits of those present and will ignite and fuel fires of peace, social justice, and dignity throughout the world."
Chibon T. Everstz, Mohawk youth. "I am a proud member of the Bear clan hailing from the Mohawk Nation of Kahnawake (Que. Canada). As a young aboriginal leader, I believe in taking a stand and supporting every initiative toward the betterment of our communities and the land were are honored to have be walked upon. I see this this conference as a ideal opportunity to network with other individuals in the pursuit of obtaining a proactive approach to sustainability."
Jose Matus, Yaqui ceremonial leader and director of the Indigenous Alliance without Borders, is trilingual, Yaqui/Spanish/English. Jose will assist with the Earthcycles/Censored News live broadcast from Bolivia, http://www.earthcycles.net/ Jose regularly brings Yaqui from Sonora, Mexico, across the border to conduct ceremonies and documents border human rights abuses of Indigenous Peoples by the Border Patrol and immigration agents. Jose was a member of an Indigenous delegation to Chiapas, serving as a human rights shield for Zapatistas, in the mountain stronghold of Chiapas in 1995.
TIMBISHA and WESTERN SHOSHONE: Still needed: Funding for tickets for Western Shoshone freedom fighter Carrie Dann and Timbisha Shoshone Chairman Joe Kennedy, $1,600 each. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos: Michelle Cook; Elouise Brown and Jose Matus (Matus in Chiapas 1995 photo by Brenda Norrell.)
World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth
So far 10 African governments, 11 European governments and 9 Latin American governments confirmed to attend the Climate Change conference in Bolivia! Hasta ahora 10 gob de África, 11 gob Europea, y 9 gob de América Latina confirmado su participación en la Conferencia sobre Cambio Climático en Bolivia!
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