Communiqué to Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction J. Huppenthal
In Imiuh Tenamaztle
1535 W. Jefferson Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007
The current Social Studies Standard for American History extracted from the Arizona Department of Education Website for High School level curriculum acknowledge the precept that Indigenous Peoples are recognized as “Peoples” by use of the term in:
This same strand of study from the social studies curriculum calls for:
The recognition of Indigenous Peoples as such in the standards of the Arizona Department of Education is noteworthy, but of greater concern is the perpetuation of policies of prejudice and “ethnic solidarity” in that discriminate favor of “white” pupils in the evaluation systems of the Arizona State Department of Education.
The designation of “white” as a category of evaluation and quantification of pupils in the Arizona State department of Education is not a new phenomenon. In fact, from it’s beginnings on September 9, 1850 with the establishment by the 31st Congress of the Territorial Government for New Mexico, the organic instrument from which the State of Arizona derives its jurisdiction as a State (1912), the legal identity of “white person” has been given preferential “ethnic” treatment with policies of prejudice and “white supremacy” that are derivatives of the Doctrine of Manifest Destiny.
The concept of Manifest Destiny, a regime of ethnic solidarity if there ever was one, prescribes to the Anglo-Saxon “race” historical rights in the territory that supersede all others. Manifest Destiny is itself a meme of caste that by its nature as an ideology of “white supremacy” is a racist relic still embedded in the underlying Doctrine of Discovery, a chapter of the “Masters’ Narrative” that has dictated the rules of dominion by American societies since October 12, 1492. We are speaking of the context of cognition that provides precept and dogma for the ongoing justification of colonization by European-American constituencies in territories to which they have immigrated or invaded as colonizers in this hemisphere.
Colonization is a crime. It is a crime that became so in 1960 with UN GA Resolution 1514 which proclaimed “All peoples have the right to self determination.” With the adoption in 2007 of the UNDRIP, and our recognition as “Peoples, equal to all other peoples….”, the Indigenous Peoples not only of Arizona, not only of the US, not only of the Americas but the Nations and Pueblos of Indigenous Peoples of Mother Earth – Nican Tlacah Cemanahuac - are determined to achieve the equilibrium and harmony with the Natural World that will allow Humanity as a whole to mature and realize planetary sustainability.
The perpetuation of doctrine is not education, it is indoctrination. And while the resistance and rebellion against these regimes of “intellectual apartheid” by the Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala [the Americas] to the centuries old regime of white supremacy in the continent did not begin in Arizona, the time has come for us to here and now, as Nican Tlacah, to move deliberately towards collective corrective action in order to address the violations of Civil Rights, Human Rights, and Indigenous Rights that have become exacerbated in terms of public educational services for our community since the passage of AZ HB 2281.
In light of the fact that there is absolutely NO REFERENCE in the current Arizona State Curriculum Standards for a track of study on the relevance of the Doctrine of Discovery in terms of Social Studies, History or Public Policy:
We demand that the Preliminary Study on the Doctrine of Discovery, submitted to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues be integrated into the Social Studies Curriculum standards immediately for implementation across the spectrum of services delivered by the Arizona Department of Education at all levels across the state with no exceptions.
We recommend that the State of Arizona:
- Promote and advocate for the continued development of appreciation, knowledge and understanding of the Cultural Diversity of all Arizona residents by supporting educational programs that contribute to this goal;
- Reinforce programs of Cultural Competency to meet this goal, as a legal obligation binding the State of Arizona in terms of Civil Rights, Human Rights, and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
- Promote and advocate for the implementation of a state wide Indigenous Peoples Studies curriculum, that addresses the ignorance and lack of historical perspective in the general public related to outdated public policies that are grounded in the concepts of racial profiling and illegal preferences to constituencies of European-American “white persons” such as “Manifest Destiny”;
In closing, may we affirm the notion that this communiqué is no way to be interpreted as a message of resentment or hatred towards any other peoples, however they may classify themselves. This is not a message of antagonism against white people, but it is a challenge to the social constructs of white supremacy. And at a deeper level, it is a call to our common humanity to strive to collectively correct the injustices committed in the name of “Western Civilization” that make victims of not only the colonized by the colonizer as well.
Where is the homeland of the “White” ethnicity? What are its boundaries? Where are its borders? Who is their leadership? Who benefits from this ideology, and who suffers? Is it not the “white people” themselves who have lost the most, by fomenting ethnic and political identity at the family, community and national levels based on a “melanin deprived” physical characteristic that is unscientific and racist, not to mention horribly dehumanizing?
Not only are we the New World, we are NOW the World in Renewal: We are the Nican Tlacah of Cemanahuac and our proposals in terms of education are hereby respectfully submitted in the spirit of the Prerogative of the Peoples and for the purposes of advancing the Public Services towards the Greater Good, the wela of We the Peoples.
Tupac Enrique Acosta, Yaotachcauh