October 12, 2022
United Nations Human Rights Council
Wednesday September 28, 2022
Opening statement by Ms. Nada Al-Nashif, Acting United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
“Since the UN came into existence more than 80 former colonies comprising some 750 million people have gained independence. Nonetheless the process of decolonization remains incomplete.
The Fourth International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism that goes from 2021 to 2030 therefor presents an opportunity to accelerate the pace of action towards universal decolonization and to confront the legacies of colonialism.
As the two covenants remind us, all peoples have the right of self-determination. That is, the right to freely determine their political status and pursue their economic, social, and cultural development.
The right of self-determination is an essential condition for the effective guarantee and observance of individual human rights and for the promotion and strengthening of those rights.”
Continental Commission Abya Yala
Advancing in the continental campaign to denounce and dismantle the colonial Doctrine of Discovery as a racist and pervasive pathology of “White supremacy” that pretends to normalize the continuing pogrom of centuries of genocide against the Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala [Americas], today the Continental Commission Abya Yala convenes a series of actions and discussions from coast to coast, east to west and North to South across the entire hemisphere in the spirit of Self Determination as Original Nations of Mother Earth.
Synchronizing in sunrise ceremonies and direct actions in affirmation of the right of Self Determination as Peoples, equal to all other peoples, the Continental Commission Abya Yala proclaims the date of October 12 will be addressed as #October12DecolonizationDay from now on and will coincide with the United Nations Fourth International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism that goes from 2021 to 2030.
Over this period of time, the Continental Commission Abya Yala will continue to communicate, convene, and coordinate as an independent International Indigenous Working Group, towards the effective realization of the collective right of self-determination as Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples, invoking the UN decolonization protocols and procedures established by UN General Assembly resolution 1514 in 1960.
Taking up the challenge of confronting the legacies of colonialism which was the subject of a special panel of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) this year in Geneva, the Continental Commission Abya Yala has communicated to the UNHRC that the legacies of colonialism are embedded in the UN system itself, and in fact are part of the geopolitical infrastructure of the UN. As evidence of this, International Indigenous Working Group of the Continental Commission provided both written and oral interventions at the UNHRC session this year denouncing that the legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery was completely absent from the discussions on the theme of decolonization. In fact, access and implementation of effective corrective measures, procedures and mechanisms of the UN Decolonization Committee remain unmentioned and inaccessible to the Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala.
The Continental Commission Abya Yala calls upon all surviving Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples to critically review the testimony and interventions of the Special Panel on the Negative Impact of the Legacies of Colonialism convened by the UNHRC on September 28, 2022.
In consequence, the Continental Commission Abya Yala plans to convene in early 2023 the International Indigenous Working Group in fulfillment of the Mandate of the Indigenous Peoples and in defense of the Territorial Integrity of Mother Earth.
March 12, 2022
Phoenix, AZ - Following the lead of the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples in Bolivia who proclaimed October 12 as the Day of Decolonization in 2018, TONATIERRA announced today that this year “#October12DecolonizationDay” will be the theme of a set of community empowerment initiatives from the local to regional, continental to global levels of engagement being coordinated by a continental alliance of Indigenous Nations and organizations.
Today March 12, 2022, marks the first day of the new year in the Mexica calendar of the Nahuatl Nations, one of many calendar systems developed over millennia by the Indigenous Peoples which are still being utilized on a daily and yearly basis by many Indigenous communities.
“There is a need to move beyond the cultural gesture of simply relabeling of ‘Columbus Day’ into ‘Indigenous Peoples Day’ in in the Gregorian Calendar of North America, while the structural dynamics of the colonization project that began 530 years ago continues full force under the modus operandi of the international trade agreements among the states such as US Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA). Just like the original charter of the Papal Bulls by Pope Alexander VI (1493) Inter Caetera that purported to lend legitimacy via “Discovery” by Christendom to the expropriation and exploitation of Indigenous land and labor, the USMCA subjects Indigenous territories and resources to illegal and violent expropriation at the hands of extractive industries,” said Tupac Enrique Acosta of TONATIERRA.
In addition to drawing attention to the violations of the right of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent for economic projects that impact Indigenous Peoples territories and Human Rights in the USMCA context from Mexico to Canada, the initial call to consciousness that motivates the #October12DecolonzationDay will begin with the invocation of the original article 36 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as follows:
Indigenous peoples have the right to the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements concluded with States or their successors, according to their original spirit and intent, and to have States honour and respect such treaties, agreements, and other constructive arrangements. Conflicts and disputes which cannot otherwise be settled should be submitted to competent international bodies agreed to by all parties concerned.
The relevance of invoking the principles of the Original Article 36 of the UNDRIP is drawn from the recalling of the violent conflict of the Wounded Knee takeover in 1973. At the time, the Oceti Sakowin sent a delegation of traditional chiefs from Wounded Knee to the United Nations to call for international support and intervention against the violent invasion of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty Territories. The violation of the 1868 Treaty Territories was again a principal issue in the fight at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016.
One of the powers of international personality in the UN system is the power to enter into treaty agreements, most importantly Peace Treaties. In this regard and in this spirit, the Indigenous Peoples have relaunched the Indigenous Peoples Peace Initiative which was proclaimed from the Nahuacalli, Embassy of Indigenous Peoples during the Gulf War of 2003:
“We must disarm the global
regime of nationalism of the state. The psychologies of hatred and competition
under which the government states of the world would have us sacrifice our
humanity and our children to senseless wars will no longer be tolerated. As
Indigenous Peoples of the world, we further challenge the government states of
the United Nations system to criminalize the destructive impact of warfare upon
the ecosystems of the Earth itself, by defining appropriate international legal
protocols regarding the conduct of warfare such as the Geneva Convention."
In a critical time in the history of humanity, when the so-called great powers of geopolitical stature maneuver and war against each other to dominate or control their competing spheres of influence, the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples call to spirit of humanity as a whole, to recall that we cannot hope for Peace on Earth if we do not live in peace with Mother Earth.
At a time of great uncertainty being fomented by the real threat of nuclear warfare and climate chaos exacerbated by fossil fuel based economic development across the world, the Indigenous Peoples have reemerged to offer the hope of the Xinachtli Nuclear Peace Pact, for all peoples and nations great and small to address their disagreements and disputes in non-militarized manner and with utmost respect and appreciation for the Territorial Integrity of Mother Earth.
The activities of the #October12DecolonizationDay initiative this year will specifically address the right of Self Determination of the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples in the context of Resolution 48/7 adopted by the Human Rights Council on 8 October 2021 titled “Negative impact of the legacies of colonialism on the enjoyment of human rights.”
In consideration of the adoption of Resolution 48/7
“Negative impact of the legacies of colonialism on the enjoyment of human
rights” by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on 8 October 2021, and the call
for input by the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP)
as a subsidiary body to the UNCHR for a study whose purpose is to assess the extent
to which article 37 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) has been and is being
implemented or considered nationally, we submit the following:
In preparation for the Mexica New Year ceremony on March 12, 2022, there is a five day period of preparation and purification called the Nemontemi.
The Calpolli Izkaloteka have allowed the sacred fire of the Nahuacalco which has been sustained all year, to expire and lay in repose for the five days of the Nemontemi.
The sacred Axicalli Gourds of Water have been laid before our altars in our homes, in our communities, and upon the sacred sites of Mother Earth. Accordingly, here is where and how the essential intentions, prayers, dreams, and visions of the Nemontemi will be collected as the Xinachtli (Seed) of memory for the coming generations of all life on Mother Earth.
Passing through a time of the most extreme threat of war,
destruction, ecological devastation, and inhumanity, the Calpolli Nahuacalco of
Izkalotlan offers once again the simplest of prayers for the well-being and
protection of all life: Cemanuak - Water of Life: